Active community participation in vaccination programs, COVID testing and best practices contributed to another week of positive results in the Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Public Health Unit area.
“I want to thank the community that came forward and got tested and all of those that came forward and were immunized. We are making remarkable progress in terms of increasing the protection of our community through vaccination, ”said Dr. Kieran Moore, Public Health Officer of Health for Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington (KFL & A) on Friday in a statement. online meeting with the press. May 28.
“At present, to date, we have had two new cases. We have seven people recovered today. So the number of active cases in our community has dropped to 18 ″, he explained, “This is great news for KFL & A. “
“If you remember, just a few weeks ago we had over 100 cases that were heading towards 150 and our disease rate is now at one of its lowest levels in a very, very long time. So we’re down to 3.3 cases per 100,000 people over the past week, ”he said, putting those numbers into perspective.
Additionally, KFL & A is doing extremely well compared to other areas of the province (primarily the GTA) which have over 100 cases per 100,000. “So,” Moore said, “we’re very happy with that. “
“A very small percentage of our tests are positive despite the fact that many people are tested every day, we have hundreds of people getting tested, showing symptoms and / or high risk contacts, and only 0, 28% of them are positive for COVID-19. If you look elsewhere in the province, part of the positivity can be as high as 10 or 11%. So we continue to do remarkably well, ”continued Dr. Moore.
“And on the vaccination front, 60.3% of those 16 and over in our community have received their first dose,” of one of the vaccines, Moore said. “We have vaccinated over 116,433 doses to residents of KFL & A since the start of this program, and over 16,000 doses have been administered in the past seven days. “
“We absolutely expect this volume of patients to be immunized to continue through June,” continued Dr. Moore. “We have a very good supply chain for the Pfizer vaccine, and we are learning that we may even be getting more and more of the Moderna vaccine – so the two mRNA vaccines which are very similar – we expect to have a plentiful supply for June. , and potentially, we will be able to increase the number of clinic spaces available to us. So, very good news on this. “
When will the second dosage start?
For those who need a second dose, Moore said: “As we increase our first doses, the government has told us they are now allowing second doses, especially for those who are 80 years old. and more, they are allowed to start reserving on May 31 to receive their second dose.
He wanted to “also celebrate that 100% of the over 80s in our community received their first doses, which is truly remarkable and 17% even received their second doses”.
“From May 31, Monday, they can make their appointments for the second dose, and we can shorten the time. [they have to wait] to give them the best protection, which is very, very good news.
At the provincial level, said Moore, “They also told us they would drop those age brackets to allow second doses as they monitor reservations and product availability across Ontario. And it is expected that starting June 14, people aged 70 and over can start booking their second date, and as a result, we will continue to protect those who are most vulnerable in our community. .
“So very positive news, both on the very low incidence rate of COVID-19 in our community, as well as on our ever-increasing ability to immunize and protect individuals in our community. “
For those who have been vaccinated by their pharmacy and primary care facilities, “partner pharmacies receive a regular supply of a Pfizer vaccine and a Moderna vaccine as well as our primary care partners with whom we have worked throughout. from our mass vaccination clinics and designated clinics. “
“So,” he explained, “you hear that all the partners in the health system, the primary care pharmacists in the hospitals and the health unit are working together to try to maximize immunization and we will continue to do it all. throughout the summer months for the first doses and second doses, with the aim of providing a vaccine to every KFL & A citizen who wants it, and to provide the second dose in a shorter time frame, as we can strengthen the protection before fall.
AstraZeneca second dose
Although the provincial government, including the Solicitor General and the Premier, have suggested that there is an urgent need to use the AstraZeneca vaccines immediately, which will expire on May 31, Moore said: “I am confident that we have enough time. ‘AstraZeneca. second dose products for anyone who received the first dose… I know we have received around 4000 doses to distribute to our pharmacy partners over the past few days – and it has been a lot of work to make sure that ‘they come to the right place at the right amount. And our partner pharmacies have been brilliant in distributing these doses primarily to patients who, from March 10 to 19, received their first doses of AstraZeneca. “
“I think all of these 4000 doses will be phased out over the next few days and the vast majority have already been administered through our partners, so I have to celebrate this rapid turnaround by all of our pharmaceutical partners,” said Dr. Moore.
Reopening of schools
Moore said he fully supports a return to school for local children. “I have had direct conversations with leaders within the ministry, again stressing that we are very confident, with our school boards, teachers, parents and students, that we can safely reopen. The level of disease in our community is exceptionally low compared to anywhere else in the province today. And we’re good in the green at 3.5 cases per 100,000. And so I think we can safely open. ”
“We tested about 250 people just at the Beechgrove Assessment Center yesterday and only had one or two positive results, and these were high-risk contacts that we already knew. So we don’t find many new cases in our area, ”said Dr Moore.
“So with our low disease rate in our community, the low percentage of positivity on all of our tests and the high vaccination rate in our community: these three signals alone, tell me we can safely open our school. “
Dr Moore pointed to the schools’ brilliant cooperation with their rapid assessment tests of any high-risk situation where they believe a child, teacher or worker may have had COVID. “We have had a rapid turnaround of these tests and a rapid containment and we have had very, very, very little spread in any of our schools, so I am very confident that we can continue this great partnership.”
Dr Moore fully supports a plan to open schools region by region. “I admit that the rates across the province are not the same as ours, and in some cases they are 30 to 40 times higher than ours now, and that makes it more difficult to open in those areas.” . But in our region I absolutely gave the green light to the ministry [of Education]. »
What should we expect next?
Summer seems to be getting better and better, Moore said. “I think together as a country as we all achieve higher immunization rates our country is becoming safer by the day, and therefore this post-pandemic era for all of us will, I think. , to travel safely through Ontario and Canada, and nearly normal and post-pandemic for August, but we’ll all still need to watch for symptoms (and) get tested. Moore assured residents that we can be proud of the way Canada is handling the pandemic, on track to have one of the highest vaccination rates in the world.