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COVID-19 resurgence driven by youth, young adults: York Region's top doc
Aug. 10, 2021

York Region is experiencing a resurgence of COVID-19 driven by youth and young adults, according to medical officer of health Dr. Karim Kurji.

New case counts are similar to what the region experienced during the peak of the first wave of the pandemic, he said in an Aug. 9 video update. Local counts were not publicly updated Monday, but York had 65 new cases Aug. 5, the highest daily tally since June. 3.

Kurji said youth and young adults are driving most of the new cases, with 53 per cent in the past week under the age of 29. He added most cases are also in unvaccinated individuals.

“We are expecting this increase will continue into the fall and want to remind residents throughout York Region that while many activities are reopening, COVID-19 is not done with us,” Kurji said.

COVID-19 cases are rising across the province, with the seven-day rolling average up to 283 today, well over the 196 average from one week ago.

Kurji said of the 238 cases in York Region in the last seven days, 44 were in children younger than 12 ineligible to be vaccinated. He said many of those children were household contacts of unvaccinated adults.

“The COVID-19 vaccine is not only to protect you from getting seriously ill but also helps prevent people around you from getting sick,” Kurji said. “We must think of each other, and our community as a whole, including those who can’t yet get vaccines."

As of Aug. 5, 81.6 per cent of York Region residents have at least one dose of a vaccine, while 73.4 per cent are fully vaccinated.

Meanwhile, schools are preparing to reopen come September, with Kurji joining the province last week to discuss ventilation funding and back-to-school plans. Kurji said in addition to getting vaccinated, parents should review safe protocols with their children, including masks and good hand hygiene.

He further said it is vital that people follow health protocols even with the province reopening. That includes mask wearing and physical distancing, even if you are fully vaccinated.

“With increased gathering limits and indoor activities permitted under step three of the roadmap to reopening, we know COVID-19, especially the delta variant, can spread quickly among groups,” he said.