Chatham-Kent COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations increase

File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / famveldman

With the number of new COVID-19 cases continuing to climb in Chatham-Kent, the local medical officer of health says his main concern is the growing number of patients at the hospital.

The Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit reported 85 new cases Tuesday morning, along with seven new hospitalizations.

There has been a total of 4,084 confirmed cases in the region since the pandemic started. Chatham-Kent Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Colby said the number of active cases in the community is up to 347.

“The bad news is that with the testing shortage, that number is likely to be a gross underestimate of the active cases that we have,” said Colby. “People are being told if they’re sick to stay home and isolate and not go get tested. So, we don’t really know how many we’ve got and the best estimate is that this is about a quarter of active cases that we have.”

The Chatham-Kent Health Alliance said there are now 34 patients being treated for COVID-19. The Intensive Care Unit at the Chatham hospital is full again. There are now nine patients with the virus in the ICU and eight of them are on ventilators.

“This is the main thing I am keeping my eye on,” said Colby. “We don’t really know what the numbers are like but we know they are really bad.”

Colby said the only meaningful measure to look at is how badly the hospitals are congested, particularly the scarce resources of the ICUs.

“There’s a lot of activity in the community and this is the first time that things have evolved like that since the beginning of the pandemic,” said Colby. “We are really looking at that and are happy the circuit breaker came down from the province yesterday.”

Another outbreak has been declared at Hudson Manor in Tilbury with two confirmed cases. There are still two cases linked to Tilbury Manor Nursing Home from an outbreak declared on Sunday, and two cases at Riverview Gardens in Chatham.

The local health unit also has been keeping tabs on a manufacturing outbreak declared on December 2, 2021, with a total of 18 cases.