There have now been 20 cases of COVID-19 in Kawartha Lakes, with 14 positive results confirmed Tuesday (March 24) alone.
Two people – a woman in her 60s and another in her 80s – are being treated at Ross Memorial Hospital. The others (one man and 11 other women) are self-isolating, according the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit.
While officials from the health unit have not directly addressed the sudden uptick in confirmed cases, they did urge residents to take precautions to prevent community spread of COVID-19.
On Sunday (March 22), the health unit reported the death of a Kawartha Lakes resident who had not travelled or had contact with anyone confirmed to have COVID, demonstrating that there is now community transmission of the virus.
“Unfortunately, this man’s tragic death tells us that this virus is no longer only being seen in people who have travelled to impacted areas or have had contact with a confirmed case,” said Dr. Lynn Noseworthy, medical officer of health for health unit.
“We now know that the virus is being passed between people in our communities.”
This means it is more important than ever that everyone follow the public health recommendations designed to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in our communities, Dr. Noseworthy said.
– Staying home if sick – not going to work and staying away from other people to prevent the spread;
– Washing hands frequently and thoroughly;
– Covering coughs and sneezes and washing hands; and,
– Maintaining social (physical) distancing of six feet between people.
The provincial government has implemented measures to help prevent the spread, including the closure of schools and daycares (except for children of health care workers), the closure of non-essential businesses, restrictions on visitors to long-term care and retirement homes, and the mandatory cancellation of any collection of people larger than 50.
“I urge everyone to take this virus seriously,” Dr. Noseworthy said.
“We need everyone to follow these measures. Even if you are feeling well, following these measures can stop the spread of this virus to older adults or the more vulnerable residents in our communities.”