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York Region new COVID-19 cases rate among lowest in GTA: MOH

Some outbreaks and increasing workplace exposures remain challenges for York Region public health, medical officer of health Dr. Karim Kurji says
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York Region has among the lowest incidence rate for new COVID-19 cases in the Greater Toronto Area, according to the medical officer of health.

The incidence of new cases is 9.8 per 100,000 population, said Dr. Karim Kurji in an online update today.

While new cases are trending downward, York Region public health did report a spike of 49 new cases today, May 22, bringing its total cases to 2,191. 

The majority of the new cases, 33, are as a result of  "a mass swabbing" at the Woodbridge Vista Care Community home in Vaughan on Tuesday, May 19, according to York Region spokesperson Patrick Casey. Positive cases were confirmed in 26 residents and seven staff.

Of York Region's 56 outbreaks, 37 have been resolved, with cases now totalling 1,031 and deaths reaching 133.

"Many of our outbreaks have come under control," Kurji said, however "a few are posing unusual challenges."

Mackenzie Place Long-term Care Centre in Newmarket, River Glen Haven Nursing Home in Sutton, Chartwell Aurora Long-term Care Residence, and Villa Colombo Vaughan De Poce Centre remain among the facilities most hard hit by the virus.

Mackenzie Place is now the only active outbreak in Newmarket, with 80 of 90 residents and 24 of 108 health-care workers testing positive for COVID-19 since the outbreak was declared April 8.

A 17th COVID-19 fatality — the second highest in the region — is being reported at River Glen Haven with the passing of an 88-year-old man Monday, May 18 after symptom onset May 10 and a positive test May 14. Reported yesterday, a 95-year-old man passed away Wednesday, May 20 at River Glen Haven.

As well, an 86-year-old King Township man passed Wednesday, May 20 at Southlake Regional Health Centre, after the onset of symptoms May 7. He was exposed to the virus at the Mackenzie Health Reactivation Care Centre in Toronto.

An 81-year-old Vaughan man died Wednesday, May 20 at Woodbridge Vista Care Community, the second death at the long-term care home, after the onset of symptoms May 15.

The COVID-19 death toll in York Region has reached 172, with 133 fatalities — 77 per cent — related to outbreaks in 56 facilities. Sixteen residents have died as a result of a close contact, 13 due to community transmission, and six residents with travel-acquired cases.

Workplace exposures continue to rise, Kurji said, with 54 infected residents accounting for 2 per cent of the cases. However, many employees at the workplace outbreaks aren't residents of York Region. 

For instance, of 26 employees exposed to COVID-19 at AWD at 440 Hanland Rd. and 99 Vinyl Court in Vaughan, none live in York Region.

The largest workplace outbreak is at Saputo Dairy Products Canada in Vaughan, which is linked to the region’s first workplace-acquired COVID-19 death, a 57-year-old Newmarket man.

Employers are urged to visit the public health website for resources, Kurji said. A list of PPE suppliers can be found at Ontario.ca/PPE.

The number of hospitalized patients in York Region is 76, with 19 cases critically ill in ICU. In Newmarket, four residents are hospitalized, none in ICU.

As of 4 p.m. May 22, Southlake Regional Health Centre is reporting four COVID-19 patients in ICU, and 16 COVID-19 positive patients being cared for in an inpatient unit. The number of inpatients under investigation for COVID-19 is 25. Deaths now total 20.

Of 2,191 cases (+49 today) in York Region:

  • 924 are confirmed in Vaughan (+34 today), 62 deaths, 559 resolved;
  • 477 in Markham (+4), 45 deaths, 257 resolved;
  • 238 in Richmond Hill (+5), 8 deaths, 153 resolved;
  • 196 in Newmarket (+3), 22 deaths, 56 resolved; 
  • 110 in Georgina (+1), 17 deaths, 19 resolved;
  • 98 in Aurora (+1), 13 deaths, 39 resolved;
  • 56 in Whitchurch-Stouffville (+1), 1 death, 33 resolved;
  • 48 in East Gwillimbury (+1); 1 death; 14 resolved;
  • 27 in King, 3 deaths, 20 resolved.



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