Smooth first week of school, all cases resolved

Merna Emara
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The Northwestern Health Unit announced that all COVID-19 cases in the region are resolved. This announcement coincides with the first week of classes without substantial complaints.
Dr. Kit Young-Hoon, medical officer of health at the Northwestern Health Unit said residents should still remain vigilant in the northwestern region.
“We are asking everyone to continue to follow public health prevention measures including hand washing, wearing a mask, physical distancing, avoiding touching your face and staying home if you are sick,” Young-Hoon said.
“This is more important now because school has restarted.”
As of now, there are no reported active positive COVID-19 cases in the northwestern region. But this is not the case in other parts of Ontario in cities like Toronto, Ottawa and in the Peel Region. The slight surge in new reported positives prompted the government of Ontario to pause its reopening plan for four weeks.
Health Minister Christine Elliott made the announcement on Tuesday that the main priority is getting all of the students back to safely and having them remain healthy.
“The reality is that spread in the community will also likely mean spread in the schools, so we need to limit the spread in the community as much as possible,” Elliott said.
Young-Hoon said it is hard to predict what is going to happen in case of a second wave because there is a lot of uncertainty.
“Public health at the federal and provincial levels will be looking to see what happens in other countries and providing us with support locally,” Young-Hoon said.
“At this point, I’m expecting that we will see cases coming into the fall and into winter season, particularly during the winter season when respiratory illnesses tend to get worse anyway. It is really hard to predict what that will look like.”
However, Premier Doug Ford also made an announcement on Wednesday Ontario will be reporting school outbreaks in order to give municipalities the chance to reconsider public health restrictions. Meanwhile, Young-Hoon said the NWHU has a hotline that is open for any type of questions or concerns from any member of the public.
“Everyone is monitoring the situation to see how things progress,” Young-Hoon said.
“Our students are observing social distancing and mask wearing rules. At Northwestern Health Unit we don’t monitor how those rules are being followed or the compliance with those rules.”