12,000 people have now been vaccinated against COVID-19 in Huron-Perth
BY DENNY SCOTT
Over the past week, Huron Perth Public Health hit a milestone having administered over 10,000 COVID-19 vaccines.
As of Monday, HPPH had administered 11,987 doses, including first and second doses. According to the organization’s website, that number includes both Huron and Perth County residents immunized outside of the area as well as doses given at HPPH clinics, which can include both residents and non-residents. HPPH has also administered 114,807 tests.
As of Monday, vaccine eligibility in Huron and Perth Counties had been extended to those who will turn 75 this year to those who are 79 years old. All healthcare workers are also eligible as of Monday morning. Similar to when vaccine appointments first opened for residents 80 years or older, the booking system wasn’t available for long.
During a teleconference on Monday, Huron Perth Medical Officer of Health Dr. Miriam Klassen said there was a spike in usage due to the new eligibility, which resulted in some technical issues. To “make sure everyone gets the smoothest experience” the system was taken down and relaunched Tuesday morning.
HPPH announced that residents may continue to register for vaccines once the booking system is reopened through the Huron Perth Public Health website at www.hpph.ca/vaccinebooking or by calling 1-833-753-2098.
During a teleconference last Thursday, Klassen reported that the prophesized third wave had not hit Huron and Perth Counties, but that it could arrive soon.
“Everything doesn’t happen at the same time,” she said. “Huron and Perth aren’t in the third wave. In other regions, however, case counts have gone up and hospitalizations and ICU hospitalizations have gone up. I think a third wave has probably started. How big it will be and how far it will spread depends on many factors.”
During that press conference last week, Klassen also addressed the possibility of nearby areas entering lockdowns, focusing on areas around Toronto and Niagara.
“We’ll continue to watch case counts and the pressures in our hospitals and ICUs,” she said. “There truly are no walls. When another region is struggling with rates of transmission, that’s a problem for us all.… It could reach us eventually.”
As for local statistics, there are currently no reported outbreaks in any facilities in Huron and Perth Counties. There are also no patients currently hospitalized as a result of COVID-19.
As for local cases, 15 new cases have been identified since last Monday, bringing Huron and Perth County’s cumulative total to 1,401 COVID-19 cases.
Locally, the majority of municipalities have stayed at the same number of cases as last week including Huron East (101), North Huron (46), Morris-Turnberry (45), Howick (35), Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh (23) and Goderich (19).
New cases have been identified in South Huron, which is up two cumulative cases to 103, Central Huron, which is up one cumulative case to 53, and Bluewater, which is up two cumulative cases to 36.
In Perth County, only North Perth (348 cumulative cases) and Perth East (138 cases) have a static number of cases. Stratford gained six new cases over the past week for a total of 350. Perth South reported two new cases for a total of 40, St. Marys has one new case for a total of 33 and West Perth has one new case for a total of 31.
Active cases can be found in Stratford (seven), Central Huron (two), South Huron (two), Perth South (two), West Perth (one) and St. Marys (one).
In terms of likely acquisition, outbreak-related scenarios continue to be the most prevalent with 29.3 per cent of cases likely tied to an outbreak. Household contact accounts for 26.8 per cent of likely acquisitions while close contact accounts for 16.8 per cent. Travel accounts for 1.2 per cent. More than one quarter of cases are tied to unknown acquisition situations in Huron and Perth Counties, with 25.8 per cent attributed.
There are currently 114 under isolation orders in the HPPH area, and 3,992 isolation orders have been issued since Aug. 13, 2020, when HPPH began making that information public.
The Avon-Maitland District School Board, as of Monday, had one active COVID-19 advisory attached to Romeo Public School in Stratford. The advisory notes that the students with confirmed COVID-19 cases did not attend school during an infectious period, therefore the chance of spread is low. The school remains open and no classes have been cancelled as a result. The Huron Perth Catholic District School Board is reporting no active COVID-19 advisories.