Grey Bruce no longer a COVID-19 hot spot

          Dr. Ian Arra

According to Dr. Ian Arra, Medical Officer of Health, “Grey Bruce is no longer a provincially designated COVID-19 Hot Spot. We thank everyone for their continued support as we collectively work together to bring numbers down.

If the weekly pattern of new cases continues to decrease or remain stable thru the coming long weekend, we will be in a good position to move to full Step 3. Until then, we are asking the public in Grey Bruce to stay the course with the modified Step 3.

Our experience with the Delta variant is an unfortunate proof of how extremely efficient and effective it is at transmitting, and at causing sever disease leading to hospitalizations and deaths.

A two-pronged approach is necessary. Robust Case and Contact Management (CCM) was crucial in bringing this latest Delta variant surge under control. However, as the majority of transmission during the last surge was in individuals who were not fully vaccinated, an aggressive roll-out of vaccine is indispensable to ensure it does not return.

The CCM in Grey Bruce Health Unit is second to none with robust protocols and most importantly a committed and experienced team. Over the past 16 months, the team was able to bring down every surge keeping the number of new cases to a manageable level of less than 5 per day with many days without any new cases.

We conducted Social Network Analysis of the surge in Grey Bruce (attached). With the increase in our numbers, we could share this work without threatening privacy.

This analysis identified:

·       Majority of transmission was in individuals who were not fully vaccinated
·       Main drivers of outbreak were private gatherings/parties and transient/low economic          status/crowded housing
·       High numbers of high risk contacts
·       No increased risk of transmission in workplace/regulated settings (10+ locations                 investigated)

 Without question, vaccination is the only way to prevent a 4th wave and our way out of this pandemic.

Working with our partners and volunteers, the Grey Bruce Health Unit took vaccines to the community with both mass and targeted vaccinations. We vaccinated about 70,000 people, 50% of eligible public in Grey Bruce, in the past four weeks. The mass vaccination strategy has been successful in achieving its purpose and is ramping down.

We have reached the vaccine coverage target for the regular strains of COVID-19. However, with Delta now the dominant variant, we need to reach a higher vaccine target of 90% coverage. Therefore, we are ramping up the targeted vaccination strategy adding more pop-up and drive through clinics.

We need everyone’s help to encourage those who have not had their vaccine to get protected. Having everyone who is eligible fully vaccinated is the most successful way to prevent COVID-19. There are Drop-In Vaccine Clinics every day in Grey Bruce. Vaccine Schedule