COVID-19 positivity rate climbs

The latest information on the percentage of COVID-19 tests coming back positive for the virus in Elgin, St. Thomas and Oxford , from Oct. 31, sets that rate at 5.1 percent.

That’s much higher than the 3.1 percent reported a week earlier.

Southwestern Public Health Medical Officer of Health Dr. Joyce Lock stated, in response to an inquiry from the Express, “More than 57 percent of the cases in our region are in individuals under the age of 40 and they are largely in those who are unvaccinated. The Delta variant is so contagious that it quickly spreads from one family member to the next.

“More than 86 percent of eligible residents have at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. However fewer than 75 percent of those under the age of 40 are fully vaccinated. This is fueling our current numbers.

“I urge those not yet vaccinated to speak to a registered health care provider, a physician, pharmacist, midwife, or nurse practitioner, about vaccination.  There is new evidence every day about the safety and effectiveness of these vaccines in preventing severe illness, hospitalizations, and death.”