Kingston health officials warn of possible COVID-19 case spike if students travel for Thanksgiving
KINGSTON -- Kingston public health officials are issuing a plea to students ahead of the Thanksgiving long weekend: stay in town.
New numbers from the Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Health Unit warn Kingston is vulnerable to COVID-19 infections from other COVID-19 hot spots across Ontario, including Ottawa.
Speaking with CTV News Ottawa, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore says the best way to prevent catching the virus is to stay in the city.
"Stay local. Support local. Stay within your household," said Dr. Moore.
This comes as many students make plans ahead of the holiday long weekend. Some, like Phoebe Schneider, staying put in Kingston.
"I’m hoping the cafeteria has some stuffing, or turkey, but I’m just going to treat it like a regular weekend," she says.
While those like Kayla Emmerton still plan to head home.
"Staying with my immediate family, that’s it, no hugs to anybody else, even going to stores. My mom is really cautious about that," Emmerton says. "So I think I’ll just be at home for the weekend."
It’s heading home to hot spots like Toronto, Ottawa and Quebec that has Kingston Public Health concerned.
As of Thursday afternoon, there are 14 active cases of COVID-19 in Kingston. Health officials say a large portion of those cases are travel-related.
Public Health, releasing new projections Thursday, looking at imported cases impact on the city:
- No new cases imported: This would mean by Oct. 25 there could be approximately 46 active cases.
- Five imported cases: This would mean by Oct. 25 there could be approximately 57 active cases.
- 10 imported cases: This would mean by Oct. 25 there could be approximately 67 active cases.
- 20 imported cases: This would mean by Oct. 25 there could be approximately 88 active cases.
"If you didn’t have high risk prevention strategies, one-fourth of those of high risk contact would come down with COVID-19," says Dr. Moore.
The message from public health: if you don’t heed the advice of avoiding travel, prepare to take precautions when you return.
"Actually think of isolating yourselves for two weeks," says Dr. Moore. "Try to limit your social interactions when you come back. Because to any area outside our region is much higher risk."