COVID-19 Update February 8, 2021

Case count

  • Our data from Sunday, February 7, shows that Huron-Perth has a cumulative total of 1,267 confirmed cases since the beginning of the pandemic, with 8 cases added over the weekend. There are currently 78 active cases.   
    • Details on where the active cases are can be found on our COVID-19 in Huron and Perth webpage. 
    • There is currently one Huron-Perth resident in hospital due to COVID-19.
    • We are saddened to report another death in Huron-Perth, for a total now of 46 deaths due to COVID-19.
      • This most recent passing was a Caressant Care nursing home resident.  Our condolences go out to this person’s loved ones, and we also extend our condolences to all residents and staff at Caressant Care during this difficult time. 

Outbreaks

  • Hospitals:
    • The outbreak at St. Marys Memorial hospital remains active.
  • Long-Term Care & Retirement Homes:
    • There are 4 active long-term care outbreaks: Caressant Care, Seaforth Manor, Fordwich Village, and Hillside Manor.
    • There are two active retirement home outbreaks: Caressant Care and Seaforth Manor.
  • Huron Perth Public Health continues to work with these facilities to help manage the outbreaks.
  • Total case numbers for all active outbreaks can be found on our COVID-19 in Huron and Perth webpage. 

Schools

  • Huron-Perth students who chose in-person learning returned to school today, with enhanced public health measures in place. These measures include:
    • Students in grades 1-3 must now wear masks indoors, on school transportation, and outdoors where physical distancing can’t be maintained.
    • All students and staff must screen for symptoms before they go to school each day.  Staff and secondary students must confirm their screening result each day upon arrival.
  • It’s up to all of us to keep community transmission of COVID-19 down so that our schools can reopen successfully and stay open.  The fewer cases we have in our community, the fewer cases we will have in schools, childcare, and other settings.

Workplace safety campaign

  • Last week a team of 15 provincial offences officers conducted a COVID-19 workplace safety campaign in Huron Perth. They were joined by some of our Public Health Inspectors and by Stratford Police Services.
  • The officers visited approximately 137 big-box stores and other essential businesses that are permitted to operate during the provincewide shutdown, such as grocery stores, gas stations, convenience stores and agricultural supply stores.
  • They found, in preliminary reporting, that around 64 per cent of businesses inspected were in compliance with public health requirements under the Reopening Ontario Act.
  • Officers issued seven tickets and nine occupational health and safety orders. The most common contravention found was that businesses did not have a safety plan.
  • All businesses operating during lockdown must have a COVID-19 workplace safety plan that is available to anyone who asks to see it and is posted in a place where it can be easily seen. The plan is meant to put in place controls that help make the workplace safer for everyone. It does not replace the Occupational Health and Safety Act or the Employment Standards Act.
  • The other most common contraventions were related to capacity limits and screening of employees and patrons.
  • Results to date show that the majority of businesses are doing the right things and those that need help can be coached into compliance without penalties.
  • Businesses that are permitted to be open during the provincewide shutdown have had to shift the way they operate to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 amongst employees and customers.  I’m encouraged that most of the businesses inspected during the blitz were found to be meeting the required public health measures.

COVID-19 Vaccine Update

  • This week we are continuing to give second doses to residents of long-term care homes and high-risk retirement homes.
  • Staff, residents and essential caregivers of these facilities remain the priority population  and the province will continue to provide direction on who receives the next doses of vaccine that arrive.
  • Please stay tuned for more information about the Huron-Perth COVID-19 Mass Vaccination Plan.
  • The important thing to remember is that everyone who wants to be vaccinated will be vaccinated. We will be sharing information regularly and widely on who can get vaccinated next, and how to get vaccinated, especially as vaccines become more widely available in the next few months through Phase 2 and Phase 3 of the province’s three-phase plan.  
    • Phase two of the provincial vaccine rollout is anticipated to begin in mid-March.  Phase three, when vaccine is widely available to anyone who wants to be immunized, is expected to begin in August.  The timelines are dependent on vaccine availability.
    • During those phases we and our partners will be sharing widely information on who is eligible to receive the vaccine and how to get it.