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NWHU sees positive trend in COVID-19 numbers

Active case count falls with two COVID-19 cases reported Friday, as medical officer of health sees positive trend.
COVID-19 5
There were 26 active COVID-19 cases in the NWHU Friday, half the number seen the week before.

DRYDEN, Ont. – For the first time in weeks, the medical officer of health for the Northwestern Health Unit sees a positive trend in the region’s COVID-19 cases.

“Generally our case numbers are improving,” said Dr. Kit Young Hoon at a press conference Friday, saying the trend was observable over the past two weeks.

The NWHU reported only two new cases of COVID-19 Friday, with one each in its Atikokan and Sioux Lookout health hubs.

There were 26 active cases across the health unit Friday, about half the level seen a week ago. That included 15 in the Sioux Lookout hub, 5 in the Dryden hub, 4 in the Kenora hub, and one each in the Fort Frances and Atikokan hubs.

There was one NWHU resident in hospital with the virus Friday, down from a consistent count of three over recent weeks.

Young Hoon said as recently as last week it was too early to declare a positive trend in the health unit’s numbers, supporting the continuation of a provincial stay-at-home order.

On Friday, she called the province’s new reopening framework “reasonable,” but said the lack of flexibility for regions with lower case counts could undermine public support for the measures.

“It could lead to potential problems,” she said. “Ontario is a very large province, and there are different situations in different areas… I think a regional approach might be more relevant to some areas.”

With 42,761 vaccine doses administered in the NWHU, about 54 per cent of those 18 and older have now received at least a first dose.

That works out to about 38 per cent of the entire population of the health unit, roughly 82,231 people.

The NWHU’s testing positivity rate was 1.38 per cent on 1,880 tests completed for the most recent week reported, May 10 to 16.