Local Covid-19 update

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There was mixed news this week about the state of covid-19 cases in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark. Although most of the statistics show an increase in the number of confirmed cases and deaths, there was also a rise in the number of recoveries from the virus among those affected.

The Leeds Grenville Lanark District Health Unit [LGLSDHU] reports on 21 municipalities in the region, and North Grenville is in the LGLDHU East section, which also includes Merrickville-Wolford, Augusta and Edwardsburg-Cardinal.

On May 7, there were 7 confirmed cases of covid-19, of which 5 had recovered. A week later, on May 14, those numbers had changed: 9 confirmed cases, of which 6 had recovered. As of May 14, there were no confirmed cases in any long-term care facility in LGLDHU East.

Unfortunately, in the region overall, the number of confirmed cases rose from 314 on May 7, to 327 on May 14. The number of deaths in the same period rose from 43 to 48. Of these, 45 deaths took place in long-term care homes, and the other 3 in the community. It should be noted that the number of deaths in the general community has not changed in more than a month.

As seems to be true globally, the main focus of cases is in the long-term care facilities. In the last week, cases were confirmed in Maple View Lodge in Athens, where a resident and a health-care worker were found to have the virus. At Lanark Lodge, in Perth, a health-care worker was tested positive for covid-19, but was without symptoms, and is in isolation at home.

“Therefore, as a result, Lanark Lodge has been declared in a COVID-19 out-break,” the health unit said in a statement. “Infection control measures under the Long-Term Care Homes Act have been put in place to manage the outbreak and are being monitored by the health unit.”

Dr. Paula Stewart, the unit’s medical officer of health, said the early detection of the virus in the staffer allowed the home and the health unit to respond quickly to control the spread.

A more positive statistic is that on May 7 it was reported that there was a 40% recovery rate in the LGLDHU overall, while that figure had risen to 64% on May 14. The number of hospitalisations dropped between those two dates, from 11% to just 2%. Around a quarter of the deaths took place in hospitals. The median age of deaths remained steady at 86 years, though 96% of those deaths occurred in the 65+ age range.

As restrictions on movement are gradually lifted across the province,it is essential that we not become complacent, or more lax in abiding by the guidelines issued by the Health Unit. This is a time when, through carelessness, we could easily see a spike in confirmed cases, which would lead, inevitably, to more deaths. Stay safe, stay home whenever possible, and take care of each other.

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