Grey Bruce is no longer a provincially designated COVID-19 hot spot, according to the Grey Bruce Health Unit (GBHU).
“We thank everyone for their continued support as we collectively work together to bring numbers down,” said Dr. Ian Arra, medical officer of health for GBHU in a news release.
“If the weekly pattern of new cases continues to decrease or remain stable thru the coming long weekend, we will be in a good position to move to full Step 3. Until then, we are asking the public in Grey Bruce to stay the course with the modified Step 3,” Arra continued.
Arra explained that the health unit has taken a two-pronged approach to control the surge - through aggressive vaccine roll out programming and efficient case and contact management.
“Over the past 16 months, the team was able to bring down every surge keeping the number of new cases to a manageable level of less than five per day with many days without any new cases,” Arra continued.
The delta variant was first identified in Grey Bruce in early June. The province declared the region to be a delta hot spot on July 8.
“Our experience with the Delta variant is an unfortunate proof of how extremely efficient and effective it is at transmitting, and at causing severe disease leading to hospitalizations and deaths,” Arra said.
The health unit reports that the majority of transmission during the latest surge was found in individuals who were not fully vaccinated.
Over the past few weeks the GBHU has increased the number of pop-up vaccine clinics in the region, something Arra says will continue with drop-in clinics being available every day.
“We have reached the vaccine coverage target for the regular strains of COVID-19. However, with Delta now the dominant variant, we need to reach a higher vaccine target of 90 per cent coverage. Therefore, we are ramping up the targeted vaccination strategy adding more pop-up and drive through clinics,” he said.
Vaccine appointments can be made through the provincial on-line booking system for COVID-19 vaccinations at ontario.ca/bookvaccine. All Ontarians aged 18 years or older are eligible to re-book their second-dose appointments for an earlier time.
In addition, GBHU has an app to assist Grey-Bruce residents in booking their COVID-19 vaccine appointments. The app is available free to download from Google Play and Apple Stores for all mobile devices and tablets.
Those without access to the internet can call the toll-free number 1-888-999-6488. For additional information on the health unit’s vaccine roll out program, visit the GBHU website.
Jennifer Golletz, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CollingwoodToday.ca