Northwestern Health Unit may be spared worst of COVID-19

One of the most sparsely populated areas in Ontario may have been spared the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic predictions.

Dr. Ian Gemmill, the acting medicial officer of health for the Northwestern Health Unit (NWHU), said the area now has only two active cases.

Both of those cases are in Atikokan, and are related to the outbreak at the Lac Des Iles mine. The NWHU had a total of 16 cases, although one was for a person who has not resided in the NWHU’s catchment area since the pandemic started.

“We are perhaps not going to have a significant wave as has been experienced in other parts of Ontario. I hope so,” he said during a media briefing on Thursday.

“We are on top of the cases when they come in, and we would always let the public know when they were at risk.”

Gemmill said NWHU staff follow up with any positive cases daily, to ensure proper quarantine protocols are followed.

He said two cases confirmed this week in Kenora are already considered resolved, even though they were publicly confirmed only a few days ago.

Gemmill said this is because of some delay in receiving testing results, which he said could take from a couple of days to almost a couple of weeks.

“The testing is quite variable,” he said, “so that is an issue that is still being worked on.”

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