GBHU update, Dec. 22: COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Grey-Bruce

·2 min read

GREY-BRUCE – As the province prepares to go into a major lockdown, which begins Dec. 26 and remains in effect for 28 days, the number of new cases of COVID-19 in Grey-Bruce continues to rise. Most concerning is the fact that as of press time, four people were hospitalized.

On Tuesday, five new cases had been reported in the previous 24 hours – two in Southgate and one in each of West Grey, Saugeen Shores, and Saugeen First Nation.

There have been 441 confirmed cases to date, with 34 active cases, 12 probable cases and 172 high-risk contacts associated with active cases.

Although no schools or daycares have outbreaks, two long-term care facilities do – The Village Seniors Long-Term Care in Hanover and Errinrung Long-Term Care Home in Thornbury. The outbreak at Lee Manor in Owen Sound has been declared over.

In both the Hanover and Thornbury facilities, the outbreaks involve staff. Public health will let people know if they are a close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, based on a thorough risk assessment.

One person has tested positive in a case associated with Normanby Community School in Ayton. There is no evidence that transmission took place within the school. The health unit has assessed the risk to the bus route and determined no further action is required.

As of Dec. 21, Ontario had reported 158,053 confirmed cases, with 2,123 new cases.

Donated masks help protect residents, staff

Bruce Power has donated over 120,000 non-medical grade face coverings to the communities in Grey and Bruce counties. Public health is directing the donation to long-term care and retirement homes because of new regulations requiring residents to wear face coverings. Utilizing the donation for this vulnerable sector provides enhanced protection for those living in long-term care and retirement homes.

Masks prevent the germs escaping from the wearer and reduce the over-all burden of germs in the environment.

This enhanced protection will provide more protection for those most vulnerable to the virus, and for those working with this high-risk group.

“Grey and Bruce communities are well served by Bruce Power’s donation to protect both residents and staff in these settings, while we wait for the vaccine,” said Dr. Ian Arra, medical officer of health. “This will help ensure that we can maintain our good standing to control the spread of COVID-19, especially in our most vulnerable populations.”

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