Numbers continue to improve

·2 min read

As the summer months are now upon us, COVID-19 trends continue to improve in Chatham-Kent and elsewhere in the province.

In fact, this is the closest Chatham-Kent has been to normal since the beginning of the global COVID-19 pandemic in March of 2020.

Chatham-Kent Public Health Epidemiologist Laura Zettler gave the board of health a COVID-19 update at its meeting on June 16, saying local metrics, such as hospitalizations, new deaths, and new outbreaks, have greatly improved over the last month.

Zettler said there had been 175 new cases of COVID-19 reported in Chatham-Kent over the last month, 18 of which are new cases reported over the past week. By comparison, the daily average was 21 a month ago.

That brings the seven-day average to just three new high-risk cases a day and lowers the positivity rate to 3.1 percent, half of the 6.8 percent provincial rate. Zettler added that the percent positivity is the lowest since about mid-November of last year.

“Certainly, we’re starting to see that decline. Three cases per day on average, and we haven’t been there for a while,” said Zettler.

She said Omicron BA.2 remains the dominant variant, but that numbers have been dropping.

“Most provincial metrics again are showing improvement since the last meeting,” she said, “including new cases, deaths, percent positivity, hospital and ICU occupancy.”

Although an underestimate given testing capacity, since the pandemic began two years ago, there have been 8,786 confirmed cases in Chatham-Kent and 77 COVID-related deaths.

On the vaccination front, Zettler reported that 50 percent of the population have three doses, and 33 percent of those 60-plus have four doses. She highlighted the fact Chatham-Kent still lags behind the provincial average when it comes to vaccination rates.

Zettler said several small vaccine clinics would be held throughout June and July. She added public health is still awaiting further direction concerning booster shots later this year.

“Underway is planning for our fall booster vaccine rollout,” she said. “We’re planning for that scenario and waiting for details around implementation.”

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

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting