COVID-19 Update - February 16, 2022

Case count

  • As per provincial direction, Huron Perth Public Health continues to focus COVID-19 case investigation efforts on highest-risk settings, including long-term care and retirement homes, hospitals, and some congregate living settings.
  • This means that the number of people in Huron Perth who actually have COVID-19 is much higher than what we are reporting.
  • As of today, February 16, Huron Perth has a cumulative total of 5,483 lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic. More than 1,800 (one-third) of these cases have occurred since January 1, 2022 and that is with limited testing eligibility.
    • There have been seven new deaths due to COVID-19 since the last media briefing, bringing the total in Huron-Perth to 92. The most recent, reported today, was a community member. Our condolences go out to the loved ones of all of these individuals.
    • There is currently one person in hospital due to COVID-19.
  • Data is available on our COVID-19 in Huron and Perth dashboard. 
  • The Ontario Health West Region dashboard (https://ohwestcovid19.ca/g15dashboard/) from February 10 provides an overview of the general regional trend.

Outbreaks

  • There are currently 3 active outbreaks:
    • Long-term care home – 1
    • Hospital - 1
    • Congregate living setting – 1
  • Details can be found on our COVID-19 in Huron and Perth dashboard. 

If you think you have, or were exposed to, COVID-19

  • While new infections are declining, Omicron is still circulating.  Please continue to follow public health measures and advice to help reduce community spread:
    • Wear a well-fitted mask in indoor public spaces and any time physical distancing cannot be maintained
    • Limit close contacts/interactions
    • Maintain physical distance (2 metres) from those not in your household
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
    • Screen every day before going to work, school or childcare
    • Stay home if you are sick, even with mild symptoms
    • Follow gathering limits
    • Get vaccinated as soon as you are able
    • If you think you may have COVID-19, or were exposed to the virus, please complete the Ontario Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Self-Assessment.
    • Visit Ontario.ca/exposed for isolation and/or self-monitoring guidelines

COVID-19 Vaccine Update

  • As of February 14, we are reporting 291,150 vaccine doses administered in Huron Perth by HPPH and partners. 
  • 84% of Huron Perth residents aged five and older have received at least one dose of vaccine, and 80% are fully vaccinated.
    • 48% of five to 11 year olds have received their first dose and 24% are fully vaccinated.
    • Almost 61% of adults aged 18 and older have received three doses, including about 93% of those aged 70 and older. Advanced age continues to be the most significant risk factor for a poor outcome with a COVID-19 infection.
    • Complete vaccination coverage details can be found on our COVID-19 in Huron and Perth webpage.

Huron Perth vaccination opportunities

  • Appointments are currently not required to attend HPPH community clinics; eligible individuals can walk-in to any clinic. Booked appointments are still available for those who wish to schedule an appointment in advance, and will continue to take priority at clinics.
  • We are pleased to offer clinics in several smaller communities across Huron and Perth as well as our main sites at Stratford and Goderich.
  • To see the latest vaccination opportunities and upcoming clinic dates and locations, visit www.hpph.ca/GetVaccinated

Provincial reopening

  • With key public health and health system indicators continuing to improve, Ontario continues the planned and phased easing of public health and workplace safety measures.  Measures that will come into effect on February 17, 2022 include:
    • indoor social gatherings for up to 50 people and outdoor social gatherings up to 100 people
    • indoor organized public events for up to 50 people, with no limit outdoors
    • no capacity limits in indoor public settings where proof of vaccination is required (e.g. restaurants, meeting and event spaces)
    • 50 per cent capacity in spectator areas of facilities used for sports and recreational fitness activities, concert venues and theatres
    • 25 per cent indoor capacity in nightclubs, and wedding receptions in meeting or event spaces where there is dancing and food or drink is served
    • indoor religious services, rites and ceremonies, including weddings and funerals, capped at the number of people that can maintain two metres of physical distance, with no limit if proof of vaccination is required
  • If public health and health care indicators continue to improve, the following public health and workplace safety measures will come into effect on March 1, 2022.
    • capacity limits lifted in all indoor public settings
    • proof of vaccination requirements lifted, with businesses being allowed to implement them voluntarily

Please note that other protective measures, such as mask/face covering requirements and active/passive screening of patrons, will be in place (a specific timeline to lift masking requirements will be communicated by the government at a later date)

Also, public health units can deploy local and regional responses based on local health indicators.

  • An overview can be found on the Province’s webpage: COVID-19 public health measures and advice.
  • The fact that the government has been able to accelerate the reopening plan is good news.  However, there are still many factors in play. Immunity doesn’t last, and new variants are likely to emerge, meaning that we will have an uneasy co-existence with COVID-19 for some time. The goal will be to reduce disease burden to a level that our healthcare system can manage, with minimal public health measures in place.
  • It is important we remain mindful that COVID-19 is still circulating and is still a serious disease; one that can lead to hospitalization and death and Long COVID. Risk factors include:
    • Advanced age
    • Congregate living settings
    • Underlying health conditions
    • Unvaccinated  status

Even for those with none of these risk factors, serious illness can occur; we continue to urge everyone to take all vaccines for which they are eligible and to be especially mindful when attending highest risk settings such as long-term care and retirement homes where measures will remain in place longer to help protect our most vulnerable residents.

Thank you Huron Perth residents

  • All of the actions and public health measures we have taken over the past two years to control COVID-19 have been effective – they have saved lives, they have slowed virus transmission, they have prevented more outbreaks from occurring, and they have helped maintain hospital capacity.
  • We also know that the public health measures have had adverse impacts.  The goal has always been to try and find right balance.
  • It has been a tough two years for everyone – for some people more than others, especially families who have lost ones or people who have lost their livelihoods due to COVID-19. 
  • I appreciate the kindness, the consideration of others, the neighbourliness, the willingness to step up and make sacrifices to help protect our community. I applaud everyone in Huron Perth who put others ahead of themselves and understood that by wearing a mask, by screening, by staying home when sick, and by getting vaccinated, they were helping, and continue to help their community.  Thank you for staying kind and resilient. 
  • Thank you for all of your efforts – they have made a difference.