Covid-19 Update: Sixth Wave Impacting Highest Risk Settings

Huron Perth, ON – The sixth wave of COVID-19 continues in Ontario, including in Huron Perth, and the impact is being felt in highest risk settings.   Huron Perth Public Health (HPPH) has seen a steady number of new lab confirmed cases of COVID-19 and is reporting 13 active outbreaks and 11 hospitalizations. 

Due to limited PCR testing, reported case counts are much lower than the number of people who actually have COVID-19.  “The rise in outbreaks tells us that community transmission of COVID remains high locally,” says Dr. Miriam Klassen, Medical Officer of Health for Huron-Perth.  “This is putting pressure on our health care system and highest risk settings, not only due to staff absences, but also because of the extra care required for COVID positive patients and residents.”

Masking requirements continue in select settings

On April 22, 2022, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health announced that provincial masking requirements would continue for specific higher-risk indoor settings.

The requirements, which were set to expire on April 27, will now continue in current settings until June 11. Settings include:

  • public transit;
  • health care settings (e.g., hospitals, doctors’ offices, clinics that provide health care services, laboratories, specimen collection centres, and home and community care);
  • long-term care homes;
  • retirement homes; and
  • shelters and other congregate care settings that provide care and services to medically and socially vulnerable individuals.

Reduce the risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19

Everyone can contribute to reducing the impact of COVID-19 in our communities by continuing to layer personal protective measures, including:

  • Keeping up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccinations (getting all recommended doses for which you are eligible);
  • Staying home when sick, even with mild symptoms, and keeping ill children out of childcare and school;
  • Wearing a well-fitted three-layer cloth mask or medical mask in indoor public settings, and when socializing indoors with people from outside your household, especially if anyone is elderly or immune compromised;
  • Knowing your risk and whether you are eligible for early testing and treatment and having a plan to access that testing and treatment;  
  • Maintaining good ventilation in indoor spaces (for example by opening windows); and
  • Washing hands frequently

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or test positive for the virus, you are required to isolate.  Visit Ontario.ca/exposed to learn what to do.  You can also call the toll-free Provincial Testing and Isolation Information Line at 1-888-777-0730 for answers about COVID-19 testing and isolation guidance.

COVID-19 treatment options

While not a replacement for vaccination or other preventive measures, antiviral treatments are now available for free by prescription to adults with COVID-19 who are at higher risk of progressing to severe disease requiring hospitalization.

Learn if you are eligible at Ontario.ca/antivirals.  You can also contact your health care provider or Health Connect Ontario (formerly Telehealth) at 811.

Get vaccinated

HPPH has added more vaccination opportunities for May. Vaccination continues to be the best defense against severe COVID-19 illness, hospitalization, ICU admission, and death.  Data from the Ontario Science Advisory Table show the rate of hospitalization to be over three times higher in unvaccinated patients compared to those with at least two doses, and the rate of ICU admission to be almost five times higher.  Vaccination may also reduce your risk of post-COVID syndrome (“Long COVID”).

Stay up to date with your COVID-19 vaccinations by receiving all doses recommended, based on your age and health status.  “I encourage everyone eligible to get a booster dose, including people who have previously been infected with COVID-19,” says Dr. Klassen.  “A booster provides additional protection after immunity has decreased.”

Individuals aged 60 and older became eligible for a fourth dose/second booster earlier this month.  Please note that you must be at least 60 years of age at the time of your vaccination to be eligible. Those turning 60 in 2022 will need to wait until after their birthday. Learn more about fourth dose eligibility at www.hpph.ca/GetVaccinated.

You can also find dates and locations for HPPH vaccination clinics at www.hpph.ca/GetVaccinated. Clinics are by appointment unless otherwise noted.  Pregnant individuals and children ages 5-11 can walk in to any HPPH clinic.

Book your appointment for an HPPH clinic:

  • Online at https://covid-19.ontario.ca/book-vaccine/
  • By calling the Provincial Vaccine Booking Line at 1-833-943-3900 (open 7 days a week, 8 am to 8 pm), or
  • By calling the HPPH booking line at 1-833-753-2098 (open Monday-Friday 9 am to 3:30 pm)

COVID-19 vaccinations are also still available through select pharmacies and primary care providers.

For more information: