In Grey-Bruce, green means caution, not ‘anything goes’

·3 min read

GREY-BRUCE – The local health unit continues to deal with an outbreak at Grey Bruce Health Services (the hospital) in Owen Sound. The outbreak was declared on March 20. As of press time, it was the only outbreak in facilities in Grey-Bruce, including schools and daycares.

The outbreak involves four patients and is contained on one floor. Public health measures are in place to prevent transmission, including lockdown and visitor restrictions.

Otherwise, the area remains in the green zone. Green does not mean “anything goes,” according to the health unit. People are advised to avoid social gatherings, maintain distancing and stay home as much as possible. Limit close contacts to those within your household. Work from home if possible. Avoid travel except for essential reasons (work, food and medications, medical appointments, school, childcare, getting exercise or walking pets). Wear masks correctly indoors if anyone outside your household is within two metres, or when physical distancing isn’t possible.

As of Thursday, March 25, there were 48 active cases of COVID-19 in Grey-Bruce, including nine cases in the previous 24 hours.

This brings the total number of cases to 781. Four people are hospitalized.

Vaccine update

A total of 21,369 doses of vaccine have been administered in Grey-Bruce.

As of Monday, people aged 75 and older (born in 1946 or earlier) are able to book appointments for their COVID-19 shot through the provincial booking system, by calling 1-888-999-6488 or through the Grey Bruce Health Unit website.

Problems with the province’s on-line and toll-free phone line system have apparently been resolved, although reports of problems continue coming in. The health unit is working with the province to address any issues.

Owen Sound bar

The health unit is currently investigating a case of COVID-19 associated with The Pub in Owen Sound. People who were at the bar on Wednesday, March 17 and Thursday, March 18 are potentially at risk and should seek testing at the nearest assessment centre between March 25 and 27. Anyone who was at the bar on March 17 or 18 and who is experiencing symptoms is asked to call public health at 1-800-263-3456 ext. 3000.

The health unit stresses only those who were in the bar on the two dates are at risk.

Hockey hub

The government of Manitoba is utilizing the Grey Bruce Health Unit’s hockey hub mass vaccination clinic model.

The model that’s being tested in Manitoba “was inspired by the hockey hub model used in part of Ontario …” according to a Manitoba government press release. The press release describes the new process: people enter the vaccination site, register and are escorted to a station. Immunizers move from client to client with a cart of supplies, meaning they focus on immunizing, which vastly increases the number of immunizations completed in an hour. The client stays in one place and staff come to them.

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