BY THE NUMBERS FOR WEDNESDAY

The Porcupine Health Unit area recorded six more positive cases of COVID-19 yesterday.  At the daily noon hour briefing today, medical officer of health Doctor Lianne Catton updated all the pertinent numbers.

“We’ve had 323 tests done, 235 are negative, 69 are pending, 18 now are the number for positive cases and five of those have already been resolved,” she said.

WHAT DOES ‘RESOLVED’ MEAN?

Catton says “resolved” means recovering or having recovered from symptoms during 14 days of isolation.

“But it has to do with both the timeline of their symptoms, their presentation and how well they’re doing and you have to designate that they’re no longer deemed infectious and they’re much better of completely asymptomatic.”

That assessment is done by the health unit’s infectious diseases team.

WHY SPECIFIC TOWNS AREN’T BEING NAMED

Catton is defending the practice of not naming the exact town where a case of COVID-19 is confirmed. Instead, the health unit only gives a wider geographic description.

Catton says patients’ privacy must be protected, and even releasing an age and gender can identify a patient in a small community. She also rejects the suggestion of a sense of reassurance when your community is not named.

“This is critical,” she says emphatically.  “If we have individuals who still feel reassured across Ontario that their community has not been named, this is a problem because we need to act and follow these public health measures now, whether your community has been named or not.”

At the beginning of her comment, Dr. Catton said she is open to further discussion with other community leaders.