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Public health warns of COVID-19 exposure at Trenton dentist’s office

Hastings Prince Edward Public Health is warning residents of the possibility of exposure to COVID-19 at a Trenton dentist’s office after a second person linked to the business has tested positive for COVID-19.

According to the health unit, two cases of the disease were linked to You Make Me Smile Dental Centre on Division Street last week. Despite these cases, the public health unit says there is low risk of exposure at the dentist’s office.

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As the second case has been identified, public health is asking anyone who visited the dental centre between Sept. 28 and Oct. 6 to self-monitor and to get tested if symptoms develop. If you do have symptoms and get tested, you must self-isolate for 14 days from the last visit to the dental centre, regardless of the results, the health unit said. You do not have to self-isolate unless you are showing symptoms.

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Public health said it will follow up with those considered to be at a higher risk of exposure.

“While HPEPH does not typically disclose the location of COVID-19 cases in order to protect individuals’ privacy, this information is disclosed when needed in order to meet public health objectives such as reducing the risk of further transmission,” the public health unit said in a press release Wednesday.

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The office closed voluntarily on Oct. 7 and will remain closed until Oct. 21.

There are currently six active cases of COVID-19 in the Hastings and Prince Edward regions, with 61 total cases since the pandemic began, of which 50 people have recovered and five have died.




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Stay-at-home orders cut noise exposure almost in half

Oct. 9 (UPI) — Sometimes, living the quiet life is a choice. Other times, it’s the reality of a global pandemic. New research suggests lockdowns and stay-at-home orders led to a dramatic reduction in noise exposure.

For the study, published Friday in the journal Environmental Research Letters, scientists at the University of Michigan collected noise exposure data from volunteer Apple Watch wearers in Florida, New York, California and Texas.

“Volunteer participants opted to share environmental sound data from their Apple Watch and headphone sound data from their iPhone,” researchers wrote. “Participants for this analysis were chosen from four states which exhibited diverse responses to COVID-19.”

Scientists analyzed more than half-a-million sound exposure measurements from before and during the pandemic.

In locations where governments issued social distancing recommendations and stay-at-home orders, average sound exposure dropped three decibels during March and April compared to January and February.

“That is a huge reduction in terms of exposure and it could have a great effect on people’s overall health outcomes over time,” study co-author Rick Neitzel said in a press release.

“The analysis demonstrates the utility of everyday use of digital devices in evaluating daily behaviors and exposures,” said Neitzel, associate professor of environmental health sciences at the University of Michigan School of Public Health.

The sound exposure reductions identified by researchers reflected the different pandemic responses in each of the four states. Sound exposure reductions in California and New York were greater and occurred earlier than reductions in Florida and Texas.

Before the pandemic, the largest drop in environmental sound exposure occurred on weekends, but after lock-down orders were issued in many parts of the country, the pattern was disrupted.

Researchers said they hope ongoing analysis of sound exposure data from volunteer Apple Watch wearers will continue to offer insights into the ways different people experience the world sonically.

The idea, they said, is to identify sound exposure differences between people of different ages and people in different states, as well as people with and without hearing loss.

“These are questions we’ve had for years and now we’re starting to have data that will allow us to answer them,” Neitzel said. “We’re thankful to the participants who contributed unprecedented amounts of data. This is data that never existed or was even possible before.”

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