The Grey Bruce Health Unit reported four new COVID-19 cases Jan. 22, including three long-term care residents from Huron-Perth who were transferred to the hospital in Kincardine.
One new case was found in West Grey.
Grey-Bruce Medical Officer of Health Dr. Ian Arra said he didn’t know why the decision to move long-term care patients from their home in Huron-Perth to a Grey-Bruce hospital was made. He said the patients are “low-level” care and therefore not reported as hospital cases in the daily situation report. He went on to say hospital resources are at a premium and stays expensive – estimated at $2,000 a night to house the three residents – and generally long-term care residents are better off isolating at their homes if at all possible.
Arra didn’t want to speculate about the transfer of long-term care patients to the Kincardine hospital for isolation and said he would know more Jan. 25 after meeting with hospital leadership.
Huron Perth Public Health was reporting six active long-term care home outbreaks, two active retirement home outbreaks and one active hospital outbreak Jan. 22, according to its website.
A story on the Stratford Beacon Herald’s website posted Friday afternoon reported a total of seven residents of the Caressant Care long-term-care home in Listowel have died after testing positive for COVID-19, including three more deaths Friday. So far, the outbreaks at both Caressent Care’s long-term care and retirement homes have infected about 100 people – 43 residents and 21 staff members from the long-term care side and 29 residents and seven staff from the adjoining retirement home, according to the Beacon Herald’s report.
Seventy-two of those cases were considered active as of Jan. 22 – 50 residents and 22 staff.
There are now 35 active confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Grey-Bruce region with one probable case and 75 high-risk contacts being following by contact tracers.
Two people with COVID-19 are currently hospitalized. No deaths have been attributed to COVID-19 in Grey-Bruce.
To date, 668 people have contracted COVID-19 including 41 healthcare workers. Of those, 588 have recovered and 45 people were referred to other health units.
An expected shipment of the Pfizer vaccine to Grey-Bruce next week has been officially cancelled, Arra said. He said there’s a chance the Moderna vaccine could take its place.
Arra said the 200 long-term care staff and residents vaccinated last week are still on track to get their second dose in the allotted timeframe.
Public health units throughout Ontario reported 2,662 new cases of COVID-19 Jan. 22, including 779 new cases in Toronto, 542 in Peel and 228 in York Region.
Health officials reported 87 new deaths linked to the virus, bringing the provincial total to 5,701.
As of the morning of Jan. 22, 1,512 patients with COVID-19 were hospitalized with 383 in intensive-care units and 291 on a ventilator.
Over 70,000 COVID-19 tests were conducted in the 24-hour period preceding Friday’s data totals. Of those, 3.3 per cent were confirmed positive for the virus.
The province has administered 264,985 vaccinations, according to provincial data, with 11,168 doses administered in the last 24-hour reporting period.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters the CEO of Pfizer promised “hundreds of thousands” of COVID-19 vaccine doses will be shipped to Canada in mid-February and the weeks following.
Trudeau reiterated that Pfizer will ensure Canada gets its four million promised doses by the end of March, though the next few weeks will be “challenging” as the pharmaceutical company works to upgrade its manufacturing plants.
As of Jan. 25, the Grey Bruce Health Unit’s daily situation reports will align with the data in the provincial case and contact management (CCM) software and be automated.
The Grey Bruce Health Unit’s daily situation reports began in March of last year and the provincial CCM reports did not begin until late summer, according to a news release.
The reports will now cover the 24-hour period from midnight-to-midnight of the previous day and reflect case totals up to that point. The total number of cases will no longer include cases transferred to other health units. The number of health care workers will include health care workers who live in Grey Bruce but work in other jurisdictions. Previously, only health care workers who work in Grey Bruce were being reported.
Arra said the changes would result in approximately 50 cases being removed from the region’s data.
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases intubated in Grey-Bruce will be added to the new situation reports.
The current municipal data table that shows total, active, probable and recovered cases will also be changed. Instead of a numerical table, a new bar graph presentation will be used to provide information divided by county and First Nations.
The new and the historical situation reports will continue to be viewable on the Grey Bruce Health Unit’s website.
Bruce Power announced it has donated an ultra-low temperature freezer to Huron Perth Public Health.
The freezer will be housed at the health unit’s Clinton location and will allow HPPH to keep the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine at its necessary temperature as vaccinations in Huron-Perth for priority populations continue.
“Having access to this freezer unit will facilitate the continued roll-out of our local vaccine program as it will allow us to receive vaccine directly into our community once supplies permit. As our vaccination program progresses, we ask that all residents remain safe, stay at home, and follow all provincial health guidelines. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, so let’s all do our part to get there safely,” said Dr. Miriam Klassen, Huron Perth’s medical officer of health, in a news release.
Bruce Power donated a similar freezer to the Grey Bruce Health Unit, which is housed at the health unit’s building in Owen Sound.