All active COVID-19 cases in HPE now resolved

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Author’s note: This story has been updated to reflect a clarification and explanation regarding a report from Hastings Prince Edward Public Health on there being 0 active cases of COVID-19 in the region.

When it comes to flattening the curve in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties, mission accomplished.

All 38 cases of COVID-19 are now medically resolved.  There were five deaths in the local region.

The last and 43rd confirmed case was reported on May 18.

In an update, Public Health’s Dr. Ethan Toumishey said one case is technically active but based on the 14-day time clearance it is considered resolved.

“All cases are medically resolved and while one case remains active, this wouldn’t represent any risk of transmission to the community.” he stated.  “We are continuing to use test based criteria, that’s two negative COVID tests.  What we have found is people can test positive for COVID-19 long after they can no longer spread COVID-19.  That is why we use the time based criteria.”

While there isn’t a significant burden of active cases in the community, Toumishey said the health unit recommends that everyone remain vigilant and follow best practices.  These include social distancing, wearing a mask when social distancing is not possible and frequent hand-washing.

Earlier in the day Hastings Prince Edward Public Health Communications Specialist Emily Tubbs told our newsroom she had received verbal confirmation that all of the cases had been resolved and there were zero active.

Tubbs said a formal statement from Hastings Prince Edward Public Health will be issued Thursday.

Belleville mayor Mitch Panciuk said he is very proud of the news.  Panciuk confirmed that he and other local mayors received the update in a meeting with public health on Tuesday.

“We have worked very hard as a region,” he said.  “We have kept our eye on what we need to do and now we are starting to have some of those benefits.  We are ready to go when the province gives us to go ahead to move to stage three or further relaxations.  I think our residents are ready for that.”

Out of the 181 probable cases listed there are currently 0 probable cases in the local region.

To date 9,258 total swab tests have been completed.

There are currently 27 active cases in Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington and 8 active cases in Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge.

Ontario reported 302 new cases of the novel coronavirus over the past two days, bringing the provincial total to 35,370.

Case numbers weren’t reported on Wednesday due to Canada Day.

Eight deaths have also been confirmed since Tuesday, bringing the provincial total to 2,680.