/COVID-19 testing crucial in months to come

COVID-19 testing crucial in months to come


By Jenn Watt 

seven of those who were confirmed to have had the coronavirus in
Haliburton County are no longer infected with the virus, news that led
to celebratory posts on social media over the weekend and affirms the
importance of physical distancing and hand hygiene to help keep numbers
of confirmed cases low.
Dr. Norm Bottum of the Haliburton Highlands
Family Health Team said it’s important that people continue to observe
public health protocols and not become complacent about the virus.
great and everything’s isolated now [in Haliburton County], but as we
start to open up our economy, Haliburton being a tourist destination,
we’re going to have cases coming and going,” Bottum said.
It will be
important that people not dismiss their symptoms, assuming it is a cold
or flu, and make an appointment to be tested.
Though there may be
people with COVID-19 in the community who haven’t been diagnosed with
the virus, as of Tuesday there were no new cases in the county reported
by the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit.
assessment centre is still running. We’re still seeing patients
regularly, people coming in with symptoms. The swabs are coming back
negative,” Bottum said.
Positive COVID-19 case numbers are listed
under the health unit of the infected person’s primary residence, which
has led to speculation in Haliburton County that there may be people
testing positive for the virus and living at their secondary residence,
without their numbers being registered with the HKPR District Health
“There may be people who have active cases who are isolating
at their cottages we don’t know about because they get screened in
Toronto and are told to isolate, and they [could say] ‘well I’m going to
go to my cottage for two weeks to isolate,’ so we don’t know that
because they don’t come into our stats,” he said.
Bottum said while it is possible there are currently cottagers with positive cases out there, he’s not aware of them.
they might be, but they’re not coming to our hospitals, they’re not
coming to our office, they’re not coming to our assessment centre,” he
Overall, Bottum said Haliburton County and the rest of Ontario
has been doing well in its efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19.
are good. Again, this is step 1 … mitigating the curve. All of
Ontario’s done a great job of mitigating the curve. We’ve been
unfortunate with our long-term care facilities, but as far as
overcrowding ICUs and overusing ventilators and exposing a lot of
health-care workers to the coronavirus, it’s actually been quite good
compared to a lot of other areas,” he said.
However, with the warmer
weather coming and the prospect of more people heading north to their
cottages, people will need to continue to be careful.
“We’re going to
have to be diligent and that’s where our testing capacity is really
important, so we can pick cases up early,” Bottum said, “because we know
people might spread the virus for a day or two before they become sick.
So if you become sick on Tuesday, we’re going to want to know what your
movements were Sunday, Monday and perhaps notify people or put people
on alert.”
As of Tuesday, April 28, there were 158 cases of COVID-19
in the HKPR District Health Unit region, 115 cases are deemed
“resolved.” Thirty-two deaths have been recorded from the virus, none of
those was in Haliburton County.