COVID gives Durham residents a reprieve with underlying numbers down this week


Published October 12, 2023 at 8:56 am

covid nurses
Photo by Tania Collyer

Perhaps it was the bout of unseasonably warm weather we enjoyed this past week that put a halt to rapidly rising COVID-19 numbers but the next wave of the virus – if it happens – will have to wait after all the underlying numbers dropped this reporting period.

After new cases skyrocketed the previous week to 144 (from just six two weeks prior), the numbers softened a bit to 118 for the week of October 1-7. Hospital cases were slashed nearly in half to 28 (from 47), though there are three in intensive care; and outbreaks at local retirement centres, hospitals and long-term care homes dropped from 13 to six.

The weekly incidence rate (per 100,000 population) fell to 16.1 (from 19.6) and the per cent positivity rate also fell and is now at 13.9 per cent.

The all-important death number remained at zero.

A resurgence of COVID-19, as well as the flu and the Respiratory Syncytial Virus is still expected this fall; just like last year and Durham Region Health is encouraging residents to get their annual flu shots as well as another COVID-19 booster.

The flu shot in particular is the most effective way to prevent illness and related complications associated with the increase in respiratory viruses in the colder months.

To prevent co-infection of the flu and COVID-19, Canadians are encouraged to get both their flu and COVID-19 shot during the same vaccination appointment to help minimize increased transmission and curb added stress on the health care system.

COVID-19 has affected more than 75,000 Durham Region residents since the pandemic was declared in the spring of 2020, with 555 deaths in Durham alone.

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