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May 20, 2020 - Dr. Archer's Update on COVID-19 response from the DOM and Medicine Program

COVID-19 Update: There is 1 active case of COVID-19 in our region today (the same individual who I mentioned yesterday). This is a person returning from a higher prevalence area in Ontario and they are being managed as an outpatient. There are no new cases of COVID-19 in KGH. The running total for the epidemic thus remains 62 cases in the KFL&A region. We did 303 tests/day at KHSC. 4 tests were positive, all from the Kawartha area. Our SARS-CoV-2 test positivity rate is 0.7% in KFL&A vs 4.2% provincially. Our PPE supply is stable with 3-4 weeks reserve, at current level of activity. There were 8 new cases in Leeds Grenville.

Here is our current COVID-19 epidemiology (see below). Kingston is in a bubble with a low incidence of COVID-19 (28.7 cases/100,000 population), positioning us ideally to carefully reopen the city and ramp up activity at KHSC and Queen’s University (in my personal opinion). In contrast Toronto has a rate almost 10 times higher (262.5 cases/100,000 population). This is a reminder that realities and response to the pandemic will understandably vary by location.

Map of Ontario showing COVID-19 cases

Our low disease prevalence raises questions:

1) When will we ramp up elective care? (Answer: we still await Ontario Health’s permission). The province has just commissioned a group to examine how and when to ramp up of ambulatory care. The first wave of ramp up (which we also await) has been focused on increasing elective procedures and surgeries. 

2) When can we relax visitor restrictions? (Answer: not sure yet). Visitor restrictions have kept the hospital environment safe; but have been hard on our patients, who rely on family for comfort, decision making, and emotional support. The hospital is monitoring the impact of reducing accompanying people on the health and wellness of our patients.

To see where Canada stands amongst nations in the COVID-19 pandemicclick here. The case total has risen to almost 5 million with 324,240 deaths.

world map showing cases in each country

The Department of Medicine is organizing a Food Drive from May 11 – May 22nd to collect donations for the Partner’s in Mission Foodbank in Kingston.

DOM food drive poster

Please consider picking up a few extra items to donate or check your cupboards to see what you might already have! Money is also welcome! If you choose to donate, please drop off your items with the DOM admin team or your divisional admins before May 22nd! We welcome contributions from folks who are not officially part of the DOM.

Three segments of my daily briefing are on hiatus to avoid repetition:Care for the 99%Capacity at KGH, and A daily reminder for people in the community re COVID-19 testing and the safety of accessing the hospital. These 3 segment will reappear when new information arises. Suffice it to say we: a) will be ramping up our elective volume soon b) continue to perform community COVID-19 testing at the Memorial Centre and c) are confident that our hospitals and clinics are safe places to receive care. On this latter point, I am off to clinic today and looking forward to seeing patients at Hotel Dieu Hospital.

How’s the epidemic going? To date there have been 79,112 cases of COVID-19 and 5912 deaths in Canada (see below). The COVID-19 curve has flattened, with a decline in new daily cases/day.

Map showing total cases vs recovered vs deaths in Canada

COVID-19 remains most prevalent in Quebec. COVID-19 continues to disproportionately affect the elderly and particularly the frail and residents of long term care facilities (LTC) (see today’s data below). The ~78,000 residents of Ontario’s LTC facilities account for less than 0.5% of the population but they account for ~74% of all deaths from COVID-19!

chart showing cases reported  in LTC vs Public Health

TestingWe have tested 3.75% of all Canadians (1,399,830 people, see graphic below). In Ontario we have tested 3.87% of the population.

Graph showing tests performed vs positives in Canada

Stay well!


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