The Lake of the Woods District Hospital has confirmed that there are currently four people in hospital with COVID-19, two of whom who were admitted due to severe symptoms of the virus.

“This serves as a reminder to the public of how serious a COVID-19 infection can be. All prevention measures must continue to be followed by residents of the Kenora area to prevent our health care system from becoming overwhelmed,” says Ray Racette at LWDH.

NWHU recommends that everyone assume COVID-19 is in their community and practise preventive measures like physical distancing, wearing a mask in enclosed public spaces and when physical distancing is a challenge, good hand hygiene, and not touching their face. Anyone who has symptoms, or who has been in contact with a positive case, should self-isolate and get tested.

Earlier today, four new cases of COVID-19 were reported across the region. Three of the new cases are in the Kenora region and one case has been reported in the District of Rainy River.

To date, there have been 281 confirmed and six probable cases of COVID-19 reported across the district. 268 of the 287 total cases have been listed as resolved with 14 active cases in the Kenora region, three active cases in the Sioux Lookout region, one active case in the District of Rainy River and one death. 

Earlier this week, the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit confirmed the first case of a COVID-19 variant on February 4, the first variant found in Northern Ontario, after international travel.

To help combat the spread of any variants, all of Ontario’s positive COVID-19 tests will now be screened for known variants. The province has found over 100 confirmed cases of the UK variant and a case of the South African variant strain in their testing.

The UK variant has been confirmed to be the cause of an outbreak at a long-term care home in Barrie. Within 48 hours of the first positive test result in a staff member, there were 55 other cases within the facility. There have been 229 cases out of 230 residents and staff since, as well 66 deaths.