Chatham-Kent remains in Orange-Restrict

·2 min read

Despite having its largest single-day total of new cases in more than a month, Chatham-Kent will remain in the Orange-Restrict Zone.

On March 12, CK Public Health confirmed 19 new cases and an active total of 61 cases. Half of the active cases were in Chatham, while 25 percent were concentrated in Wallaceburg, with the remainder spread throughout the municipality. The number of active cases jumped to 61. A week earlier, there were 11.

“Most of our residents have been very co-operative in terms of public-health measures, and we’re grateful for that,” said Dr. David Colby, Chatham-Kent’s Medical Officer of Health. “But we still have to ask people to continue being vigilant. It’s not over yet, not by a long shot.”

Chatham-Kent was previously trending toward the Yellow Zone, but Colby said recent gatherings had caused the municipality’s positive cases to skyrocket over the past week.

“Our numbers were looking so good, but this latest increase is a worry,” said Colby. “But also, our neighbours are not doing really well, either.”

While Chatham-Kent is staying in orange, it was also announced on March 12 that Sarnia-Lambton had 159 active cases and 10 active outbreaks. The region is moving from red into the grey-lockdown level.

Windsor-Essex will remain in the Red Control Zone as it reports 39 new cases on Friday with 692 active cases.

Colby added it’s not comfortable to be at a level much lower than your neighbours because it encourages transmigration of people seeking freer access to services. He added he wants the economy to do well and for all businesses to do well, but not on the backs of people getting sick.

“We all want to avoid this, but lockdowns are effective in bringing waves to their knees,” said Colby. “We don’t want to have to go there, but we need to all make an effort to make sure.”

The region’s top doctor added many cases traced to indoor gatherings, which people have had against public-health advice. He added indoor gatherings are “very risky”.

“If one person who is contagious shows up at those gatherings, the indoor environment and lack of physical distancing that is inherent in all kinds of social interactions will ensure, especially with these hyper-transmissible (virus) mutants, that large numbers of people will be exposed and large numbers of cases will result. We are seeing that now,” said Colby.

Chatham-Kent Public Health reported 61 new cases in the past week. There were 27 new cases in the previous three weeks combined.

All personal gatherings under the orange zone must have no more than 10 people indoors and 25 outdoors. A maximum of 50 people are allowed indoors at gyms, and restaurants can only seat four to a table. Restaurants and bars can only stay open until 10 p.m.

Bird Bouchard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Ridgetown Independent News