Vaccine rollout to slow in Huron-Perth due to hotspot rerouting
BY DENNY SCOTT
With vaccines going elsewhere in the province due to “hotspots” and shifting priorities, Huron and Perth Counties will be receiving less in the future according to Medical Officer of Health Dr. Miriam Klassen.
On Monday, during a teleconference hosted through the Huron Perth Public Health organization, Klassen said there were fewer vaccines being delivered to the area than expected, so clinic availability has been adjusted.
“No clinics are currently open and we won’t be posting additional clinics until we get additional vaccine deliveries,” she said.
Klassen explained that all the vaccines that the HPPH receives will be used, but for the time being, those numbers were lower than expected. She also said that advertisements that said that people aged 60 and over could get their vaccines were now incorrect and people should go to the HPPH website for the most up-to-date information on vaccine eligibility.
Currently, 22.3 per cent of the total population of Huron and Perth Counties over the age of 16 have gotten their shot, Klassen said, though clinics are primarily open only to seniors. As far as specific age groups, Klassen said 98.78 per cent of adults over the age of 80 have been vaccinated, 86.76 per cent of adults 75 to 79 years old have been vaccinated and 64.9 per cent of adults 70 to 74 years old have been vaccinated.
Klassen also spoke to the possible closure of schools as the press conference, held at 2 p.m., was held before Premier Doug Ford and Minister of Education Stephen Lecce announced that students would be going back to online learning indefinitely while case counts remain high. This was despite the fact that, the day before, Lecce had addressed parents saying students would return to in-person learning when the rescheduled March Break ended tomorrow, April 16.
As far as local cases are concerned, 44 new COVID-19 cases have been reported in Huron and Perth Counties, more than the previous two weeks combined. That brings the cumulative total to 1,480 since the pandemic began in March of 2020.
Klassen said it will still be another week before the impact of the “emergency brake” and the stay-at-home orders are seen, but that she wasn’t happy to see the case counts rising.
In terms of municipal case counts, several Huron County towns and municipalities have reported increases. South Huron has three new cases, bringing its cumulative total to 109 since the pandemic began. Morris-Turnberry has six new cases, bringing its total to 51 cumulative cases since the beginning of the pandemic while North Huron has four new cases, bringing its total to 50. Goderich gained one new case, bringing its total to 21.
Other Huron municipalities have static case numbers, having gone unchanged since last week, including Huron East (103), Central Huron (54), Bluewater (38), Howick (35) and Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh (23).
In Perth County, new cases were reported, bringing Stratford’s case total to 376 from 361 and North Perth’s total 360 up from 352, West Perth’s total to 42 up from 38 and St. Marys’ total from 34 to 38.
Perth East remained at 138 cumulative cases, while Perth South remained at 42.
Across Huron and Perth Counties there are currently 49 active cases. The area has also had 32 probable Variant of Concern (VOC) cases since those strains first showed up.
Active cases in Huron County are located in Morris-Turnberry (six), North Huron and South Huron (four each), Huron East (two) and Goderich (one).
In Perth County there are active cases in Stratford (16), North Perth (seven), St. Marys (five) and West Perth (four).
There is currently one individual in hospital due to COVID-19 in Huron and Perth Counties and 145 individuals in isolation.
The most likely means of being exposed to COVID-19 in Huron and Perth Counties continues to be through outbreaks with 27.9 per cent of cases likely tied to outbreaks. Household contacts are nearly as likely at 27.5 per cent with close contact with a known case being responsible for 17.8 per cent of likely acquisitions. Travel is listed as the likely acquisition source for 1.2 per cent of cases. Unknown vectors continue to be responsible for more than a quarter of cases at 25.7 per cent.
As of Monday, nearly 30,000 vaccine doses had been administered and 123,297 residents had been tested for COVID-19.
For more information, visit hpph.ca.