Recent rallies create ‘ripple effect’ of spread of COVID-19


Almost all people are not fully immune, according to the health unit

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A small number of social gatherings earlier this month created a ‘ripple effect’ across the district, resulting in more positive cases of COVID-19 in recent weeks among close contacts, the medical officer of health said, Dr. Jim Chirico.

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At the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit’s weekly virtual press conference on Thursday, Chirico said most cases since early July have been linked to these social gatherings.

In recent weeks, COVID-19 has spread to close contacts of these cases, he said, and one of them has since tested positive for the Delta variant, which is considered more contagious, and more should be confirmed.

Five were also children under 12, who are not currently eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

Chirico said this trend shows the impact that gatherings of large groups of people, who are not vaccinated or who do not physically move away, can have.

“Our children have been through so much since the start of the pandemic, including interruptions in in-person learning, inability to see and play with their friends, and breaks from extracurricular activities and sports,” he said. said Chirico.

“The last thing we want is for them to get sick with COVID-19 or worry about their parents getting sick with COVID-19. It’s up to us to get vaccinated to help protect them.

He added that COVID-19 vaccines have been shown to be effective in preventing serious illness, hospitalizations and death.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the health unit had 28 active cases of COVID-19, including 26 in the Nipissing district, including one in hospital, and two in the Parry Sound district.

Shannon Mantha, executive director of clinical services and chief nurse at the health unit, said many of the new cases in the Nipissing District have been in the West Nipissing region.

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In the past two weeks, she said 82.4% of cases involved close contact with people who tested positive for COVID-19 and who contracted the virus in various social settings.

Almost all of these people, 94%, were not fully immune.

“I think really, these statistics show that social gatherings that include people who have not been vaccinated put everyone at risk and, as already mentioned by Dr Chirico, have a strong ripple effect. throughout the district, ”says Mantha.

The impact, she added, extends beyond those who test positive, with all the close contacts needed to isolate themselves and potentially miss work, childcare, school. or time with friends and family. Household members who are not fully immunized can also only leave their homes for essential reasons, she said.

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Twitter: @mtaylorlee

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