As COVID-19 cases and deaths rise in Ontario, Grey-Bruce is one of only a handful of health units in Ontario to keep the COVID-19 death rate at zero.
Dr. Ian Arra is the Medical Officer of Health for the Grey-Bruce Health Unit.
"The public engagement of being concerned, informed, but not afraid, has been the cornerstone to the response in Grey-Bruce, I have no doubt," says Arra.
With 150 total cases, seven active cases, and zero deaths, Grey-Bruce has largely kept COVID-19 at bay. Grey-Bruce’s sparse population compared to the GTA, London, and Kitchener, certainly play a role in the low numbers, but Arra says lives have been spared due to the diligent work of health care workers, the commitment by local decision-makers, and consistent communication.
"The media’s input to provide timely and accurate information for people to make decisions that they need to make to protect themselves, and their family and the community, has been optimal. We’ve been well served by local journalism," says Arra.
Grey-Bruce is also home to Bruce Power, who have donated 1.7 million pieces of personal protective equipment to the region, including $200,000 worth of masks and sanitizers arriving in area schools this week.
"We do these things because it’s the right thing to do. Because we can do it," says Bruce Power CEO, Mike Rencheck.
During a virtual town hall last night, Arra told Grey-Bruce residents to assume each one of them has the virus, and that will help ensure they are acting in the most careful manner possible.
"Many people say we’re in the grip of the second wave, in Grey-Bruce I dare say we have a grip over the outbreak at this point, but it’s not the time to let our guard down," he says.
Arra says he is cautiously optimistic that there will be a vaccine available by year’s end. Until that is available, Arra says he and his staff will continue ‘burning both ends of the candle’ to keep Grey-Bruce’s COVID-19 deaths at zero.