Grey Bruce health unit notes slow decline in COVID-19 cases

The Grey Bruce health unit took extreme measures in April as COVID-19 infections spiked, but the region is starting to see a slow drop in cases.

For a region that typically reports single-case counts daily, it was shocking for health officials to confirm 70 new cases in one day last month, prompting the region's top doctor to call on residents to hunker down and stay indoors for 48-hours.

Just weeks later, Grey Bruce medical officer of health Dr. Ian Arra says the province's emergency brake appears to be working. "It takes two to three weeks for the result of that restriction to take place, and we've seen the numbers going down in mid-April, and there's a direct correlation between the two."

With infection counts currently considered manageable, Dr. Arra says many cases were being traced by public health as close contacts in the third wave.

"Contact tracing is just one tool. Nevertheless, the public's response to the provincial restrictions are the main driver in the control of the pandemic locally," he says.

The vaccine hub in Owen Sound was moved to the Julie McArthur Recreation Centre last week to ensure the established field hospital at the Bayshore Community Centre was ready if needed. To date, it has not been used.

"We have 10 people in hospital, seven were transfers from hot spots, and three were residents of Grey Bruce who needed that level of care," Dr. Arra notes.

So far, 61,000 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the region since the first long-term care resident was inoculated in mid-January.

The health unit says 41 per cent of residents have received at least their first shot.

On Monday, the health unit confirmed six new COVID-19 cases. The region currently has 59 active infections. To date, three people have lost their lives after contracting COVID-19.