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COVID-19 case count up four but only two remain active in Huron and Perth

Three of the four positive COVID-19 tests in Huron and Perth counties reported since Thursday came from asymptomatic health-care workers who have more recently tested negative, public health officials said Monday.

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Three of the four positive COVID-19 tests reported in Huron and Perth counties since Thursday came from asymptomatic health-care workers who have more recently tested negative, public health officials said Monday.

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Dr. Miriam Klassen, the region’s chief medical officer of health, told reporters at a regularly scheduled news conference the first two cases, discovered through surveillance testing last week, were resolved Friday.

“At the time they tested positive, measures around isolating and (contact tracing were) immediately begun as per usual,” Klassen said. “Further public-health investigation revealed a low likelihood of active infection and so repeat testing was completed and was negative, so those two cases have been closed as prior infections, not active, with no increased risk to the community at this time.”

Two more positive tests came in over the weekend, Klassen said. One of those, another asymptomatic health-care worker who has since tested negative, has been closed. 

The other – a new confirmed case in Perth County – is currently active. That person is showing mild symptoms and self-isolating at home, Klassen said.

There are currently two active cases of COVID-19 in Huron and Perth counties, as of Monday afternoon.

“Contacts have been identified and daily followup is in place with each of the cases and contacts that remain,” Klassen said.

The total number of confirmed cases that have been reported in the region is now 65. Of the 63 resolved cases in Huron and Perth counties, five resulted in deaths – one in St. Marys and four in Stratford.

In Ontario, 119 new confirmed cases were reported Monday morning. According to a tweet from Health Minister Christine Elliott, 76 of those cases, or about 64 per cent, are under the age of 40, a demographic officials have been encouraging to stay vigilant after recent spikes.

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According to Elliott, 30 of the province’s 34 public health units are reporting five or fewer cases, with 16 of them reporting no new cases. Windsor-Essex is reporting 40 new cases while there are another 28 confirmed in Ottawa.

Cases in Huron and Perth counties have remained low since the province moved into Stage 3 of its reopening strategy, but Klassen continued to promote careful adherence to public-health guidelines Monday.

“There continues to be transmission of COVID-19 cases across Ontario and, until everyone is safe, no one is safe.” she said. “We must all act as if we could come into contact with COVID-19 anywhere in our community and as if we could pass COVID-19 unknowingly.”

Those guidelines continue to include staying home if you’re ill, maintaining physical distance of at least two metres from anyone who’s not in your social circle, washing your hands frequently, and wearing face coverings in public areas or anywhere else physical distancing is difficult.

cmontanini@postmedia.com

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