Home > activity > [The Surge 2]COVID: 41 new cases reported as health unit works to stem surge in transient community

[The Surge 2]COVID: 41 new cases reported as health unit works to stem surge in transient community

Time:2021-07-21 21:22:27


  

  Copy Link Email Facebook Twitter Reddit Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr News Local News Author of the article: Greg Cowan Publishing date: Jun 26, 2021 ? 12?hours ago ? 4 minute read ?

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  The Grey Bruce Health Unit said it’s working to stem a surge of COVID-19 cases affecting disadvantaged groups including transient individuals, drug users, and the homeless population.

  The health unit reported 41 new cases Saturday. They were found in Owen Sound (15), Saugeen First Nation (7), Meaford (7), South Bruce Peninsula (6), The Blue Mountains (2), Hanover (2) Southgate and Georgian Bluffs.

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  In a media release distributed Saturday, the health unit said the Delta variant appears to be driving the surge. Evidence of the Delta variant has been established in several lab-confirmed cases locally, the release said.

  Average daily case counts were hovering around five in the region in June, but recently they’ve swelled to over 20. An outbreak at a rooming house in Hanover that began June 3 infected more than 30 individuals.

  Dr. Ian Arra, Grey-Bruce’s medical officer of health, said in an interview Saturday the region is still on track to enter Step 2 of the province’s reopening strategy on June 30.

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  He said that’s because the surge in cases is unrelated to regulated settings such as workplaces, businesses, hospitals and childcare centres.

  “At this point, there’s no change in the plan,” he said. “It’s worth mentioning it’s a provincial decision with local input, but there’s been no communication (in that regard).”

  To combat the surge in local cases, the health unit has offered second doses of the COVID-19 vaccines to residents living in shelters in Grey-Bruce. Mobile units, with ongoing support from EMS, will be offering the vaccine to individuals living in unregistered shelters and rooming homes this week.

  Arra said the health unit team is working with local partners to reach these unregistered rooming houses.

  “We plan to deliver the COVID-19 vaccine to a greater proportion of our eligible population as soon as possible. We continue to advise the public to get the first and second doses of vaccine, when eligible, as soon as possible,” the health unit said.

  Arra said he implored people in Grey-Bruce to get the vaccines as soon as they’re eligible.

  Meanwhile, staff capacity in the health unit’s case and contact management team has been increased and large vaccine shipment orders have been placed for each week of July.

  The Grey Bruce Health Unit declared a critical threshold on April 15 during an earlier surge in cases when case and contact management capacity was threatened locallt. At that time, the health unit told everyone in the region to consider themselves a carrier and stay home for 48-hours unless for essential travel.

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  Arra said this time, the spread of the virus is different. The “large majority” of cases are within the transient community and their associates, he said. The challenge is compliance, Arra added.

  “It’s very difficult to get compliance and isolation. For example, asking someone who is homeless to isolate is very difficult. We’re working with our partners and doing our best to increase compliance,” he said. “It’s not possible to ensure compliance with the population we’re helping.”

  There are now 111 active and confirmed COVID-19 cases in the region, and 254 high-risk close contacts being monitored by the health unit’s case and contact management team.

  Five of the confirmed active cases are hospitalized in Grey-Bruce and two additional local cases are hospitalized outside of the region.

  To date, 1,531 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Grey-Bruce including 100 in health care workers. Of those, 1,413 cases are now considered resolved.

  There are no active COVID-19 outbreaks in any hospitals, long-term care or retirement homes, schools or childcare centres in the region.

  …

  In a community update posted to the Chippewas of Saugeen First Nation #29 YouTube channel Friday, Chief Lester Anoquot said the community is proposing a voluntary shut down for the weekend amid a local surge of COVID-19 cases.

  “We’re asking for a voluntary stay-at-home order for all members until next week when we can provide another update,” Anoquot said in the video message.

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  Band buildings and businesses have been closed until further notice to reduce transmission.

  “We’re a small community where the virus could spread very quickly. We’re asking everyone not to panic, but to stay at home and follow all the guidelines,” Anoquot said.

  …

  Public health units throughout the province reported 346 new cases of COVID-19 Saturday and 13 virus-related deaths.

  Before Saturday, the province went five days without reporting over 300 new cases.

  According to provincial data, 286 COVID-19 patients were in intensive care units at Ontario hospitals Saturday with 183 on ventilators.

  On the vaccination front, 256,260 doses of the COVID-19 vaccines were administered Friday – a new single-day record.

  In total, 13.8 million doses have been administered in the province, representing over 76 per cent of those eligible with one dose, and 30 per cent of those eligible fully immunized.

  

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