KAWARTHA LAKES-The Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPRDU)is now reporting five cases of Variants of Concern (VOC) in the City of Kawartha Lakes.
The first VOC was detected in the City of Kawartha Lakes on February 18. The most recent variant case was reported on March 13. There are now 28 cases of VOCs in Northumberland.
“The emergence of VOCs in Ontario is indeed a serious concern, not only locally, but right cross the province.” Acting Medical Officer Of Health HKPRDU, Dr Ian Gemmill told Kawartha 411 News. “Although some areas in Ontario currently are more affected than others, the threat of VOCs is general in Ontario, and are a reason to redouble COVID-19 preventive measures everywhere. We never know when a VOC will be present in a given community.”
Gemmill says while information about these variants is still emerging, evidence has indicated that they are more easily spread between people. Projections also suggest the variant first identified in the U.K. will soon be the dominant strain of coronavirus in Ontario.
“In general, the COVID-19 VOCs detected in Ontario seem to be more contagious and therefore can spread among people more quickly. This is concerning, especially if it could lead to more illness and therefore hospitalizations due to COVID-19. It’s really a race now between the variants and the COVID-19 vaccine.” Gemmill states.
Over the last few days, there has been only one new case of Coronavirus reported in Kawartha Lakes. There are nine active cases of the virus in Kawartha Lakes with the health unit tracking 146 high-risk contacts. 55 people have died. One outbreak locally is ongoing at the Crossfit facility in Lindsay.
Until enough people are vaccinated and we build greater protection in the population, Gemmill says we must continue to follow all public health measures to stop the spread of COVID-19, including its VOCs. This includes:
o Wearing masks
o Avoiding non-essential travel
o Limiting trips out of your home
o Limiting contact to only those people with whom you live
o Practising physical distancing by staying two metres apart from others
o Frequently washing your hands with soap and water
o Coughing/sneezing into your sleeve
o Following other prevention measures.