Niagara's Associate Medical Officer of Health warns infection rate increasing

CKTB - NEWS - Andrea Feller

Niagara' Associate Medical Officer of Health is putting out a warning, saying she dreads the next two weeks.

Doctor Andrea Feller point to two key statistics health officials are keeping an eye on as businesses across the province reopen.

The first is the doubling time - the amount of time it takes for our COVID-19 caseload to double.

The second factor is known as 'R', or the reproductive time. That figure represents the average number of people infected by one person with the virus.

Feller says both numbers have started to slide.

"Back to the doubling time, we have gotten to a length of around 120 days. We're down to the 50s or 60s again. It's still great - it's a great doubling time - but it's heading in the wrong direction. The other piece, the reproductive rate, we had gotten down to 0.5. So I would infect half a person - I'm not sure which half of them," she jokes. "But in all serious now, we are at 1.5."

She stresses how important it is for everyone to continue practicing physical distancing and proper hand hygiene techniques.

"People are tired of staying home, so I get it. I totally agree with that, but it doesn't help us get to where we need to go."

The impact of re-opening stores in Ontario won't be noticeable until a few weeks have gone by.

Feller encourages people to continue following the health and safety rules and to get tested if you have any mild symptom.

This comes as five more COVID-19 outbreaks have been declared at local facilities: Crescent Park Lodge, Tufford Nursing Home, West Park Health Centre, Kilean Lodge, and Albright Manor.