NWHU Medical Officer of Health provides COVID-19 update
Tim Brody - Editor
“Our local incidence rate and percent positivity both remain fairly steady week to week, however it is important to remember that these statistics only include people who are eligible for and have received a PCR test. This does not mean that the risk of COVID in our communities is low,” Northwestern Health Unit (NWHU) Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kit Young Hoon shared with regional media on May 3.
She continued, “There are many people who test positive on rapid tests that are not captured in our data. The number of hospitalizations has not seen a substantial change over the past few weeks, which better represents the impact the virus is having on our region and its residents.”
As of May 4, the NWHU area seven-day percent positivity rate was 18.8.
Young Hoon said that many organizations in our region, including healthcare organizations, are facing staffing shortages due to illness and isolation requirements. “Frontline workers are taking on extra shifts to cover for those that are in isolation. Please show kindness and respect to others during these times,” she stated.
“The goal of public health measures continues to be to reduce the spread of COVID-19. At this time, containment, completely preventing COVID-19 is not possible. Vaccination remains the best protection against severe outcomes from a COVID-19 infection. Booster doses are effective and help prevent hospitalizations and death, and I urge residents to stay up to date on their COVID-19 vaccinations. Book an appointment with us at www.nwhu.on.ca/COVID-19 or, if our clinics are full, or many weeks away, try visiting a local pharmacy to see about getting your vaccine there. If you’re up to date on your vaccinations, wearing a mask in public settings, staying hydrated, eating nutritious foods, being active, getting enough sleep and washing your hands before touching your face are ways to stay healthy,” Young Hoon shared.
With the arrival of warmer temperatures, Young Hoon commented, “Generally we encourage that people choose outside, rather than inside, for social gatherings and connecting with others. It’s a good way of reducing spread, yet still being able to enjoy the company of others and enjoying the outdoors. Being outdoors also allows physical activity, which is of course good for your health, and you might need to start thinking about things like bug repellent and sun block.”