COVID-19 continues to spike in Perth County
BY DENNY SCOTT
Perth County continues to see a significant spike in confirmed COVID-19 cases, with the vast majority of 30 new cases across Huron and Perth being reported there.
As of Monday, Huron Perth Public Health (HPPH) has confirmed 278 cases across the two counties since the pandemic began, with 40 cases considered active. Of the remaining 238 cases, 222 have recovered and 16 have resulted in a fatality. Four patients are currently hospitalized.
The Cedarcroft Place outbreak continues at the Stratford retirement centre with 43 residents and 19 staff members testing positive for COVID-19, for a total of 62 cases.
More residents have been moved out of the centre after, initially, five residents with COVID-19 and five who had tested negative were moved to local healthcare facilities, including the Alexandra Marine and General Hospital in Goderich and the Wingham and District Hospital. The move was due to a lack of available staff available at the centre to combat the outbreak, as explained by Huron Perth Medical Officer of Health Dr. Miriam Klassen earlier this year.
During an online press conference last Thursday, HPPH Communications Manager Rebecca Hill said that an unknown number of patients have been transferred out of the centre.
Thus far, Huron and Perth Counties have had no outbreaks at schools and, with the second outbreak at Knollcrest Lodge in Perth East since the pandemic began being declared over, there are no active outbreaks at long-term care centres. Just the Cedarcroft retirement home outbreak remains active.
As a result of the spike over the previous weeks, November has become the most serious month for new cases for Huron and Perth Counties, with 114 of all confirmed cases being tied to infection within the month.
In terms of how the virus is spreading in Huron and Perth, according to the HPPH, many cases have been labelled as likely being related to outbreaks, with 29.6 per cent being reported as such. The second-most reported infection source, at 28.5 per cent, is an unknown source of transmission, with close contact with a case (20.6 per cent), household contact (17.0 per cent) and travel (4.3 per cent) accounting for the remaining cases.
In Huron County, Howick and South Huron have the only new confirmed cases of COVID-19. In Howick, there are now three confirmed cases, one of which is being reported as active. South Huron has increased to 13 cases from 12 since last week. Bluewater continues to have the most confirmed cases at 15, Central Huron still has 14 and Goderich and Huron East remain at four confirmed cases each. Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh has had three cases and Morris-Turnberry and North Huron have each had one confirmed case.
In Perth County, Perth East continues to see a spike in cases, climbing from 37 to 50 cases since last Monday. North Perth has also seen a spike of nine new cases, increasing from 21 cases last Monday to 30 as of Nov. 23. Stratford had a minor increase from 113 to 117 since last Monday. Perth South and West Perth remain at eight and seven cases, respectively.
In Perth County, there are currently active confirmed cases in North Perth (eight), Perth East (14) and Stratford (17).
Alongside the continuing escalation of COVID-19 in Huron and Perth Counties, the HPPH announced the first confirmed cases of influenza last week, saying there were fewer than five lab-confirmed cases.
In a press release, the HPPH stated that influenza season typically runs from November to April and encouraged residents, who are able, to get their influenza vaccine (flu shot) from their family doctor’s offices (for recipients six months and over) or pharmacies (for recipients five years and older).
“It can take approximately two weeks after getting immunized for the vaccine to be effective,” HPPH stated in the release. “Both the high-dose trivalent vaccine (TIV) and the standard-dose quadrivalent vaccine (QIV) are effective for those over the age of 65. It’s recommended that residents receive whichever vaccine is available.”
For more information on the influenza or COVID-19 visit hpph.ca or contact 1-888-221-2133 ext. 3267.