Haliburton Highlands Health Services (HHHS) reports the local positivity rate has been on the rise in the past week.

Since HHHS’ last report in December, 22 new COVID-19 have been diagnosed locally. “Overall, Ontario has seen record-high numbers during the same timeframe, with spikes reaching over 4,000 cases per day at one point,” CEO of HHHS Carolyn Plummer adds. She says while the numbers in Ontario are starting to decline, the rise is concerning. “Outbreaks in long-term care retirement homes across the province have also continued to rise, and hospitals in COVID-19 ‘hot spots’ have become overwhelmed with COVID-positive patients in both their inpatient units and intensive care units, leading them to begin decanting patients to hospitals in other regions of the province,” she says.

Plummer says they have also seen a jump in the percent positivity rate. “The positivity rate represents the percentage of persons tested at our Assessment Centre who test positive, over a designated two-week period,” she explains. 

Plummer says the percent positivity rate for the period from January 11th to the 22nd is 3.5-percent. 

“It is important to note that this positivity rate still may not represent all positive COVID-19 cases in our community, but only those who are identified through testing at our local assessment centre; some persons in our community who reside outside of Haliburton County borders may be tested at other locations, and would not be included in the assessment centre positivity rate or the (Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit)’s total case numbers,” she adds.

“Our team strongly believes it is important for our community to be aware of the prevalence of COVID-19 locally, and encourages everyone to continue adhering to all the public health measures to help prevent further spread of the virus, in order to keep our community safe and to help protect our local healthcare system and resources,” Plummer finished.