FREE DIGITAL ACCESS: The Niagara Dailies have made a decision to provide free digital access to essential local coronavirus articles. If you appreciate good journalism, please subscribe to stcatharinesstandard.ca or niagarafallsreview.ca or wellandtribune.ca for unlimited access to all articles.
The number of new COVID-19 cases in Niagara remained on a downward trend on Saturday, but the percentage of tests that come back positive for COVID-19 is higher than health officials would like.
The region’s Acting Medical Officer of Health Dr Mustafa Hirji said the percentages of positivity are not declining as quickly as they should be with the current number of cases, both in Niagara and overall. of the province.
He suspects this is because the number of people tested overall is lower and said it is important that people continue to get tested for COVID-19 if they show symptoms.
“As we go back to a low number of cases, it’s really important that we want to find every last infection so that we can make sure we isolate anyone who is sick, find their contact, isolate them and really make sure that we “are able to start to slow the spread of infection, especially as we start to come out of lockdown,” he said.
“We really encourage everyone once again, if you have symptoms of illness make an appointment with the Niagara Health Assessment Center and go get tested so you know for sure that you don’t have to. ‘infection.”
Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever and chills, cough, runny nose unrelated to allergies, difficulty breathing, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and fatigue or muscle pain. .
The positivity rates give health officials a sense of how much virus is actually spreading in the community.
For the week ending May 22, the percentage of COVID-19 tests in Niagara that came back positive was 4.8%. Since the start of the pandemic, public health has set a 5% positivity rate as a danger zone.
“The last thing we want to do when reopening is come out and unfortunately get an infection that we pass on to others,” Hirji said.
Niagara had 22 new cases on Saturday, the same as the day before. These are the lowest numbers since March 18, when the new number of cases was 21.
However, Niagara Health reported on Saturday that two Niagara residents treated for COVID-19 died on Friday.
An estimated 417 people have died from COVID-19 since Niagara’s first death in March 2020.
The number of active cases on Saturday was 763. This is down from 1,087 last Saturday and 1,396 two Saturdays ago.
There are still active cases in the 12 municipalities of Niagara.
The largest number of active cases continues to be among the 20-39 age group, followed by the 40-59 age group and those under 20.
Niagara has had a total of 15,701 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.
In terms of immunization, 53.8 percent of Niagara residents have received a first dose of vaccine and 4.3 percent are fully immunized.