Cluster of cases in South Bruce Peninsula raises local concerns

·2 min read

GREY-BRUCE – One new case of COVID-19 was reported last week in South Bruce Peninsula, raising local concerns about a cluster of cases in that municipality.

Although the number of recent cases in the municipality is small (health unit numbers indicate eight over the past couple of weeks), it is disturbing to municipal officials who have responded by temporarily closing facilities including arenas. A notice on the municipal website stated, “In an abundance of caution the Wiarton Arena and Sauble Beach Community Centre facilities will be closed for two weeks.”

Prior to the recent cluster of cases, South Bruce Peninsula had had only four cases. As of Oct. 27, the total stood at 12.

The total number of active cases throughout Grey-Bruce as of press time was seven, all in South Bruce Peninsula.

There was one case awaiting confirmation. Not counting that case, the cumulative total was 172, including 32 health-care workers. As of press time, no one was hospitalized with COVID-19 and there were no outbreaks reported in long-term care homes, schools or daycares.

The local health unit continues to work with schools, meeting with boards and school officials. Contact tracing continues to exceed provincial targets.

Last week the Grey Bruce Health Unit worked closely with the Bruce-Grey Catholic District School Board to address a case of COVID-19 at Sacred Heart School in Walkerton. The health unit determined the transmission to this case did not occur at the school.

The health unit (not the school, place of business or physician) is the lead in all outbreaks, including those at schools, and will call people at risk, who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, within 24 hours. People who are not contacted do not need to be tested.

As provincial totals climb to alarming levels, other midwestern Ontario communities continue to see only a handful of new cases.

Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times