Peterborough Public Health COVID-19 Risk Index Moves to Moderate Risk

Written by Comms Team, September 20, 2023

First Case of COVID-19 BA 2.86 Variant Confirmed in Region

Peterborough Public Health (PPH) COVID-19 Risk Index moves to moderate risk due to increase in case rates, outbreaks, and wastewater signal. The Respiratory Risk Index remains at low risk for community members in our region.

“The increase in COVID-19 indicators is a clear sign that transmission of COVID-19 is increasing in our region,” says Dr. Thomas Piggott, Medical Officer of Health. “With students in schools and more people gathering indoors, there are more opportunities for close contact and we anticipate COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses will continue to circulate in our community.”

Dr. Piggott adds “This week we received confirmation of our first COVID-19 case with the BA 2.86 variant in the region. Other reports of this variant do not indicate an increase in the severity of symptoms compared to other COVID-19 strains. However, this variant does show signs of high transmissibility. There are also early reports of this variant being able to escape the protection that previous COVID-19 vaccines provide. Fortunately, the new COVID-19 XBB vaccine shows promising results in protecting against this strain.” The team at PPH is working hard to plan for the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines in the coming weeks to help protect residents in our community. More information on the availability of the COVID-19 and Influenza vaccines should be available shortly.

In the moderate risk level, we recommend wearing a well-fitted KN95/N95 style mask in high-risk indoor settings, gathering outdoors, or in spaces with proper ventilation. In general, all residents who feel unwell should stay home to prevent further spread of infection and practice respiratory etiquette. These protections are not only lifesaving for individuals at high risk of severe illness, but the overall health of our community.

Peterborough Public Health has also introduced a weekly alert system to help residents stay up-to-date with the COVID-19 and Respiratory Risk Index updates. Starting today, residents who sign up for the alerts will be able to receive the updated COVID-19 and Respiratory Risk Index to their email inbox weekly, which will be important information as we progress through the fall. To bookmark the Index or sign up for alerts, please visit

The COVID-19 and Respiratory Virus Risk index will be updated on the webpage today by 5 p.m.


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