Ottawa

Kingston house party linked to at least 5 COVID-19 cases

Health authorities in Kingston, Ont., say a house party has led to at least five new cases of COVID-19, and officials have yet to track down everyone who attended the gathering.

'Large party' held Sept. 18 blamed for new batch of active cases

Dr. Kieran Moore, medical officer of health with Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health, says the health people who attended the Sept. 18 party is a top priority. (KFL&A Public Health/YouTube)

Health authorities in Kingston, Ont., say a house party has led to at least five new cases of COVID-19, and officials have yet to track down everyone who attended the gathering.

The "large party" was held on Sept. 18 on the 500 block of Johnson Street in Kingston, and anyone who attended is required to self-isolate and get tested, Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health said in a news release Thursday. 

Partygoers can end self-isolation if they receive a negative test, but if symptoms turn up later they should self-isolate again and get retested.

Medical officer of health Dr. Kieran Moore said the well-being of the individuals affected is a top priority, although it's still not clear who they all are.

'Evidence of propagation'

"The rationale for the public notification is that we have found evidence of propagation, but we have been unable to identify all attendees through case investigation," said Moore.

Last month, Moore called for tougher penalties for nuisance house parties during the pandemic, including a fine of $2,000 for first-time offenders and up to $100,000 for repeat offenders. Council passed the recommendations and Queen's University said it will now consider expelling students caught flouting physical distancing regulations. 

The COVID-19 assessment centre at the Beechgrove Complex at 51 Heakes Lane in Kingston is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and Queen's University students are able to access the assessment centre located adjacent to Mitchell Hall weekdays, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. by appointment only, the health authority said.

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