WELLINGTON COUNTY – Active cases of COVID-19 are up in the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (WDGPH) region as reported hospitalizations remain steady.
There are four outbreaks at long-term care and retirement homes within the county and one newly confirmed death attributed to the virus.
Reaching the highest total since the end of January, there were 554 known active cases of COVID-19 throughout the health region as of April 6 – an increase of 30 per cent from the 427 cases reported on March 29.
It’s worth noting limited access to testing COVID testing has resulted in an underrepresentation of how many active cases there truly are in the province.
As of Wednesday, there were 152 known active cases in Wellington County, 88 in Dufferin County, and 282 in Guelph.
(Active case totals above do not match the total active cases reported within the health unit because some cases haven’t yet been assigned to locations within the health region.)
As of April 4, the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the region remains steady at 14, with one in an ICU (last week the figures were 15 and 0 respectively).
Across the province as of Tuesday morning, there were 217 unvaccinated persons hospitalized with COVID-19, of which 33 were in an ICU.
In contrast, 739 two-dose vaccinated persons were hospitalized across the province, of which 68 were in an ICU.
Considering the vast majority of Ontarians are vaccinated as of April 3 (86.5% with two doses according to the Ontario Science Table), there will be a larger representation of vaccinated persons in hospitals.
Less than half of the persons hospitalized in the province were admitted because of COVID-realted reasons, regardless of vaccination status. Persons admitted for other reasons accounted for 54% of admissions.
COVID’s impact is more pronounced in the province’s ICUs, with 67% admitted because of COVID-19 and 33% admitted for other reasons.
According to science table data, as of April 3, unvaccinated individuals are 1.5 times as likely to test positive for COVID-19, four times more likely to be hospitalized, and seven times more likely to end up in an ICU than those who are vaccinated.
The number of people who have died and had their deaths attributed to the virus has increased from last week’s report.
WDGPH spokesperson Danny Williamson confirmed a Guelph man in his 80s had his death attributed to the virus, bringing the death toll to 159 in the health region, including 52 residents of Wellington County.
Since March 29, another 222 people have become two-dose vaccinated in the WDGPH region, bringing the total as of April 5 to 258,290 or 87.6% of the population aged five or older.
There are 8,091 people aged five or older in the region who have received a first dose and 155,172 (57.5% of the eligible population at least 12 years old) who have received a third dose as of April 5.
In Wellington County 86% of eligible residents five and over are two-dose vaccinated and 58% of those at least 12 and over have received a third dose.
According to WDGPH data as of April 5, 85% of high school students within the health unit’s catchment area, and 53% of eligible elementary students are vaccinated with two doses.
According to the province’s Advisory Science Table data, as of April 4, there were 303 new cases every day per million people in those unvaccinated compared to 195 cases per day in those with at least two doses.
The data concludes there’s a 36% reduction in the risk of contracting a case with two vaccine doses.
The reduction in the risk of being hospitalized with two doses is 76%.
Outbreaks in health care settings
There has been one new outbreak declared at a retirement home since last week’s update.
On March 29, a facility-wide outbreak was declared at the Heritage River retirement home in Elora with six residents testing positive for the virus.
Previously declared outbreaks at the Wellington Terrace Long Term Care Home in Aboyne, Caressant Care Arthur’s nursing home, and the Royal Terrace retirement home in Palmerston continue.
For public health officials to declare an outbreak over, 14 days must pass since the last symptomatic or positive individual is reported.