Local Covid-19 update

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The stats for the past week seem a little confusing on the surface, but that is because six cases of the virus have been reclassified from late March and early April. Although there are no separate statistics for individual municipalities, it does appear that three of these reclassified cases were in the UCLG East section, that is in North Grenville, Merrickville-Wolford, Augusta, and Edwardsburg-Cardinal, where the number of confirmed cases rose from 13 on May 28, to 17 on June 4. The good news is that 11 of these cases have recovered. This section had reported the lowest number of confirmed cases, but that is no longer the case, but we remain one of the least affected sections of the LGLDHU area. Between May 28 and June 5, there were only three new confirmed cases in the Leeds Grenville Lanark District Health Unit [LGLDHU] region. As of June 5, there have been a total of 351 lab-confirmed cases on Covid-19 in the region, of which 283, or 94% have recovered. 79 cases, or 22%, were in the community; 71 (93%) have recovered. There have been 84 confirmed cases among healthcare workers, of whom 80 (95%) have recovered. Long-term care/retirement residences had a total of 188 confirmed cases, of which 129, or 91%, have recovered.

In total, there have been 50 deaths in the LGLDHU region. In the past week up to June 4, the median age of those who died remained at 86, and 96% of deaths occurred in the 65+ age group. It is a positive stat that the number of community deaths in the LGLDHU region remains at 3, showing no increase since April.

In spite of the apparent spike in confirmed cases, explained already, there is much good news in the statistics for the period. Test results have shown a decrease in the percentage found to be positive. In March/April, the positivity rate was 11% of 3,194 lab tests. This has decreased in May/June to just 2% of 2,722 lab tests.

Yet another positive statistic is that the number of long-term care/residential facilities reporting confirmed cases in the LGLDHU region has been reduced. On May 28, there were 5 facilities with confirmed cases, by June 4 this had been reduced to 2, one each in Carleton Place and Mississippi Mills.

There is still some confusion regarding the use of face coverings, as they are now called to distinguish them from medical face masks. The LGLDHU advice is that “individuals wear a face covering where physical distancing is not possible, such as on public transit or in a small grocery store or pharmacy”.

Things to consider when making or obtaining a cloth face covering:

  • It is made of at least two layers of tightly woven material. You can test out the fabric by trying to blow out a candle with it on. If you can, then it is too thin. It can be cleaned multiple times without losing its shape. Fits securely with ties or ear loops. Allows for easy breathing. Make sure it is not made of plastic or other non-breathable materials. Includes a pocket to accommodate a paper towel or disposable coffee filter for increased benefit. Has a different fabric on each side to easily identify which side faces your mouth and which side is out.
  • When worn properly, a cloth face covering can reduce the spread of your own infectious respira-tory droplets. Wash your hands before putting it on and taking it off. Make sure it fits to cover your nose and mouth, without any gaps. Don’t touch your face or face covering while wearing it. Use your own face covering and don’t share it with others. Clean surfaces that a dirty face covering touches. Wash your face covering when slightly wet or dirty.
  • Put it directly into the washing machine or a bag that can be emptied into the washing machine. Wash with other items using a hot cycle with laundry detergent and dry thoroughly. Wash your hands afterwards.
  • Children under the age of two, anyone who has trouble breathing, or anyone who is unable to remove it without assistance should not use face coverings.

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