Record set for largest-ever COVID-19 clinic in Hanover

·3 min read

GREY-BRUCE – The Grey Bruce Health Unit set a record for the largest-ever COVID-19 vaccination clinic on April 8.

At the “hockey hub” clinic in Hanover, 3,498 doses of vaccine were administered. According to the Grey Bruce Health Unit, this is the largest volume single-day mass immunization event in Canada.

The hockey hub model was developed by Grey-Bruce’s medical officer of health, Dr. Ian Arra. The concept has been adopted by a number of health units across Ontario as well as the provinces of Manitoba and Alberta.

On average, 350 people per hour were vaccinated at the April 8 clinic. Clinic staff included five vaccinators working at all times – one was a volunteer physician. Five rows of 30 pods each were used. An additional 10 staff were kept busy reconstituting vaccine, mixing and drawing vaccine into syringes. Twenty volunteers worked three-hour shifts at the eight registration desks; 10 town volunteers co-ordinated parking outside; four Grey County EMS volunteers assisted in both clinical and non-clinical capacities.

That wasn’t the only clinic in Grey-Bruce that day – three smaller traditional clinics administered 282 doses of vaccine.

The area is seeing an increase in new cases of COVID-19. While far from the hundreds of new cases being experienced daily in “hot spots” to the south, the numbers are rising from a mere handful per day to over 10 per day and climbing.

As of press time, there were 90 active cases with 405 active high-risk contacts. On Monday of this week, 12 new cases were reported across Grey-Bruce – three in Kincardine, two in Owen Sound, and one in each of Chatsworth, Hanover, Meaford, South Bruce, Southgate, Town of the Blue Mountains and West Grey. This brings the cumulative total to 946 confirmed cases, with 93 of them variants of concern including 28 active cases.

One person was hospitalized with COVID-19 in Grey-Bruce as of press time.

To date, 37,562 doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been administered, as the local health unit’s vaccination program continues. This week, staff at all public, Catholic and private schools; childcare staff; and staff and residents from local shelter services and congregate settings, are being offered the vaccine.

People over the age of 60, as well as certain other high-risk groups including Indigenous people, and immunocompromised patients receiving chemotherapy, are eligible to receive the vaccine by booking appointments through the provincial booking system; all others can book through the Grey Bruce Health Unit portal.

There are no outbreaks reported in hospitals or long-term care homes – the outbreak at Grey Bruce Health Services was declared over as of April 8.

There are no outbreaks in daycares, but there is a suspected outbreak at Queen of Hearts Nursery School in Owen Sound. One case has been confirmed and seven probable cases indentified.

An outbreak was declared at Notre Dame Catholic School in Owen Sound on April 12, with three confirmed cases identified. Two bus routes are involved.

Probable cases have been reported at a number of other area schools including Hanover Heights Community School, St. Mary’s High School in Owen Sound, Immaculate Conception School in Formosa, and Beaver Valley School in Thornbury.

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