WELLINGTON COUNTY – Despite COVID-19 testing restrictions across the province, confirmed cases continue to rise in the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (WDGPH) region.
Provincial health officials admit that limited access to testing COVID testing has resulted in an underrepresentation of how many active cases there truly are in the province.
Hospitalization data, used to determine COVID’s impact on the health care system, has not been updated locally since April 4.
There are four outbreaks at long-term care and retirement homes within the county and no additional deaths have been reported.
There are 659 known active cases of COVID-19 throughout the health region as of April 13, an increase of 19% per cent from the 554 cases reported on April 6.
As of Wednesday, there were 165 known active cases in Wellington County, 122 in Dufferin County, and 339 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 sits at 14, with one in an ICU.
Across the province as of Tuesday morning, there were 250 unvaccinated persons hospitalized with COVID-19, of which 30 were in an ICU.
In contrast, 921 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 10 (86.6% 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 63% admitted because of COVID-19 and 37% admitted for other reasons.
According to science table data, as of April 10, unvaccinated individuals are 1.4 times as likely to test positive for COVID-19, almost four times more likely to be hospitalized, and over five times more likely to end up in an ICU than those who are vaccinated.
Vaccination data has not been updated by WDGPH since April 6, when 528,301 people or 87.6% of the population aged five or older were vaccinated with two doses.
There are 155,213 (57.5% of the eligible population at least 12 years old) who have received a third dose as of April 6.
According to the province’s Advisory Science Table data, as of April 13, there were 350 new cases every day per million people in those unvaccinated compared to 237 cases per day in those with at least two doses.
The data concludes there’s a 32% reduction in the risk of contracting a case with two vaccine doses.
The reduction in the risk of being hospitalized with two doses is 72%.
There has been one new outbreak declared at a long-term care home since last week’s update.
On April 8, an outbreak on the first floor of Strathcona Long Term Care in Mount Forest was declared with 11 residents and one staff member testing positive for the virus.
Previously declared outbreaks at the Wellington Terrace Long Term Care Home in Aboyne, Caressant Care Arthur’s nursing home, the Royal Terrace retirement home in Palmerston, and Heritage River in Elora continue.
For public health officials to declare an outbreak over, 14 days must pass since the last symptomatic or positive individual is reported.