WELLINGTON COUNTY – There are 662 active cases throughout the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (WDGPH) region as of Jan. 31, with 199 newly confirmed cases over the weekend (Jan. 28 to 30).
An all-time high of 2,972 cases was set on Jan. 4.
As of Monday, Wellington County is home to 183 confirmed cases, of which 57 are new.
There are 165 cases active in Dufferin County and 274 in Guelph.
(Active case totals above may not necessarily match the total active cases reported within the health unit because some cases haven’t yet been assigned to locations within the health region.)
It is important to note provincial changes have narrowed the eligibility for who can access publicly-funded testing to confirm COVID-19 cases in the province.
And without population-wide, confirmatory lab testing of swabbed samples, health officials have no way of knowing how many positive cases are truly active in the province.
Public Health Ontario has stated current case counts are an underrepresentation of the “true number of individuals with COVID-19” and that case data should be interpreted with caution.
Rather than focus on case numbers, the province’s top doctor, Kieran Moore, stated on Jan. 3 that the province would instead keep an eye on hospitalization data to gauge the impact of the Omicron variant on the health system.
The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the region (including the three Wellington hospitals as well as those in Orangeville and Guelph) was 40 on Jan. 29, down from 45 reported on Jan. 22.
Of the 40 individuals currently hospitalized in the region, 30 are in acute care and 10 are admitted to an ICU in either Guelph or Orangeville. One week ago 14 people were in an ICU.
According to seven-day moving averages reported by WDGPH, acute care occupancy levels reached 86.2% on Saturday and 86.8% in ICUs.
Vaccination statuses of those hospitalized locally are not disclosed.
However, according to provincial data, as of Monday morning, there are 866 unvaccinated persons hospitalized with COVID-19 across the province, of which 199 are in an ICU.
In contrast, there are 1,986 two-dose vaccinated persons hospitalized across the province, of which 231 are in an ICU.
Considering about 84% of eligible Ontarians are vaccinated with at least two doses as of Jan. 29, data from the Ontario Science Table indicates that as of Jan. 30, unvaccinated individuals are five times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 and 11 times more likely to end up in an ICU than those who are vaccinated.
Of the total persons hospitalized in the province, regardless of vaccination status, 55% have been admitted because of COVID-19 related related reasons, with the remaining 45% testing positive for the virus, but admitted for non-COVID-related reasons.
For ICUs, 82% are admitted because of COVID-19, whereas 18% are admitted for other reasons.
Deaths attributed to COVID-19
Since last Monday, WDGPH has reported an additional four COVID-related deaths in the region.
As of Jan. 31, the death total has risen to 139 people, including 42 in the county.
Since Jan. 24, another 3,670 people have become two-dose vaccinated in the WDGPH region, bringing the total as of Jan. 31 to 250,146 or 84.8% of the population aged five or older.
There are 13,899 people aged five or older in the region who have received a first dose and 142,162 (48.2% of the eligible population at least 18 years old) who have received a third dose as of Jan. 31.
In Wellington County 83.8% of eligible residents five and over are two-dose vaccinated and 59.2% of those at least 18 and over have received a third dose as of Jan. 31.
Less than 70% of residents in Mapleton are vaccinated, and it remains the only municipality within the county below that threshold.
According to the province’s Advisory Science Table data, as of Jan. 30, there were 508 new cases every day per million people in those unvaccinated, and 222 cases per day in those with at least two doses.
The data concludes there’s a 56% reduction in the risk of contracting a case with two vaccine doses.
The reduction in the risk of being hospitalized with two doses is 83%.
Vaccinations among student populations
Across the region, according to WDGPH data as of Jan. 31, there are an estimated 11,010 high school students who are vaccinated with two doses, 247 with only a single dose, and 1,727 students who have not yet received a single dose.
In elementary schools in the WDGPH catchment area, there are an estimated 28,359 students who are now eligible for vaccination, according to WDGPH data as of Jan. 31.
Of that group, 1,601 elementary students are at least vaccinated with a single dose, and 16,294 are two-dose vaccinated.
The remaining 12,065 students have not yet received a single dose.
Outbreaks in health care settings
There are currently four active outbreaks of COVID-19 declared by WDGPH at retirement and long-term care homes within Wellington County.
For public health officials to declare an outbreak over, 14 days must pass since the last symptomatic or positive individual is reported.