Kingston ‘knocking on the door’ of red zone as COVID-19 cases rise: Dr. Moore

OTTAWA — Kingston’s top doctor says the region could potentially jump from the yellow zone to the red zone next week if COVID-19 case counts continue to surge.

Speaking on 98.3 FLY FM’s “Reid and Ben in the Morning”, Medical Officer of Health for Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington (KFL&A) Dr. Kieran Moore said the region could see further restrictions announced by the provincial government this week.

“This week, I think that they’ll look at our numbers, given that we had a rapid rise Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and that’s continuing over the weekend, and make another assessment,” Dr. Moore said. “We’re knocking on the door of red in our rates.”

Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington Public Health is currently in the “Yellow-Protect” level under Ontario’s COVID-19 framework. The province announces new regional restrictions on Fridays but did not announce any changes to the area last Friday.

However, Dr. Moore noted that KFL&A’s rate of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population is very close to the “Red-Control” level.

“Today on our dashboard, you’ll see we’re at (38.5) per 100,000 in the last seven days and to get to red, which is further restrictions, is 40 per 100,000,” he said.

Dr. Moore said he doesn’t know if the government would skip the “Orange-Restrict” level and move the region from yellow to red, but he’s hopeful the numbers turn around soon.

“By our numbers, that could happen. I certainly hope that we can get a handle in these numerous outbreaks in the community and try and limit the spread,” he said.

If Kingston does move to a new restriction level this week, the changes would come into effect on Monday, Dec. 21.

According to the public health unit’s dashboard, there are 93 active cases of COVID-19 in the Kingston region as of 1 p.m. Dec. 13. Two people are hospitalized and one is in intensive care. The number of active cases peaked at 101 on Dec. 11.

Dr. Moore noted that outbreaks linked to a house of worship in Kingston and a car dealership in Gananoque have led to dozens of cases in the region. He also said the number of Queen’s University students who have tested positive is on the rise.

Dr. Moore reported three new cases of COVID-19 in the Kingston area on Monday.

“It’s now more important than ever, when the virus is active and spreading in our community, that we protect the vulnerable,” he said.

“We have a rough couple of weeks to go, when people are going to want to socialized and get back to their families and now is just not the time,” Dr. Moore added. “We don’t want the holidays to be a super-spreading event, where it’s just going to multiply quickly in the community. We are going to have to do our best to not allow this virus to spread over the holidays or we’re going to have a really tough January.” 

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