Our District’s Acting Medical officer for Health, Dr. Ian Gemmill, is very helpful in providing regular information on the pandemic. To do this, he holds weekly media briefings and next week will also hold a Virtual Town Hall for the public. With the lockdown to be eased on February 16, there is quite a lot of information to be disseminated this week. Next Tuesday (the day after family day), Cobourg will move out of the “stay at home order” and into a zone – and according to Dr. Gemmill this will most probably be the Orange zone – see details below. The decision will be made by the Province and announced on Friday. He also said that another 1000 vaccine doses have now been received so that all the Long Term Care home residents will be immunized by the weekend. However, the next delivery of vaccines is not expected for another two weeks so essential workers will have to wait.
New Cases and Outbreaks
- About half the cases in our area have been in Long Term Care homes, a quarter are unknown settings and the remainder have been in personal contact, mostly older age groups.
- A recent example of a large number of cases in a family was a birthday party.
- In the past, the HKPR District Health Unit has not advised the public of cases because “the people who needed to know were advised but not others”. But now, because of the risk of misinformation, more details are being released.
- So far, there has been one known case of a virus variant and that was in Port Hope and was already in isolation when the variant was identified (the UK one).
- Case locations have generally only been narrowed down to upper tier Municipalities – in our case Northumberland – but in response to a question, Dr. Gemmill said that in the last 2 weeks, there were 8 new cases in Cobourg and 7 in Port Hope. I counted 31 in Northumberland in that time period.
- The definitive test is the PCR test which tests for the presence of the virus. Although rapid testing is possible, it misses some cases and such tests need to be confirmed by PCR testing.
A Virtual Town Hall will be held on Tuesday, February 16, from 1 to 2 pm. Called “Talk with The Doc,” it will be hosted by Acting Medical Officer of Health Dr. Ian Gemmill. During each online information session Dr. Gemmill will provide updates on COVID-19 topics and answer your questions. Full details and registration here. Places are limited so book early.
Dr Gemmill said that although the lockdown will finish next week, this “does not mean that the risk is diminished” and everyone is encouraged to stay home. He said that we “should hang on for a few weeks” and “now is not the time to travel”.
Orange Zone Restrictions – Highlights
Always stay home if you have symptoms, physically distance by staying two metres apart from people you don’t live with, wear a mask or face covering in indoor public spaces and avoid non-essential travel.
- Non-essential stores can open but not some personal care (see full list in link above)
- Masks and social distancing required indoors in all cases. Many require reservations and that all must give their name and contact information
- Limits on Events and social gatherings in public (50 indoors, 100 outside) and private (10 indoors, 25 outdoors)
- Religious, wedding and funeral services: Indoors: 30% capacity, Outside: 100 people
- Restaurants may open but no buffets. Limited to 50 people indoors and 4 people per table. No alcohol after 9:00 pm and closed by 10:00 pm
- Sports and recreational fitness facilities allowed with limited capacity and the only spectators allowed are one parent or guardian per child. Sports must be modified to avoid physical contact.
- Outdoor ski, ice and snow recreational amenities open for recreational purposes.
- Closed are: Oxygen bars, Steam rooms, Saunas, Sensory deprivation pods (except for therapeutic purposes), Bath houses, Other adult venues
- Casinos, bingo halls and gaming establishments are allowed with up to 50 people but not allowed: Table games (for example, poker, blackjack, roulette)
- Cinemas allowed with indoors 50 people total and outdoors 100 people total. Everyone must always wear masks or face coverings except when eating or drinking (with some exceptions) and give their name and contact information
- Performing arts facilities are allowed with indoors 50 spectators total and outside 100 spectators total. Guests must give their name and contact information. There must be a barrier (for example, plexiglass) between singers and wind- or brass-instrument players and audience members.
Details of other zones at Ontario Government page.
12 Feb 2021 – The HKPR DHU has confirmed that we will be in Orange zone on Tuesday.
- Covid-19 in Cobourg (status updated daily)
- Covid-19 Trend and Outbreaks – Graphic portrayal of cumulative cases and new cases. Also status of outbreaks.
- Vaccine Information for Cobourg and Northumberland – updates as they are available on local vaccine availability