New COVID-19 death reported in Chatham-Kent

COVID-19 test tube. (Photo from Pixabay)

Chatham-Kent has recorded another death caused by COVID-19.

On Thursday morning, Chatham-Kent Public Health reported a woman in her 60s passed away Tuesday at the Chatham hospital. The number of deaths in Chatham-Kent linked to the virus is now 17.

Chatham-Kent Health Alliance President and CEO Lori Marshall said the deceased woman was on a ventilator in the Intensive Care Unit prior to her death. This death comes just three days after the last death but Chatham-Kent Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Colby said this is not a trend. Colby said the woman had significant underlying health conditions, which he said always increase the likelihood of a poor outcome.

“When you’re dealing with such low numbers and two [deaths] happen to be not far apart, there’s a tendency to think of that as a trend but the total number of people needing hospital care has been falling considerably,” said Colby. “I think it’s a matter of perception to some degree because the people who are sickest are the ones who are remaining in hospital.”

A man in his 70s also died with COVID-19 related symptoms at the hospital in Chatham this past weekend. Marshall added the woman’s death was not related to the recent COVID-19 outbreak in the Medicine Unit at the hospital in Chatham.

The health unit also reported 14 active cases after one new case and zero resolved cases were recorded. There are two more patients in the hospital with COVID-19 to bring the total number of residents in the hospital to four.

Dr. Colby also hopes to have 70 per cent of the population in Chatham-Kent 18 years of age and older with at least one dose by next week. As of Thursday, 64 per cent of the population 12 and over have received at least one dose and ten per cent have received two doses.

Colby said vaccine supply continues to be an issue because vaccine campaigns still can’t deliver shots as fast as they want. He said he hasn’t seen a lot of vaccine hesitancy caused by mixing and matching of doses now being allowed but has seen brand loyalty.

“That is no different than the behaviour you see around cars. People become very attached to what they’re used to and they form opinions. We haven’t had very many people insisting on getting a particular one or another,” Colby said. “We’ve had a few people express they don’t want the AstraZeneca vaccine because of the blood clotting side effect. It’s understandable with all the publicity there.”

Colby gives his public health and joint vaccination team an A+ for the way they have come together and worked during the pandemic. He said the planning and delivery of shots in a time of sparse resources along with finding cases and managing their isolation has been nothing but outstanding.

“The health system has come together like never before and there’s no place I can hold up as a better example than Chatham-Kent,” he said. “I’m just astonished by what they’ve been able to deliver and so cheerfully. They’re willing work horses, they never complain, and I’m very lucky to have a staff like I have.”

The vaccination team is made up of public health employees, paramedics, and hospital staff.

Appointments are now available for two more vaccination clinics in Wheatley on Sunday and Highgate on Tuesday. Both clinics are offering the Moderna vaccine. Ontario now allows the interchange of vaccines and those who received a first dose of Pfizer are now permitted to receive a second dose of Moderna. The clinic at the Wheatley Arena runs from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. June 13, 2021. The Highgate clinic is at the Mary Webb Centre June 15, 2021 and is also open between 11 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.