Grey Bruce residents asked to stay home following recent surge in COVID-19 cases

Dr. Ian Arra, Grey-Bruce Medical Officer of Health (Provided by Grey-Bruce Health Unit)

The Grey Bruce Health Unit is declaring a “critical threshold” of COVID-19 cases in the region, after reporting over 70 new cases of the virus in the past two days and hundreds of people deemed “close contacts”.

Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Ian Arra, says this situation requires a Grey-Bruce wide response to keep things from “spiraling out of control”.

“Everyone across Grey Bruce needs to consider themselves a carrier for the next 48 hours until we reach all cases and their contacts,” said Dr. Arra. “We are asking the public in Grey Bruce to immediately help us contain the situation and maintain control over the contact tracing.”

This stay-at-home request by GBHU will last for about two days and is in addition to the lockdown and stay-at-home order that is already in place by the provincial government.

As the result of the increasing case numbers, their contact tracing and case management capacity is being stretched to its limit. Public health will redeploy staff from other programs, including the vaccine program and helpline, in order to support contact tracing and case management.

The large vaccine clinic planned for Saturday will not be held. The vaccine clinics for the remainder of this week will continue, but consideration is being given to closing next week’s clinics in order to minimize the risk of people gathering as well as allowing public health staff to be redeployed.

Dr. Arra says the sources of transmission are identified as individuals not following lockdown with people visiting others when symptomatic as well as social gatherings and ‘bush parties’ by high school aged youth..

He adds some of these events do warrant some investigations by enforcement agencies such as police services, however, GBHU’s main focus is set on the health of the public and preventing any further cases through contact tracing.

A class action Order from the Medical Officer of Health will be issued to further reinforce the need for cases and close contacts to follow public health direction.