NWHU region reaches ‘unfortunate milestone’
Tim Brody - Editor
The Northwestern Health Unit (NWHU) shared on April 30 that the NWHU region has reached the “unfortunate milestone” of one in 100 people in the area now having been infected with COVID-19.
“In reviewing all of our cases to date in the pandemic, we have noted that overall, one in every 100 people in our catchment area have had COVID-19. This is a significant statistic. One in 100 is not a small likelihood. This means that there is a substantial risk within our population. At this time we’re seeing that cases are increasing despite being in an emergency brake. The risk is also being seen across our entire catchment area and there is no area that is safe within our catchment area, so we are encouraging everyone to follow public health measures, because the risk is significant, and it can be quite close to home,” NWHU Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kit Young Hoon shared with regional media on April 30.
NWHU was reporting 75 active COVID-19 cases within its catchment area as of May 3, compared to the 71 active COVID-19 cases it reported on April 26. A listing of active case numbers in each health hub region can be found at https://www.nwhu.on.ca/covid19/Pages/regional-COVID-19-results.aspx.
Young Hoon also informed, “Employees attending work when unwell is a concerning trend we’re seeing over the past few weeks. We will be enforcing our Section 22 Order (https://www.nwhu.on.ca/covid19/Pages/Class-Section-22-Order.aspx) and laying fines to individuals who attend work when having symptoms of COVID-19. Staying home when you’re sick reduces the number of cases, reduces the spread of COVID-19 and reduces the number of workplace cases and will help considering what we’re seeing lately.”
Young Hoon clarified, “I don’t think people are going to work knowing they have COVID-19. I think people are going to work thinking they have just a cold… Sometimes COVID-19 can just appear like a mild cold and people may think it’s not something to be worried about, that it’s okay to go to work, but it’s really important, we’re seeing this over and over again, that individuals need to stay at home if they have symptoms of COVID-19, even if it just seems like a cold and self-isolate and get tested.”
Young Hoon added, “We are asking that people stay home when they’re sick, that employers support employees appropriately with paid sick leave so that they can stay home when they are sick. To be really clear, the trend that we’re seeing, I know it doesn’t apply to every single case, it applies to some, but it is a trend that we’re seeing, is that spread at this point seems to be mainly driven by people who are not self-isolating when they could be sick with COVID-19 and while they’re awaiting their test results.”
People can find out more about how to get tested for COVID-19 at https://www.nwhu.on.ca/covid19/Pages/self-assessment.aspx. NWHU states on its website that test results normally take 3-7 days to get back.
More information on vaccine clinics can be found at