Grey-Bruce should expect more local COVID deaths to come: Arra

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Another death due to COVID-19 reported Thursday by the Grey-Bruce Health Unit brought the total to 34 local deaths during pandemic.


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There have been six deaths reported among Grey-Bruce residents in the past week, representing 21 per cent of the total deaths attributed to the pandemic virus.

Dr. Ian Arra, the medical officer of health, said Thursday the majority of recent deaths were among unvaccinated people. He said to maintain privacy, it’s easier to provide vaccination status for groups than for individuals.

There are 13 local people in hospital due to the virus: 10 hospitalized in Grey-Bruce and three more in hospital outside Grey-Bruce. A week ago there were 15 local people in hospital: 12 in Grey-Bruce and three outside Grey-Bruce.

Figures were current to midnight Wednesday, the health unit’s daily situation report said.

“The number of hospitalized patients is high, but has not been increasing over the past week,” Arra said by text message. “If any, slightly decreasing. However, we need to remember that the numbers in Grey-Bruce are too low to make solid conclusions on trend of hospitalization.”

Still, it’s a good sign, he said later by phone, and noted provincial hospitalizations are also decreasing. But with the numbers of local people in hospital, we should expect more deaths, Arra said, a decreasing number over time though.

The health unit continues to ask people to follow the 3Ws — wash your hands; watch your distance from others, ideally keep two metres apart; and wear a face covering correctly. There are the 2A’s too: avoid crowds, and arrange for outdoor activities rather than indoor activities where possible. Sick people are advised to stay home.


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Ontario announced some surgeries paused due to a surge in COVID-19 cases will start resuming on Monday, the Ottawa Citizen reported.

Non-urgent surgeries were put on hold in early January to preserve hospital capacity, affecting an estimated 8,000 to 10,000 procedures a week. A spokeswoman for Health Minister Christine Elliott said Thursday that some surgeries and procedures will resume in stages starting next week, as the province begins to lift some public health restrictions on businesses and social gatherings.

Alex Hilkene said the first stage will include pediatrics, diagnostic services, cancer screenings, some ambulatory clinics, private hospitals, and independent health facilities.

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Ontario reported on Thursday that hospitalizations declined sharply to 3,645 patients with COVID-19, down from 4,016 the day before. It also reported 70 additional deaths, which occurred over the past 19 days. Provincial COVID deaths now sit at 11,230.

Of 599 people in an intensive care unit due to COVID, 366 require a ventilator. That’s nine fewer patients in ICU due to COVID and one fewer on a ventilator than the day before. Of the 599 cases, 566 are testing positive and 33 are testing negative.

There were 577 people who tested positive for COVID in an ICU a week ago.

Health Minister Christine Elliott tweeted that 82 per cent of current ICU patients were admitted for COVID-19 and 18 per cent were admitted for other reasons but tested positive for COVID.


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The province reported 83.2 per cent of people in Ontario aged five and older are fully vaccinated against COVID, and 88.7 per cent of that group has had at least one shot.

There were 5,852 new confirmed COVID cases in Ontario reported Thursday, based on limited testing eligibility.

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Among the limited numbers eligible to be tested for COVID now, 36 more people tested positive in Grey-Bruce.

That brings the total, confirmed count to 5,375 since the start of the pandemic, with 168 known active cases. There are 5,169 cases considered resolved. There have been 366 health-care workers infected with the virus.

Seven local long-term care and retirement homes remain with COVID-19 outbreaks, unchanged from Wednesday’s report.

Outbreaks continue at Rockwood Terrace in Durham, which has been ongoing since Dec. 23, Errinrung Nursing Home and Errinrung Retirement Home in Thornbury, Parkview Manor in Chesley, Mapleview Long-Term Care Home in Owen Sound, Summit Place in Owen Sound and Seasons in Owen Sound.

There have been 4,193 doses of COVID vaccine administered in the past week and 343,625 doses given since vaccines became available.

Two vaccination clinics are scheduled for Friday: at Sydenham Campus in Owen Sound from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and at Flesherton Kinplex in Flesherton, from noon to 6 p.m. Appointments are recommended by not required. To book, call the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900 or visit the COVID-19 Vaccination Portal online at .



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