Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley ‘Concerned’ Over Coronavirus Increases Related To Holiday Gatherings – CBS Kitchener

kitchener (CBS) – Kitchener’s Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley, is concerned about the increase in COVID-19 cases the city is seeing in connection with holiday gatherings. Farley discussed the city’s current efforts to mitigate the coronavirus on Eyewitness News this morning.

Indoor eating restrictions were lifted Monday in Pennsylvania, but indoor eating is still banned in Kitchener. The city’s restrictions on indoor dining are currently in place through Jan. 15, but Farley says he “can’t say for sure” whether the city is on track to lift the restrictions on that date.

“I can’t say for sure,” said Farley. “I am concerned that we will see gains in connection with Christmas. We’ve been seeing some kind of upward trend in the city of Kitchener. And big gains across New England, New York, and across the country. So we are very concerned about where it is going. We’ll have to watch this over the next few days to see if they can open on January 16th. “

The spike can start about five days after the vacation and last about 14 days afterwards.

“We saw it about five or six days later, but then it takes a couple of days for the data to come in and a good ten days to two weeks after that,” Farley said. ”

The city still hasn’t seen the full impact of Christmas gatherings, and Farley says we “definitely haven’t seen the impact of the New Years”.

The city has distributed over 70,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, some of which are going to hospitals to vaccinate their employees. So far, about 17,000 people have been vaccinated, according to Farley.

Currently, the city is still in Group 1A of vaccine distribution, which includes healthcare workers, people who live and work in nursing homes.

According to Farley, Group 1B is “likely weeks” away from vaccination. This group is expected to encompass what officials consider to be an important frontline workforce or people who are exposed to many people every day.

More information on who is eligible under Group 1B is expected to be released at a later date.

We are still expected to be months away from making vaccines available to the general public.

“First of all, I would like to make some realistic expectations here. It will be months before we have enough of the vaccine to vaccinate the general population. There is a very small number of doses per week. “

In terms of availability, Kitchener will use a combination of approaches, including health facilities, possibly some mass testing, and possibly pharmacies, according to Farley.

His message to the people of Kitchener in 2021: “It is very exciting that the vaccine is available, but this vaccine will be trickling down for a long time. So stick with the basic tool we’ve had for months that means social distancing. So wear a mask and don’t meet people outside of your household indoors. “

SEE THE VIDEO ABOVE FOR THE FULL INTERVIEW.

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