Public health measures in the Kenora area are working to protect the community, suggests Chief Medical Officer of Health for the Northwestern Health Unit, Dr. Kit Young-Hoon.

Her comments come after a number of positive cases of COVID-19 were found in the city earlier this month, and staff are continuing to track and follow-up with those involved.

“So far, we have seen no more positive cases from the Kenora cluster. However, there are a few more tests to come in this week, for those who got tested late last week.”

In all, 11 cases were reported in the Kenora area in a 48 hour period between last Thursday night and Saturday afternoon. Cases were found in three area schools, a long-term care home and a daycare.

“None of the cases have been linked to the others. But with this type of illness, it’s challenging to say exactly where people got the illness from. Seeing no additional cases suggest that our public health measures are working.”

Between October 5 and October 11, the Northwestern Health Unit conducted nearly 2,000 COVID-19 tests in the area, with many related to the cluster of cases, or residents getting tested out of concern.

“Being tested for COVID-19 or getting your results quickly does not protect you against COVID-19. What does protect you, is practising prevention measures. The virus will have limited spread if we all do our part.”

Since the pandemic began in March, director of the Lake of the Woods District Hospital, Ray Racette, confirmed there have been no hospitalizations in Kenora due to the illness.

“Stay two metres away from anyone that you do not live with. Wash your hands often. Stay home if you’re sick. Avoid travel outside of northern Ontario. Wear a mask in enclosed public spaces. If you have symptoms, stay home, avoid others and get tested.”

Earlier this month, the Northwestern Health Unit advised residents to avoid all non-essential travel outside of northern Ontario. Those that wish to travel outside the region can, but should perform a risk assessment before leaving the area.

If you do travel outside of northern Ontario, the health unit says you should self-isolate for 14 days upon returning if you have come in contact with a close contact of a positive case or have been exposed to an outbreak situation.

If you have symptoms that could be caused by COVID-19, contact your local assessment centre or nursing station immediately. If you have had close contact with a known case, get tested.

For more information:
No new cases yet, hospital
Community transmission of COVID-19 in Kenora area possible, NWHU