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Grey-Bruce sends COVID-fighting team to Peel 'hockey hub'

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Grey Bruce Health Unit staff assisted at a COVID-19 immunization clinic in Peel on Saturday, demonstrating the “hockey hub” mass-immunization system devised in Grey-Bruce.

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A group of 25 clinical and non-clinical staff shared their expertise with staff from Peel at an immunization clinic held at an NHL-sized hockey rink at the CAA Centre in Brampton. The hub there opened June 3.

About 5,700 vaccines were administered in one day using the hockey hub model, which is a streamlined flow-through process designed to administer more vaccines with fewer clinical staff than traditional mass-vaccination clinics.

“I cannot be more proud of every one of our team members, and of every minute we invested,” Grey-Bruce Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Ian Arra, was quoted saying in a news release Monday.

“Most of what we do in public health is seldom immediate and the benefit is usually long-term before we see results. This was different. The joy and sense of fulfillment of volunteering in Peel has been immediate and I believe will be long-lasting.”

The news release also acknowledged the Peel health unit’s tremendous effort to manage the pandemic. Peel is a provincial hot spot for the virus, where the newest variant of concern first found in India, the highly contagious delta variant, is taking hold.

And it thanked Bruce Power, the nuclear operator in Bruce County, for its leadership in supporting public heath and Peel’s fundraising, funding and logistics involved with the Peel hub.

The Grey Bruce Health Unit has shared the hockey hub model provincially and staff have fielded questions from health units, primary care providers, health-care agencies, municipalities and industries across Ontario, Manitoba, British Columbia and New Zealand, the health unit said more than a week ago.

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The health unit holds weekly online seminars to explain the system. Some places it has been adopt as-is, while other places have  adapted it to their specific needs, he said. There have been upwards of 40 inquiries.

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Seven more cases of COVID-19 in Grey-Bruce brought the number of active cases in Grey-Bruce to 43 Monday.

The new cases — two each in Owen Sound and West Grey and one each in Hanover, Brockton and Saugeen Shores — were confirmed as of midnight Sunday and were contained in the situation report of the Grey Bruce Health Unit.

There have been 1,395 confirmed cases of COVID in Grey-Bruce since the start of the pandemic. Of those, 397 have been variants of concern. There’s one local, active case identified as a variant of concern now.

The health unit is also following 86 high-risk contacts of confirmed cases. So far, 1,345 cases have resolved.

No Grey-Bruce residents are in hospital locally due to COVID-19. Four people with the pandemic virus who are in hospital here were brought from other health unit areas. Those numbers aren’t included in local totals.  Two Grey-Bruce cases are in hospital outside of Grey-Bruce.

There are five local deaths due to COVID, plus two related deaths. There have been 99 health-care workers infected with COVID, both living in Grey-Bruce and working in and outside Grey-Bruce.

There have been 119,169 doses of COVID-19 vaccine given in Grey-Bruce, 11,180 over the past week, the health unit’s online vaccination overview says. The vaccinations have been given at least once to 68.6 per cent of those eligible, aged 12 and up.

The percentage of the population to have received both required doses is 13.7 per cent.

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