At least 3,400 active cases of COVID-19 across greater Kawarthas region

Around 28 people across the region have been hospitalized due to COVID-19

COVID-19 lab test swabs. (Stock photo)

On the eve of new public health restrictions taking effect across Ontario in an attempt to reduce the spread of the omicron variant, at least 3,400 active cases of COVID-19 are being reported across the greater Kawarthas region, with around 28 people currently in hospital due to the disease.

As of Tuesday (January 4), Hastings Prince Edward Public Health is reporting 1,323 active cases; Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge Health Unit is reporting 1,041 active cases; and Peterborough Public Health is reporting 1,035 active cases.

However, due to changes in eligibility for PCR tests that went into effect on Friday, all regional health units are cautioning these numbers are underestimates of actual cases.

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In Hastings Prince Edward, there are 540 active cases in Belleville, 364 in Quinte West, 158 in Prince Edward County, 136 in Central Hastings, 78 in North Hastings, 32 in Tyendinaga & Deseronto, and 14 in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory. There are 10 active outbreaks, including six at long-term care and retirement homes, three in congregate living facilities, and one at Quinte Health Care Belleville General Hospital. A total of 18 people are hospitalized due to COVID-19, with five patients in intensive care.

In Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge, there are 370 active cases in Kawartha Lakes, 593 in Northumberland, and 76 in Haliburton. There are 13 active outbreaks, including six at long-term care and retirement homes, five in congregate living facilities, one at a elementary school, and one at Northumberland Hills Hospital. Five people are currently hospitalized because of COVID-19, with three patients in intensive care.

In Peterborough, 424 new cases have been confirmed since the health unit’s last report on Friday, increasing the number of active cases to 1,035. There are eight active outbreaks, including five at long-term care and retirement homes, two in congregate living facilities, two at elementary schools, and one at Peterborough Regional Health Centre. There are at least five people hospitalized due to COVID-19. Peterborough is reporting its 30th COVID-related death, the sixth death in the last month.

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Provincially, Ontario is reporting 11,352 new cases confirmed by PCR testing. However, Ontario’s COVID-19 science advisory table is estimating the daily number of cases at 19,854, with a test positivity rate of 32.4 per cent — meaning around 32 out of every 100 people tested are positive for COVID-19.

According to the provincial government, around one out of every 100 people infected by the omicron variant will end up in hospital. As of Tuesday, there are at least 1,290 Ontarians hospitalized with COVID-19, with 266 patients in intensive care due to a COVID-related critical illness.

Effective January 5, Ontario will be limiting social gatherings to five people indoors and 10 outdoors, closing indoor dining at restaurants and bars, closing gyms, and closing indoor concert venues, theatres, cinemas, museums, galleries, and more.

The measures will remain in effect for at least three weeks, in an attempt to limit the spread of the omicron variant and preserve hospital capacity until more people receive their booster shots of vaccine.

The province is also delaying the return of students to in-person learning by at least two weeks until January 17, moving schools online, and instructing hospitals to pause all non-emergent and non-urgent surgeries and procedures.