Sunday, February 28, 2021

C-K’s active COVID-19 cases at 32, testing guideline update for international travellers

The active case count in Chatham-Kent has dropped to 32.

Meanwhile, the Province of Ontario has provided an update to testing guidelines for outbound international travellers.

Current status in Chatham-Kent

The Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit updated their ‘current situation’ page, which provides a summary of COVID-19 cases and testing in Chatham-Kent, on Monday, December 14, 2020.

The total number of cases has increased to 552.

A long-term care outbreak, which was declared at Riverview Gardens on Tuesday, December 1, 2020, remains active.

23 of the active cases are linked to close contact, four are unknown, two cases have information pending, one is linked to travel, one is linked to the outbreak at Riverview Gardens and one is linked to a workplace outbreak.

CK Public Health officials say one person from Chatham-Kent is currently hospitalized with COVID-19.

To date, 517 people have recovered from the virus in Chatham-Kent, while three people have died.

A total of 47,792 tests for the virus have been completed to date.

The Municipality of Chatham-Kent is remaining in the ‘Yellow-Protect’ tier of the Province of Ontario’s Keeping Ontario Safe and Open Framework, Provincial officials announced on Friday, December 11, 2020.

Public health officials are encouraging people to continue following these public health measures:

More details about the ‘Yellow-Protect’ tier can be found, here.

To view the full ‘current situation’ page from CK Public Health, click here.

For more information about COVID-19, residents are asked to visit or call the CK Public Health COVID-19 intake line at 519-355-1071 ex. 1900.

Ontario updates testing guidelines for outbound international travellers

The Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts, is updating the province’s testing guidelines for outbound international travellers.

Effective December 11, 2020, individuals requesting a COVID-19 test for international travel clearance are no longer eligible for a publicly funded COVID-19 test in Ontario, Provincial officials say.

This step is being taken to ensure taxpayer dollars are appropriately allocated to key priorities and to preserve capacity within the provincially funded COVID-19 testing network.

The province continues to provide testing to anyone who needs a test per provincial testing guidelines at no cost.

This includes people who are symptomatic, or people who have been in contact with someone who has symptoms, Provincial officials added.

“As the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic has changed, we have continued to adapt our approach to testing and the services we have made available,” stated Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, in a media release.

“While international travellers are no longer eligible to receive a publicly funded COVID-19 test, we remain committed to ensuring that anyone who needs a test can get one quickly, at no cost.”

This fall, the province updated Ontario’s testing guidelines to prioritize those who are at greatest risk of getting the virus, Provincial officials say.

Anyone who falls within the current Provincial Testing Guidance should continue to seek publicly funded testing, available at participating pharmacies and assessment centres.

International travellers are recommended to consult their travel carrier’s guidelines to ensure they have the most up-to-date information.

They should also refer to the federal government’s travel website for up-to-date expectations and requirements related to their destination.

If a COVID-19 test is required, it is important to leave ample time for testing and to receive results, Provincial officials say.

COVID-19 testing services are readily available and travellers in need of a test can now find convenient local options, including private testing facilities such as a travel clinic.

The best way to stop COVID-19 is to limit close contacts to the people you live with.

As such, travel is not recommended, and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others.

If you are considering travel and/or overnight stays, consider whether you, someone you live with, or anyone you plan to visit with is at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19, Provincial officials say.

As the province prepares to roll out its phased vaccination program and heads into the holiday season, the government is urging all Ontarians to continue to follow all required public health measures and public health advice, Provincial officials added.

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