The Grey Bruce Health Unit reported 21 new COVID-19 cases Thursday, and Public Health Ontario has reported 99 per cent of the region’s active cases are a result of the highly transmissible and more severe Delta variant.
The newest cases were reported in Owen Sound (9), Brockton (3), Meaford (2), Saugeen First Nation (2), Arran-Elderslie, Grey Highlands, Saugeen Shores, South Bruce Peninsula and Southgate.
According to the health unit’s report, there are now 20 Grey-Bruce residents infected with the virus who require hospitalization. Seventeen of those are receiving care locally while three have been transferred outside of the region.
Thirteen Grey-Bruce residents have died because of COVID-19 and the virus is suspected to have played a part in three additional local deaths, pending further investigation.
On Wednesday, Dr. Ian Arra, Grey-Bruce’s medical officer of health, said there was reason to believe the virus may have played a part in their deaths but it wasn’t conclusive, and neither of the three individuals died in the hospital.
Arra confirmed Thursday the investigations may take weeks to complete, as per the coroner.
There were 182 active and confirmed COVID-19 cases in the region as of just before midnight Wednesday, and 331 high-risk contacts.
Public Health Ontario’s data shows 183 confirmed COVID-19 cases involve the Delta variant in Grey-Bruce, which is only behind Peel Region, Waterloo Region, and Toronto.
Grey-Bruce was declared a Delta variant hot-spot this past week.
To date, 1,920 Grey-Bruce residents have had infections confirmed by the health unit including 102 health care workers. Of those, 1,723 cases are now considered resolved.
The health unit has now administered 199,264 doses of the COVID-19 vaccines including 17,326 in the past seven days.
Nearly 94,000 Grey-Bruce residents have now been fully immunized with two doses of the vaccine, and another 21,991 people have received a single dose.
On Thursday, the health unit was operating five drop-in vaccination clinics in the region in Hanover, Owen Sound, Dundalk, Walkerton and Thornbury.
Four drop-in clinics will be available Friday, at the P&H Centre in Hanover (8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.), Davidson Centre in Kincardine (8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.), Mildmay Arena (starting at 10 a.m.), and Saugeen Shores PLEX (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.)
Vaccination clinics by appointment are taking place this weekend at the Blue Mountains Community Health Centre. Appointments can be booked through local or provincial booking portals.
Public health units throughout Ontario reported 143 new COVID-19 cases Thursday and 10 additional virus-related deaths.
The seven-day rolling average of daily case counts fell to 155 and the test-positivity rate from the processing of over 31,000 COVID-19 swabs was 0.5 per cent.
Ministry of Health data showed 168 people were in hospital with COVID-19 and being treated in intensive care units.
Public health units collectively administered another 166,201 doses of COVID-19 vaccines yesterday, of which roughly 88 per cent were second shots.
More than 57 per cent of eligible Ontarians have now received two doses of the vaccine.
Meanwhile, Ontario Premier Doug Ford rebuked the idea of implementing vaccine passports in Ontario as the province was set to enter Step 3 of its reopening.