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Grey Bruce Public Health: marginalized community has been driving COVID-19 infection rates up

Medical staff in a COVID-19 ward of hospital

In a situational update issued on June 28, Grey Bruce Public Health has addressed the reasons behind the recent surge in COVID-19 cases within the region:

"Grey Bruce is witnessing a slowing down in the rate of new cases connected with the recent surge of COVID-19 cases locally. The origins and the majority of cases associated with this surge can be traced to specific sectors of the community. The Delta variants appears to be driving the surge. Similar additional surges may be possible based on the experience of Delta in other locations where it is already widespread. COVID-19 remains a serious threat to unvaccinated adults, especially those middle-aged or older.

The Grey Bruce Health Unit is taking a multi-pronged approach to addressing this surge.

Public Health recognizes the majority of cases are situationally complex related to disadvantaged groups within our society, including housing challenged and people with substance use issues. As such, ensuring cases observe isolation and other protocols related to limiting transmission remain a difficulty with this population.

Public Health has scaled up our capacity in Case and Contact Management Team. We can confirm there is no backlog in case management. Public Health continues to work with partners to increase isolation compliance and to adhere to public health measures within this sector. This includes providing settings that individuals can use to safely isolate or contain positive cases in cohorts.

There is a strong relationship between caseloads and vaccination rates. It is evident cases rose more rapidly in communities with lower vaccination rates. The Delta variant is significantly more contagious than earlier variants.

The Grey Bruce Health Unit has requested massive shipments of vaccine from the province over the coming weeks. The goal is to have everyone in Grey Bruce with either their first or second vaccination by the end of July. These incoming vaccine supplies would be directed to larger numbers of daily mass immunization clinics being held in the three Hockey Hubs across Grey Bruce.

Public Health is also working with partners, including EMS, hospitals, physicians, and pharmacies, to provide targeted vaccine clinics to be held in locations appropriate to sectors of the community that are at greater risk due to housing and substance-use challenges.

The vaccines are effective against Delta, nearly eliminating any chances of serious illness.

It is clear vaccination is how the pandemic ends. The appearance of Delta variant makes vaccination even more valuable as the variant is raising the human cost associated with reluctance to get vaccinated. We continue to advise the public to get the first and second doses of vaccine, when eligible, as soon as possible."

Grey Bruce Public Health asks the public to remain vigilant in observing protocols to prevent transmission. Always observe the 3Ws; 

  • Wear a mask, 
  • Watch your social distancing, 
  • Wash your hands.


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