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Kingston’s COVID-19 case counts trending downwards, says medical officer of health

Kingston’s medical officer of health says COVID-19 case numbers are trending in the right direction in the region.

On Tuesday, the health unit reported nine new cases of the virus, with eight recoveries and 60 active cases.

Over the last month, the health unit has been battling a COVID-19 variant outbreak linked to Queen’s University. By March 23, active case counts rose to 98, inching closer to the region’s all-time high of 112 active cases seen in mid-December, 2020.

Read more:
Coronavirus: 14 VOCs, 6 other COVID-19 cases associated with Queen’s University

Now, Moore says things are looking up for the KFL&A region.

“I have to say, we’ve got it under control. Ten days ago, I may have said something different, but I’m very happy with the trend downwards,” Moore said.

Nevertheless, Moore says he’s very aware of case counts rising across the province, and in regions closer to home. Ontario reported 2,300 more cases Tuesday with 14 deaths.

“It’s all around us and it can flare up at any time. We certainly learned that two weeks ago that our numbers can be quite volatile,” he said.

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There are currently two people in hospital with COVID-19, but the medical officer of health says he expects them to be discharged soon.

With the Easter long weekend on the horizon, Moore says he’s comforted by the public health order currently in place that limits gatherings in Kingston to only five people indoors and outdoors.

“Keeping your social circle as small as possible to five or less indoors or outdoors will really benefit us in the long term as we try to immunize our population and best protect those that are the most vulnerable,” he said.

On Monday, nearby Hastings Prince Edward Public Health also instituted a public health order that limits gatherings to five people, but its order went farther, closing short-term accommodations and limiting most services like restaurants and hotels to locals only.

Read more:
Coronavirus: New class order coming into effect at midnight in Hastings, Prince Edward counties

Moore said circumstances are different in the Kingston region and therefore, will not be adding any restrictions that would limit travellers to the region.

“We heard it from businesses loud and clear that that wouldn’t be appropriate to put in place. And they didn’t want to have to be put in the place of policing that,” he said.

Still, he believes the public health order currently meant to last until the end of April in Kingston has and will be effective to limit the spread of the virus locally.

“I think that will protect us. It certainly has helped us over the last two weeks get our numbers down,” he said.

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