Chatham-Kent stays yellow amid hotspots

·1 min read

WAITING FOR COLBY

Sandwiched between two COVID-19 hot zones, Chatham-Kent had managed to hand on to its yellow-protect status until this week.

New cases in the province continue to mount now averaging over 2,000 per day, and intensive care wards were starting to fill with COVID-19 patients.

Last week the Ontario Hospital Association was among the high-ranking medical groups calling for lockdown.

In Chatham-Kent, cases have been creeping up, with a new outbreak in long-term care being declared at Fairfield Park Nursing Home in Wallaceburg last Friday.

However, an outbreak in Chatham at Riverview Gardens was officially declared over Saturday.

There are a few cases in area schools, Colby notes, but thanks to quick cooperation from the public and Catholic school boards, they have been quickly isolated and dealt with.

As for when it will all be over no one really knows, Colby explains, adding vaccines have yet to arrive in Chatham.

“It totally depends on how much (vaccine) we receive and how willing people are to take it,” he notes.

In any event, public health is ready.

“We have another freezer ready to store the vaccine,” he adds, in addition to the one ordered for Chatham-Kent Health Alliance.

Those are needed for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine which has to be stored at -85 C.

Another vaccine by Moderna is currently awaiting approval from Health Canada, Colby says, adding that when it does it will be a “game-changer.”

It will allow for a far larger supply, he says.

If all goes well and there is adequate vaccine supply, Colby says society could get back to some semblance of normality by summer.

Pam Wright, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Herald