Two Truths, One Lie

Two Truths, One Lie

Which would you pick as the lie?

  1. Case counts are rising.
  2. Vaccination rates are rising.
  3. Vaccines don’t work.

With rising case counts and rising vaccination rates, it can appear that COVID-19 vaccines don’t work. But that is not true. COVID-19 vaccines do work and are, in fact, highly effective.

So, if you picked #3 as the lie, you are right!

Let us explain.

First, let’s talk about cases:

Over the past several days, Chatham-Kent has seen a steep rise in the number of positive COVID-19 cases. As these numbers increase, it is making it hard for CK Public Health to keep up with all the new cases. If case counts continue to climb, there is concern that this may lead to delays in contact tracing. This means that people who have been exposed to the virus may be unknowingly circulating the virus in the community before they are told to isolate.

This is not a good situation, especially as we enter the holiday season and people gather more often.

The increase in positive cases has caused more people with COVID-19 to be admitted to our local hospital. This is a concern because when hospital beds are full of COVID-19 patients, it leaves no room for people who need hospital care for other reasons, like serious injuries or chronic illnesses. The majority of people in the hospital with COVID-19 are unvaccinated, as unvaccinated people experience more severe and life-threatening symptoms. This means that the majority of hospitalized COVID-19 admissions are preventable with vaccination.

Even without consideration for new variants, hospital occupancy from COVID-19 patients is expected to grow by January, putting even more strain on our hospitals and their staff.

So, why are cases on the rise?

Case counts are on the rise because public health measures are not being followed by everyone. The situation is worse than it appears because not everyone in the community gets tested when they have symptoms of COVID-19 and not everyone stays home when they are not feeling well. This means that there are positive cases of COVID-19 that are being unreported. Because these cases are unreported, CK Public Health is not aware of them and cannot work to stop the spread. In the past few months, the number of positive COVID-19 cases that are not linked to known cases has gone up far beyond levels we have seen so far. This further shows that there are people who are COVID-19 positive that are not getting tested and not following public health measures.

With the winter months, an increase in the number of cases is expected as more people gather over the holidays and spend more time indoors. This makes it more important than ever to follow public health measures and get vaccinated.

What effect do vaccination rates have on all this?

We know that vaccinated people can contract and spread the virus, however there is overwhelming evidence that people who are vaccinated have fewer, less severe symptoms, and are less likely to require hospitalization than unvaccinated people. This is what vaccines are supposed to do – prevent people from severe illness and death. This is why vaccines are so important to helping end the pandemic.

The graphs below show the difference between vaccinated and unvaccinated people when looking at cases, hospitalization, and Intensive Care Unit (ICU) admissions.

In each of the above graphs, the orange line represents unvaccinated people and the dark blue line represents vaccinated people. The first graph shows a steep increase in reported cases of COVID-19 among unvaccinated people and a slight increase among vaccinated people. The second graph shows a fairly steady and high rate of hospital occupancy for unvaccinated COVID-19 patients with a very low rate of vaccinated people being admitted to hospital for COVID-19. The third chart shows a similar trend to the second while representing only those COVID-19 patients that are in ICU.

“Update on COVID-19 Projections.” Science Advisory and Modelling Consensus Tables. December 7, 2021.

What can you do to protect yourself and help stop the spread?

CK Public Health is urging the public to be on high alert when it comes to stopping the spread of COVID-19. This means:

  • Self-isolate and avoid all social gatherings if you are not feeling well or showing symptoms of any kind;
  • Do not invite people into your home if any member of your family is feeling unwell;
  • Get tested if you have any symptoms;
  • Get vaccinated as soon as possible if you are eligible; and
  • Get your booster as soon as you are eligible.

If residents are attending a social gathering of any kind, CK Public Health encourages them to avoid:

  • Closed spaces with poor ventilation;
  • Crowded places with many people nearby; and
  • Close contact such as close-range conversation.

In addition, residents are reminded of the basic public health measures that are important in stopping the spread of all preventable diseases:

  • Wear a proper fitting mask;
  • Wash hands and use hand sanitizer frequently;
  • Disinfect items used by multiple people;
  • Air out spaces by opening windows or turning on outside vented bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans for a few minutes each day (this brings fresh air in and moves contaminated air out).

As you decide how to spend your holidays, CK Public Health urges you to make good decisions and to exercise caution. The months ahead require all of us to continue to be on alert. How we spend our holidays directly effects how we start 2022.

Residents looking to further protect themselves and their families by receiving their COVID-19 vaccine can do so at or by calling 519.351.1010.
Appointments are available for all CK residents born in 2016 or earlier.