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Health Unit urges COVID caution to North Hastings residents

Hastings Prince Edward Public Health officials say while COVID-19 case counts in North and Central Hastings are low, there is concern about what’s happening in neighbouring regions.

While the Health Unit’s dashboard reports 7 active cases of COVID in North Hastings as of April 20th, officials are concerned that the number may not reflect the risk posed to the area by the coronavirus. They point to recent outbreaks in Haliburton County that have been declared over. While COVID protocols were followed, residents should take it as a sign that the virus could be circulating locally.

Some other factors are also at play that the Health Unit officials believe could drive the spread of the coronavirus through the region. Travelling to and from towns to do errands and appointments, or the movement of seasonal residents can contribute to the spread of the virus. Officials also say that some case investigations show that people are leaving home and interacting with the community while they have COVID-19 symptoms.

The main advice from the health unit is to assume the virus is circulating in the community. Medical Officer of Health and CEO at HPEPH Dr. Piotr Oglaza reminds people that the numbers on their website’s dashboard don’t indicate what’s going on outside the community. They cannot identify those who are contagious with COVID and are from outside the region or are carrying the virus but don’t get tested. Oglaza once again asks residents to follow the guidelines, get tested if they are symptomatic, and reminds them that there is a legal obligation for those who test positive to self-isolate when asked by the health unit.

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