Slowing number of positive COVID-19 cases in Peterborough region may be early indication of success

But Peterborough Medical Officer of Health Dr. Rosana Salvaterra warns against complacency

Public health nurse Simone Jackson wearing personal protective equipment as she prepares to open a swab to test a patient for COVID-19 in Peterborough Public Health's clinic. (Photo courtesy of Peterborough Public Health)
Public health nurse Simone Jackson wearing personal protective equipment as she prepares to open a swab to test a patient for COVID-19 in Peterborough Public Health's clinic. (Photo courtesy of Peterborough Public Health)

Peterborough Public Health is reporting only four new cases of COVID-19 since last Friday (April 3) — an average of one per day — in its catchment area of Peterborough city and county and Curve Lake and Hiawatha First Nations.

It’s “a significant slowing of our rate of increase”, according to Peterborough Medical Officer of Health Dr. Rosana Salvaterra.

During her weekly media briefing held on Wednesday (April 8), Dr. Salvaterra notes there have been 45 positive cases confirmed in the Peterborough region since the outbreak began — with just three of those the result of community transmission.

In addition, 1,055 COVID-19 tests have been conducted locally, with results awaited on 260 of those tested. Another 750 tests have come back negative, while 10 cases have now been resolved.

“Our case rate per 100,000 is 28, which is lower than the provincial case rate of almost 32 per 100,000,” notes Dr. Salvaterra.

“I would interpret the (low) number (of positive cases since April 3) as some immediate feedback on whether our measures are working,” she says. “We’ve asked people to give up quite a bit. The numbers are moving in the right direction and may be an early indication that our measures are having an effect.”

“What I can tell you is the slope of the curve has flattened. We were doubling every four days. We’re not seeing that doubling. If that was the case, our number (of positive cases) would be in the eighties. That is promising.”

However, Dr. Salvaterra warns this isn’t the time for complacency.

“We can’t let down our guard down. I shared those numbers to let people know ‘Wow, it’s working.’ I ask people to stay with us on this and not give up, but instead feel that they are making a difference.”

Regarding the earlier outbreaks at both St. Joseph’s at Fleming and Riverview, Dr. Salvaterra says both are “contained” with no cases reported at any other local long-term care residences.

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Paul Rellinger
Paul Rellinger a.k.a Relly is an award-winning journalist and longtime former newspaper editor still searching for the perfect lead. When he's not putting pen to paper, Paul is on a sincere but woefully futile quest to own every postage stamp ever issued. A rabid reader of history, Paul claims to know who killed JFK but can't say out of fear for the safety of his oh so supportive wife Mary, his three wonderful kids and his three spirited grandchildren. Paul counts among his passions Peterborough's rich live music scene, the Toronto Maple Leafs, slopitch and retrieving golf balls from the woods. You can follow Paul on Twitter at @rellywrites.

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