Dr. Colby OK with lifting some restrictions

Dr. David Colby, CK Medical Officer of Health. Oct 18, 2017. (Photo by Paul Pedro)

The medical officer of health in Chatham-Kent says he’s fine with bars and restaurants soon going to full capacity.

Premier Doug Ford is expected to announce next week that the province will lift more COVID-19 restrictions. The easing of public safety measures means all places where proof of vaccination is mandatory, such as bars, restaurants, and gyms can move to 100 per cent capacity.

Chatham-Kent Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Colby said it’s time to lift more restrictions and the fact that local COVID-19 numbers are going down makes him feel more at ease about it.

“If our numbers hadn’t started dropping substantially in Chatham-Kent, that would make me very nervous indeed,” said Colby.

Colby said the number of new COVID-19 cases is going down across the province and it’s time to lift some restrictions as long as vaccine mandates stay in place and the public keeps following the rules.

“We seem to have passed the peak and are getting this wave under control. So, I think that’s just a natural evolution. As long as they maintain the vaccination permissions that are in place, I think that’s a reasonable step,” Colby noted.

On Thursday, Chatham-Kent Public Health reported that two small school outbreaks are over and the number of active cases of COVID-19 has dropped by five to 68. The outbreaks at St. Elizabeth School in Wallaceburg and Eben-Ezer Christian School in Chatham were declared over on Wednesday. Four small outbreaks remain in place across Chatham-Kent.

Even though the local COVID-19 numbers are decreasing, the municipality is still one of the hot spots in the province with a high case rate.

Colby also confirmed that the 21st virus-related death in Chatham-Kent reported on Tuesday involved a person who was not vaccinated against the virus.

Chatham-Kent Health Alliance reported five COVID-19 patients are in the hospital but two are not residents of the municipality. Two of the patients are in the ICU and one is on a ventilator.