Active COVID-19 cases plummet in Chatham-Kent

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The number of active COVID-19 cases in Chatham-Kent fell by more than half over the Family Day weekend.

There were 51 active cases on Feb. 16 – a drop of 64 cases since the last update from the Chatham-Kent public health unit on Feb. 12.

Only one new case was reported over the three-day weekend as the region’s cumulative total inched up to 1,330 cases.

The number of active cases is the fewest since Chatham-Kent had 44 on Christmas Eve.

Fairfield Park long-term care home in Wallaceburg reported its outbreak was down to three active cases in residents and seven active cases in staff members. All other cases have been resolved, administrator Tracey Maxim said.

A third Fairfield Park resident who tested positive has died of non-COVID-related causes, according to public health. Two residents have died of COVID-19.

Fairfield Park residents who have tested negative received their first doses of the Moderna vaccine Saturday.

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“This year has been difficult for everyone in our community and especially difficult for our residents, their families and our staff,” Maxim said in a statement. “The vaccine is the glimmer of hope we have been waiting for, and we look forward to being able to offer the vaccine to our staff and essential caregivers in the coming weeks.”

Staff members continue to receive cards, emails and individually wrapped meals from the community. They also received carnations on Valentine’s Day.

“This kind of support from our community and our families has made all the difference to our care team as we work toward our combined goal of ending this outbreak,” Maxim said.

There have been 98 total cases at Fairfield Park since the outbreak was declared Jan. 10.

The region’s only other active outbreak is at the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance’s medicine unit at the Chatham hospital. Another staff member tested positive last week, raising the total cases to 23.

The Health Alliance “has had conversations with all impacted inpatients and/or their families to provide both information and reassurance,” said a news release on Feb. 16. “Affected outpatients and discharged patients are being contacted by (Chatham-Kent public health). (Chatham-Kent Health Alliance) continues to monitor patients for symptoms of COVID-19. Any patient who develops symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 while in hospital will be isolated and tested.”

The Health Alliance still plans to resume more surgical procedures this week and also resume ambulatory care services.

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Six patients related to the outbreak remain in hospital with active cases, said a health alliance spokesperson. It was not immediately known how many outbreak-related staff cases are still active.

A congregate living outbreak in Chatham-Kent has been declared over.

A third student case was reported at Wallaceburg District Secondary School on Feb. 16 and one student case was reported at Indian Creek Road public school in Chatham.

“At this time, Chatham-Kent Public Health does not feel there is any impact to the school, nor are they dismissing any students or staff,” said a message on each school’s website.

Ursuline College Chatham, John McGregor Secondary School and McNaughton Avenue Public School in Chatham, and A.A. Wright Public School in Wallaceburg also have one student case apiece.

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