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Covid 19 270Over the past weeks, there has been an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in Grey-Bruce – as of November 18th there were 42 active cases, and close to 200 active high risk contacts in Grey and Bruce Counties. In addition, there has been a significant increase in the average number of close contacts for each case in the second wave compared to the first wave. The increases in these numbers are cumulative. If the trend continues, the case and contact management capacity, that we need to maintain control over the situation, will be challenged.

On Thursday afternoon, the Grey Bruce Health Unit reported 12 new cases over the past 24 hours in Grey Bruce, the most in a single day in Grey-Bruce since 14 cases were recorded on April 18, early in the pandemic; Southgate – 6, Hanover – 2, Owen Sound – 1, Blue Mountains – 1, Kincardine – 1, Grey Highlands – 1.

There have been 256 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Grey-Bruce to date.

Based on the increase in numbers, most likely, the Grey Bruce Health Unit will be moving from the Green to the Yellow level of the Ontario's COVID-19 colour-coded framework in the imminent future. This means greater restrictions and enhanced enforcement – including operational restrictions on bars and restaurants, sports and recreational facilities, personal care services, retail spaces and other businesses – an outcome that none of us desires. Collectively, it is in our control to change course.

The increase in numbers is most likely an indication of people lowering their guards due to COVID fatigue; fatigue in maintaining essential public health prevention measures. It is important, as we enter the winter months that we re-focus our energy on the basic measures that we can control, and that are most effective at keeping us, and people around us safe – the same ones that got us through the first wave. These measures, including the 3 Ws are:

  • Wash your hands frequently

  • Watch your distance (ideally 2 m)

  • Wear your face covering correctly

  • Avoid Crowds

  • Arrange for outdoor activities instead of indoors whenever possible

  • Stay home if you are sick

  • Avoid close contact (unprotected contact within 6ft of each other) with those from outside your household

  • Avoid travel to areas with higher transmission and minimize non-essential travel

  • Be kind, be calm, be safe

  • Stay informed

Some people say we are done with the virus. The truth of the matter, the virus is not done with us,” said Grey Bruce top Doctor Ian Arra. “The virus is not going to stop, until we stop it. It is critical that we stay focused on preventing the spread of the virus, and work together to protect the most vulnerable of us.”

For more information, visit www.publichealthgreybruce.on.ca