Chatham-Kent trending in the right direction

·2 min read

Chatham-Kent is trending in the right direction.

While some regions like Windsor-Essex are moving up in the province’s COVID-19 Response Framework, Chatham-Kent is staying at the Yellow-Protect Level.

In fact, because Chatham-Kent is trending in the right direction, the municipality could soon be back in the green-prevent level of Ontario’s colour-coded framework, says Dr. David Colby, Medical Officer of Health for Chatham-Kent.

“I can’t say what the province is going to do in terms of that, but the Chief Medical Officer of Health consults with me before a decision is made,” said Colby. “I would have every hope that we can get back into green before too long.”

While Colby is optimistic about Chatham-Kent getting back to the green-prevent level, he is worried about neighbours not trending in the right direction.

“The vapour trails of contacts always lead outside of Chatham-Kent. We do have to be cautious all the way along,” said Colby.

Lambton Public Health, the last local region in green-prevent, is moving to yellow-protect. Haldimand-Norfolk is moving from yellow to orange-restrict. Windsor-Essex is moving from orange to red-control.

As of Nov. 27, there are currently 354 active cases in the Windsor-Essex region, 51 of which were announced Friday.

Chatham-Kent reported two new cases for the third consecutive day Nov. 26, raising its cumulative total to 486 cases. Eighteen are active as of Nov. 28.

“When we moved into yellow, some of our indicators had a distinct orangeish tinge to them, but yellow was the decision by the Ministry, which I had no problem with,” said Colby.

He added this is good as no businesses have to close under a yellow designation.

“Our numbers are trending downwards. They’re not at the trigger limit for moving into orange. In fact, they’re at the moment not at the trigger limit in terms of new cases for moving into yellow had we been able to stay green.”

Colby also said the “R-value” is relatively low.

If the R-value, or reproduction number, is more significant than one, then the number of cases can increase exponentially. If it’s lower than one, then the situation is improving.

“Our positivity rate is low. Our local R-value in our Health Unit is below one for the first time in a long time, which means that there are very few new acquisitions within Chatham-Kent,” said Colby.

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