Indoor gatherings will again be restricted to ten people, as per the newest public health order.
Today Dr. Piotr Oglaza, the region’s Medical Officer of Health, issued a class order pursuant to Section 22 of the Ontario Health Protection and Promotion Act.
The class order states the following:
- No person shall attend or host an indoor social gathering in a private dwelling with more than 10 people, including residents of the private dwelling and social gathering attendees.
- Persons responsible for hosting social gatherings in private dwellings shall maintain a list of names and contact information for guests and, upon request, provide Kingston, Frontenac, and Lennox & Addington (KFL&A) Public Health with this information within 24 hours of the request, or other time specified, for the purposes of COVID-19 case and contact tracing.
- Persons responsible for hosting an indoor social gathering in a private dwelling shall provide KFL&A Public Health with other information regarding the social gathering as requested by KFL&A Public Health within 24 hours of the request, or other time specified, for the purposes of COVID-19 case and contact tracing.
- Comply with the requirements set out under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020 (the ROA) and applicable regulations as well as the requirements under this Order. Where this Order imposes an additional requirement not set out in the ROA, the requirement of this Order must be followed.
In a media address today, Dr. Oglaza said the restrictions are in response to seeing roughly half the cases in the KFL&A Region coming from transmission in households, with no sign of cases beginning to plateau.
Oglaza also added that the initial exposure that brings cases into households is still often unknown, with last week public health saying the community had lost track of spread.
There are no restrictions to business capacity as has been seen in previous orders.
At this time public health says there is no indication that businesses with masking and vaccination policies have been partially responsible for community spread, and as such no changes are being made in that regard.
Today there were 32 new cases, bringing Kingston to 87.9 cases per 100,000 for the week.
KFL&A public health has also made some changes to the COVID dashboard, including new stats Canada numbers for population and reintroducing colour coding which at this time sits at the highest risk level of ‘red’.
Kingston, which has had relatively low case counts compared to other Canadian cities throughout much of the pandemic, now faces an unprecedentedly high number of cases as we draw nearer to the holiday season.
Some in the community have complained about the high wait times for COVID testing, with the list of school screening symptoms increasing.
KHSC held a pop up testing center at Beechgrove this week to help manage the demand for tests, but people are finding it difficult to gain access to a timely test.
At this time, it’s unclear how many among the active cases and hospitalizations are unvaccinated, but just a few days ago Dr. Oglaza said a graphic showing a breakdown COVID rates among the unvaccinated and vaccinated populations would soon be coming to the KFL&A COVID dashboard.
Kingston currently has an 88.9% vaccination rate among those over 12.
The class order goes into effect tonight at midnight.