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Southwestern Public Health Reports Largest Single Day Case Increase

12/31/2020 12:18:16 PM

Today Southwestern Public Health added 71 cases to its COVID-19 dashboard. This is the highest single day increase in the region to-date, exceeding the previous record of 47 cases on December 23. New modelling used by Southwestern Public Health also projects 100 daily cases or more in early January.

This represents a critical point in the pandemic. “Once we start to see daily increases approaching 100 per day, it becomes very difficult to conduct contact tracing within 24 hours to contain the virus,” says Dr. Joyce Lock, Medial Officer of Health at Southwestern Public Health. “Our team is working at maximum capacity, our local health care system is strained, and we are urgently asking for your support to modify behaviours to stop the spread.”

The latest data indicates the percent positivity in the Southwestern Public Health region is 3.5%. This exceeds a critical threshold of 3% that health authorities have used to determine if a region is at-risk of being overwhelmed by COVID-19 cases. “We need to prioritize contact tracing to ensure we contain the spread in high-risk settings, such as workplaces, long-term care homes, and in schools. It may take us longer than 24 hours to notify positive cases elsewhere,” says Dr. Lock.

If you are tested for COVID-19, you are encouraged to check for your own test results online at Those who test positive must stay home and follow instructions from public health. “If you have a positive result and have not yet heard from us, please inform your friends, family, coworkers and anyone else you had contact with so that they can self-isolate and get tested. A close contact is anyone you have been within 6 feet of for more than 15 minutes, even if you had a face covering on,” says Dr. Lock. “It is also advisable to download the COVID Alert App and keep a list of the places you have been and any close interactions you have had over the past two weeks.”

Additional actions that can help stop the spread:

  • Avoid visiting friends, family, and any other people you do not live with
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from people you do not live with
  • Wear a face covering in public spaces, even when outdoors
  • Maintain distance from coworkers – such as eating alone during lunch breaks
  • Stay home if you are sick, even if your symptoms are mild

Contacts: Natalie Rowe Communications | Southwestern Public Health 519-535-1478

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