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Kawartha Lakes health unit stressing carefulness as cases persist

DAN CEARNS, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, for The Standard

KAWARTHA LAKES: Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit’s (HKPR) top official is continuing to warn people to handle this pandemic carefully.

“Until we get two doses of vaccine into everyone’s arms, [just wanted to remind everyone] we have to adhere to our personal preventive measures. Again, in the highest group by age is those who are less than 20, so younger people. The other thing that is a tiny bit worrying to me is that while it’s good, we have fewer cases related to outbreaks, we have more cases that are close contact [related]. So this is through work, or transportation or gatherings. What it means to me is in some of these cases, people weren’t as careful as they could or should have been,” HKPR acting medical officer of health Dr. Ian Gemmill said during an online press conference on Wednesday, March 24th.

The variants of concern are quickly making up a large number of the active cases in the health unit area. As of press time, HKPR has confirmed 14 cases of these variants in Kawartha Lakes to date.

“As a result, we are treating all of the [COVID-19] cases reported as [if] they are variants because we want to make sure people are isolating and quarantining properly,” Dr. Gemmill explained.

To date, HKPR has administered 13,617 doses of the COVID-19 vaccines to local residents. The provincial online booking system is currently up and running. Health units are vaccinating people 75 years of age and older.

“We are really wanting to get through [phase one of the vaccination plan] as expeditiously as possible,” Dr. Gemmill commented.

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