The number of active cases in Chatham-Kent has surpassed 100.
As of Sept. 10, there are a total of 122 active cases in the region. The last time there were more than 103 active COVID-19 cases in Chatham-Kent was back in March 2021.
While the number of active cases continues to rise, so does the vaccination rate. In Chatham-Kent, adults aged 18+ have an 80 percent first-dose coverage rate and a fully vaccination rate of 74 percent. Youth aged 12 to 17 have a 63 percent first-dose coverage rate and a fully vaccination rate of 51 percent.
Meanwhile, Chatham-Kent Public Health is reporting one active case of COVID-19 at a secondary school in Chatham-Kent.
The Lambton Kent District School Board was notified of the confirmed case at John McGregor Secondary School on Sept. 8, the second day of school.
According to Lambton-Kent District School Board Director of Education John Howitt, approximately 25 students believed to have been contacts of the positive case were dismissed from the school.
“Public Health did access the database of those who are vaccinated and made decisions on a dismissal based on that,” said Howitt. “We are continuing the programming for students who are dismissed and those who aren’t dismissed.”
Chatham-Kent Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Colby, said the student that tested positive for COVID-19 was unvaccinated.
“Two cohorts in contact from a bus have been isolated for self-monitoring depending on their vaccine status,” said Colby. “The school experience really depends on people getting vaccinated.”
The province has selected three schools in Chatham-Kent to participate in an Ontario government pilot project for planned COVID-19 testing in schools. Ursuline College Chatham Catholic Secondary School, Tilbury District Secondary School and Ridgetown District High School will be a part of the project.
“This is an opportunity to encourage students to seek vaccination,” said Howitt. “It absolutely has an impact on the stability within the school system for all students if fewer students are dismissed.”
“We have not received our kits yet, so the program isn’t active, but we will be coordinating everything we do with public health,” said St. Clair Catholic District School Board Director of Education Deb Crawford. “The kits will be in the school and will be voluntary for staff and students.”
The pilot will provide vaccinated and asymptomatic students and staff take-home self-collection kits when they have been identified as a high-risk contact, as part of an identified cohort.
Dr. Colby said a student’s return would be based on a number of factors, with one being test results.
“The fact a person tests negative in the morning does not mean they won’t test positive in the afternoon,” said Colby. “That is the limitation of testing. We have to do better than that.”
Additionally, a pop-up clinic will be held at Ridgetown District High School on Sept. 17. Students and their families are welcome to attend from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The clinic will then be open to the public from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. The clinic is open to ages 12+ (Born in 2009 or earlier). Pfizer-BioNTech will be the vaccine administered.
Residents are encouraged to book their appointment at GetYourShotCK.ca --- walk-in clinic appointments are available while supplies last.
Bird Bouchard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Ridgetown Independent News