BROCKTON – Mayor Chris Peabody said he’s concerned about the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in Grey-Bruce.
“We’ve gone from being the second-lowest in the province to the second-highest (per capita),” he said.
“We’re above Waterloo.”
Peabody said the medical officer of health, Dr. Ian Arra, describes the surge in cases as involving people who are homeless and/or take drugs, with four “hot spots” in the area.
“I’m afraid it will jump to the general population,” Peabody said, noting the Delta variant is here, and it’s much more transmissible than the original strain of COVID-19. The homeless population tends to move around a lot, he noted.
“It came as a shock, to go through three waves of COVID with the second-best rates in the province, and become the second-worst,” he said.
On a positive note, Peabody drew attention to the fact Brockton appears to have avoided the latest outbreak (connected with the Forum in Hanover). There’s been only one new case of COVID-19 in Brockton in the past few days.
The influx of additional vaccine should help. Peabody credited MPP Lisa Thompson with accomplishing that. Word was received during a phone call from Premier Doug Ford to Grey County Warden Selwyn Hicks, regarding the weekend’s tornado, that more vaccines were on the way to Grey-Bruce.
Peabody also credits Thompson with pushing forward Brockton’s concerns about the new joint police services board (see story on page 1).
Brockton had contacted the Solicitor General asking to continue with a stand-alone police board. Provision has been made for stand-alone boards under the new system, where joint boards aren’t practical for geographic or other reasons. The other two options were to become part of the detachment-based joint board, or to relinquish any seat on the board.
Thompson relayed information that the Solicitor General prefers Brockton be part of the joint board, with Kincardine, Huron-Kinloss, Arran-Elderslie and South Bruce, but was willing to “meet us halfway,” said Peabody. “The Solicitor General heard our concerns and was amenable to a larger board to allow good representation.”
He described it as “a good outcome.”
Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times