Five Haldimand-Norfolk residents have died of COVID-19 in past three weeks

·2 min read

Five Haldimand-Norfolk residents have died of COVID-19 in the past 19 days.

The health unit announced the most recent death Tuesday afternoon.

Four of the five deceased were unvaccinated, according to the health unit, while the fifth was fully vaccinated but had “severe underlying health conditions.”

Acting medical officer of health Dr. Matt Strauss said additional information about the fully vaccinated resident’s health was publicly disclosed because determining whether the patient died of COVID-19 or another condition “was rather more complicated than normal.”

“In recent cases of deaths in unvaccinated individuals, the patient’s physician did not find the situation unclear at all,” Strauss told The Spectator.

Aside from vaccination status, the health unit does not usually include any details about the deceased, such as their age, gender or hometown.

“I hope everyone involved can understand that there is a public health interest in disclosing some of this information but that we must be very careful not to add to a family’s grief, or violate confidentiality,” Strauss said.

“It is a difficult balance to strike.”

School outbreak in Delhi

Nearly 100 students at St. Frances Cabrini Elementary School in Delhi are studying from home due to a COVID-19 outbreak at the school.

Seven students have tested positive since Nov. 10, said Mike McDonald, director of education for the Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board.

In total, 92 of the school’s 310 students are currently learning virtually, which represents four entire classrooms and some students who caught the virus on the school bus.

“During the course of the outbreak, the school will, as always, continue to follow the direction of public health to ensure that it is held to the highest standards with regards to cleaning and PPE,” McDonald told The Spectator in an emailed statement.

He said no staff are off work and the affected students should be back in class on Monday.

The outbreak at St. Frances Cabrini is part of a recent spike in cases in Delhi, where 25 people have tested positive over the past week.

J.P. Antonacci, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Hamilton Spectator

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