COVID-19: Huron-Perth records 53rd death

Article content

Huron Perth public health reported a new COVID-related death on Monday, the 53rd in the region since the beginning of the pandemic.

The death was recorded over the weekend along with five new confirmed cases of COVID-19 – one in Huron County, three in North Perth, and one in Stratford. A health unit spokesperson said Monday the person who died was a community member not linked to any active outbreaks, but further details were not disclosed “due to privacy considerations.”

The new cases bring the region’s total to 1,584, including 107 linked to a variant of concern. There were 29 active COVID-19 cases in the region on Monday, including 18 that have triggered screening tests for the highly transmissible variants.

Huron Perth public health also reported one new outbreak on Monday at Fordwich Village Nursing Home. The outbreak was declared Friday after two staff members tested positive for COVID-19.

Advertisement

Story continues below
This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

“The facility is well supported and (public health) is working closely with the facility to manage the outbreak,” the health unit said. “All outbreak measures are in place to protect staff and residents, with prevalence testing being completed regularly for all staff and residents. It is early in our investigation into the cause of the outbreak and this investigation will be ongoing to ensure that there is no further spread to staff and residents.”

A second outbreak continued Monday at an unnamed workplace in the region.

The health unit has been hosting press conferences with Miriam Klassen, the region’s medical officer of health, on Mondays and Thursdays for the majority of the pandemic, but will move to a new weekly schedule beginning Wednesday afternoon.

Ontario reported 3,732 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday and 23 new deaths.

Toronto, with 1,198 new cases; Peel, with 797; and York, with 306, remained the province’s worst-hit regions. Hamilton reported 237 new cases while Durham reported 232.

The new figures raise Ontario’s total number of COVID cases since January 2020 to 470,465 and its death toll to 8,102.

Additionally, 76,685 vaccine doses were administered in the province in the 24-hour period ending Saturday afternoon for a provincewide total of 5,324,369. The number of Ontarians who have been fully vaccinated increased by 1,721, to 375,280.

In Huron-Perth, 47,926 residents have received one dose of vaccine and 4,076 were fully vaccinated as of Sunday.

Advertisement

Story continues below
This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

According to figures from Ontario Health, Huron-Perth’s COVID-19 caseload remains relatively low compared to the rest of the province. As of Sunday, the region’s seven-day infection rate was 21.5 per 100,000 people and its seven-day positivity rate was 0.87 per cent. 

Both numbers would fall within the yellow level of Ontario’s reopening framework if the province wasn’t under lockdown, but that doesn’t mean the impact of the pandemic’s third wave in Ontario isn’t being felt in the region.

There are 1,961 COVID patients currently in Ontario hospitals, including 895 in ICU and 615 on ventilators. Those numbers include eight patients being treated at Stratford General Hospital as of Sunday, six in intensive care and two in the medicine unit.

One patient in Stratford’s ICU is from Huron-Perth. The hospital’s other COVID-19 patients are transfers from the Greater Toronto Area. A second Huron-Perth resident hospitalized due to COVID-19 is being treated at another hospital in the region.

In an open letter to the community Friday, Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance executives said the hospital group overseeing four of the region’s hospitals in Stratford, St Mary’s, Clinton and Seaforth “is experiencing unprecedented pressures as we respond to the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Scheduled procedures at all four sites have been reduced while health-care workers are redeployed to support Stratford’s ICU beds, which have recently doubled. 

Advertisement

Story continues below
This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

Preparing to receive COVD-19 patients from other parts of Ontario often means moving patients between hospitals in the region through involuntary transfers “to ensure we provide the best care for as many people as possible, regardless of where they live,” the letter said.

“All staff and physicians, regardless of where they work across our four sites, have been tirelessly supporting our patients and their families, our partners and one another as we deal with these uncertain times. Like many of those in our communities, our team has been facing many stressors brought on by this pandemic and we acknowledge the incredible strain that this has placed on everyone.”

The letter is signed by Ron Lavoie, the hospital group’s board chair; Kevin Lefebvre, its chief of staff; and Andrew Williams, its chief executive.

“Until there is a steady supply of vaccine for all, targeting vaccines to those parts of the province with the highest incidence of COVID-19 is the fastest way to stop the spread,” the letter said. “In the meantime, we all need to continue to follow public-health guidelines – masking, physical distancing, hand-washing, limiting interaction to those who are in your household and following stay-at-home orders.”

-With files from Postmedia News and The Canadian Press

cmontanini@postmedia.com

COVID-19 BY THE NUMBERS: PERTH AND HURON COUNTIES

1,584 total confirmed cases, 107 involving a variant of concern
29 active cases, 18 involving a variant
1,502 recoveries
53 deaths related to the coronavirus
1 long-term care outbreak
1 active workplace outbreak
2 resident in hospital due to COVID-19
517 cases in Huron County, 11 active
397 cases in North Perth, 12 active
144 cases in Perth East, 2 active
42 cases in Perth South
50 cases in West Perth
38 cases in St. Marys
396 cases in Stratford, 4 active

News Near Stratford

This Week in Flyers