Working Together To Stop an Outbreak in the Community

Infographic diagram of icons demonstrating how COVID-19 spread from a small Chatham-Kent Church. 21 members of a church became infected with the virus that spread to households, group living settings and a blood donor clinic. Each level had additional transmissions to other households and their close contacts. In total, 40 positive cases resulted in this situation with 2 declared outbreaks and 3 hospitalizations. Over 500 people had to self isolate and that impacted 3 school cohorts, 50 people from the church, 170 school students, 180 blood donor clinic attendees, 25 in workplaces and 10 in a group living situation.

We’ve learned a lot about COVID-19 since the pandemic was declared in March: We truly are all in this together.

On Monday November 23rd  Chatham-Kent moved into the YELLOW-PROTECT level of the Keeping Ontario Safe and Open Framework. We are grateful for your continued effort to follow changing public health measures. With case numbers rising, we need to continue to practice these measures to protect our health and safety. If we let our guard down, it can have rippling effects throughout the community.

In October, CK Public Health declared an outbreak in a community setting that was later revealed to be a place of worship. We are sharing information about this outbreak now to show how easily COVID-19 can spread, and how we all need to work together to stop it.

The graphic featured above, along with the video below from Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Colby, shows how one COVID-19 infection led to 2 declared outbreaks, 40 people being infected across 24 households, 3 people being hospitalized, and nearly 500 people having to self-isolate because they were exposed.  It is a reminder that our individual actions can impact others – those that we work, or live with, who might be at higher risk of complications from COVID-19.

Each time someone tests positive, our team works quickly, efficiently, and compassionately to contact the person who tested positive and the people who have been in close contact with them. With each person that tests positive, Public Health Nurses spend hours following-up, providing advice and supporting people to be able to self-isolate.

Public health measures are working to stop the COVID-19 virus from spreading in Chatham-Kent. We are very thankful to all the community members who are working hard to keep each other safe. In total, to stop this outbreak, hundreds of community members from schools, group living settings, service settings, and workplaces isolated for 14 days to protect their families, colleagues, classmates, and our community. Without this collective effort, COVID-19 would continue to spread, resulting in further lost time at school/work and more people getting sick.

Did you know?

  • The average time to complete an initial assessment of someone who tests positive for COVID-19 is approximately 1 hour;
  • The average time to complete an initial assessment of someone who has been in contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19 is approximately 30 minutes;
  • Wellness checks take approximately 10 to 15 minutes, on average, and are performed at minimum on days 1, 7 and 14, but more frequently if needed.

No one intends to get COVID-19, nor does anyone want to spread this virus to others. We share this information with the intention to show how easily COVID-19 can spread. We all have a responsibility to take precautions to keep each other safe during this pandemic.

Thank you to the community of Chatham-Kent for working together to contain this outbreak. To continue to keep one another safe and stop the spread of COVID-19 please continue to follow important public measures:

  • Physical distance (2 M) from those outside your household
  • Avoid non-essential travel and gatherings
  • Wash hands frequently or use 70% alcohol hand sanitizer
  • Wear a face covering
  • Stay home if you are unwell!