GREY-BRUCE – The local health unit reported Thursday that there had been one new case of COVID (Huron-Kinloss) in the previous 24 hours.
The number of active cases has dropped to 30, with 60 active high-risk contacts. The cumulative total of confirmed cases stands at 1,342, including 384 cases of variants of concern, 30 of them active.
Four Grey-Bruce residents are hospitalized with COVID. In addition, five people have been transferred in from other areas to local intensive care units.
No facility outbreaks are reported.
The Grey Bruce Health Unit vaccination program continues to operate in high gear, with several recent clinics. To date, 93,258 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered.
The provincial vaccine booking system is now open to anyone 12 and over – visit Ontario.ca/bookvaccine or call 1-888-999-6488.
Dr. Ian Arra, medical officer of health, continues to discourage asymptomatic testing despite an initiative by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, and Ontario and Canadian governments, to make rapid testing kits available free of charge for businesses with fewer than 150 employees.
During a recent meeting of Kincardine council, Arra said testing should be done for people who have symptoms or are close contacts of someone with symptoms, as directed by public health. There is a risk with asymptomatic testing of false positives (and negatives) which could result in people having to isolate unnecessarily, or of not isolating when they need to, and unnecessary business disruptions – especially in an area like Grey-Bruce where the pandemic is under control.
The provincial stay-at-home order remains in effect until June 2, although the province has eased up on some outdoor recreation amenities.
These include golf courses and driving ranges, soccer, tennis, basketball, pickleball courts and skate parks. COVID-19 restrictions such as the need to maintain physical distancing remain in effect. Use of picnic tables and park benches is permitted.
Garage sales are not permitted at this time.
The province’s plan for a gradual reopening indicates outdoor limits for social gatherings and organized public events will be expanded to five people, including members of different households.
The stay-at-home order means no travelling outside your region unless it’s absolutely necessary. Within your area, travel should be limited to what’s necessary – grocery shopping, health services, outdoor exercise for you and your pets, work that cannot be done from home, and child care.
Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times