GBHU Update, Nov. 16: Health unit concerned over rising numbers of COVID-19 cases

·2 min read

GREY-BRUCE – It took from March to May for the number of COVID-19 cases to reach 100. The area didn’t see the 200th case until Nov. 12.

Since then, there have been 24 cases of COVID-19 reported throughout Grey-Bruce, with the most recent being three in Southgate.

The health unit is working with the Bluewater District School Board to address a case in Northern Bruce Peninsula involving a school. The health unit is handling contact tracing and will get in touch with anyone deemed to be at risk. No school bus routes are affected.

As of press time, the total number of cases in Grey-Bruce stood at 224, with 33 active cases. No one is currently hospitalized, and there are no outbreaks in facilities (long-term care homes, schools or daycares).

Currently, Grey-Bruce remains Green – Prevent. In order to remain there, the local health unit states on its website, “We must stay vigilant with COVID-19 precautions. We have been seeing a deeply concerning trend of a significant increase in the number of cases locally, and in the number of close contacts of these cases.

“These findings are indicative of fatigue related to following public health measures. It is important that we refocus our energy on the basic measures that can keep us safe – the same ones that got us through the spring first wave, including the three Ws of washing hands frequently, watching distance (ideally six feet) and wear face coverings correctly (over both nose and mouth).”

The increase in numbers locally led to discussion on what to do about the community recovery centre located in Kincardine.

The other community recovery centre in Hanover has been dismantled, with the components stored in case there’s a need. The council there decided it was important to get the ice surface back in use. Neither recovery centre was used prior to the dismantling of the one in Hanover.

In light of rising numbers, Kincardine council has agreed to leave the recovery centre at the Davidson Centre in place for now. It’s in a gym, not on an ice surface (like Hanover’s), and public health has given permission for the indoor walking track above the gym to be used. There was some concern expressed at a recent council meeting in Kincardine that if the centre is dismantled, the components will not remain in the area but will be appropriated for use in an area where numbers are much higher.

Neighbouring health units are reporting spikes in the numbers of cases, and deaths, including at long-term care homes.

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