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Region’s top doctor addresses COVID-19 case spike

The region’s top doctor is confident in the handling of COVID-19 in schools despite the first two cases being recorded at Chippewa Secondary School within a day of each other.

Dr. Jim Chirco, Medical Officer of Health for the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit (Health Unit) says that the handling of the virus has gone “very well”.

“The Health Unit has worked extremely closely with the school boards and boards have ensured administration that schools are well-informed,” Chirico said during a press conference on Monday.

The region has seen a spike of five cases in less than a week, with the two at Chippewa Secondary School coming less than a day apart.

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Dr. Chirico says that the two Chippewa Secondary School cases were infectious at the school, meaning that everyone at the school in the past week is considered a low-risk contact and should self-monitor for symptoms. The high-risk contacts have been notified and are required to isolate for 14 days and get tested.

Despite the two positive cases in quick succession, an outbreak has not been declared at Chippewa Secondary School because the two people were not in the same class or cohort. Dr. Chirico says that the Health Unit has determined that both individuals were “not likely” infected at school.

In addition to asking citizens to continue to follow health protocols, Dr. Chirico also urged people to limit their workouts to the outdoors or in places where physical distancing can be maintained and to avoid any non-essential travel out of the region, especially to places with higher case counts of COVID-19.

There are now five active cases of COVID-19 in the area, all of which are self-isolating.

There have been 46 total positive cases since the beginning of the pandemic, resulting in one death along with over 45,000 tests conducted.

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