COVID fourth wave in the rear-view

·2 min read

“We have definitely turned the corner on the fourth wave,” says Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Colby.

But Chatham-Kent’s top doctor says whether we see any fifth or future waves will continue to depend on vaccination efforts. “It remains to be seen if there’s a robust response in the five to 11 group with vaccination and whether that will be enough to inhibit future waves from happening,” says Colby.

“But that will be determined largely on a bigger scale than just the one jurisdiction of Chatham-Kent.”

There also shouldn’t be any pretense the virus is going away anytime soon. “We’re not done with COVID yet and there will be an evolution rather than being able to just say suddenly we’re done with it,” says Colby.

“I think we’re going to see a very gradual decrease as more and more people get vaccinated… I see not so much that we’ll resolve the situation suddenly but we’ll see it peter out with blunter and blunter waves until this either becomes endemic or disappears.”

And there’s sober reminders the pandemic remains. Chatham-Kent saw its 22nd COVID death last week after a local man in his 50s passed away at Windsor Regional Hospital following a lengthy battle against the virus. He was unvaccinated.

Oct. 22 just two people were in hospital with the virus but there were still 61 active cases in the community. Colby says the vast majority of new cases and outbreaks are coming from family gatherings.

“Somebody in the household gets it from another case and then it’s spread to their family, often before they know, and then they have contacts with other people,” he says.

“I think we’re seeing a shift now, we know a little bit more, people are more comfortable masking and physical distancing. But we’re dealing with a highly transmissible variant,” says Colby of the Delta strain.

“That’s really upped the anti quite a bit… And we’re seeing situations now where we’re getting cases and outbreaks where there are unvaccinated people.”

There’s 84 per cent (78,638) of Chatham-Kent residents aged 12 and up with one dose of the COVID vaccine and 79 per cent (73,782) fully vaccinated.

Alex Kurial, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Independent

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