WELLINGTON COUNTY – The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases and the number of people hospitalized with COVID continues to decline in the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (WDGPH) region.
As of Feb. 22, there are 264 known active COVID-19 cases in the region, with 117 new cases reported over the long weekend (Feb. 18 to 21).
As of Tuesday, Wellington County is home to 70 confirmed cases, of which 34 are new.
There are 68 confirmed active cases in Dufferin County and 116 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 narrowing the eligibility for who can access publicly-funded testing to confirm COVID-19 cases in the province have resulted in an underrepresentation of how many active cases there truly are in the province.
The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the region has declined from 20 reported on Feb. 13 to 18 individuals as of Feb. 15. Of those, there were three people admitted to an ICU in either Guelph or Orangeville.
According to seven-day moving averages reported by WDGPH as of Feb. 15, acute care occupancy levels reached 81.7% and 83.6% in ICUs.
Vaccination statuses of those hospitalized locally are not disclosed.
At the provincial level, as of Tuesday morning, there are 316 unvaccinated persons hospitalized with COVID-19 across the province, of which 90 are in an ICU.
In contrast, there are 748 two-dose vaccinated persons hospitalized across the province, of which 100 are in an ICU.
Considering 85.4% of eligible Ontarians are vaccinated with at least two doses as of Feb. 19, data from the Ontario Science Table indicates that unvaccinated individuals are over six times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 and 13 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, half have been admitted because of COVID-19 related related reasons, with the remaining 50% testing positive for the virus, but admitted for non-COVID-related reasons.
For ICUs, 79% are admitted because of COVID-19, whereas 21% are admitted for other reasons.
The death toll remains unchanged as of Feb. 22 with 156 deaths after rising steadily for weeks since December.
Of the 156 people who have had their deaths attributed to the virus, there are 48 county residents.
Since Feb. 8, another 1,044 people have become two-dose vaccinated in the WDGPH region, bringing the total as of Feb. 22 to 255,507 or 86.6% of the population aged five or older.
There are 9,930 people aged five or older in the region who have received a first dose and 150,718 (60.8% of the eligible population at least 18 years old) who have received a third dose as of Feb. 22.
In Wellington County 85.3% of eligible residents five and over are two-dose vaccinated and 62.3% of those at least 18 and over have received a third dose as of Feb. 22.
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 Feb. 20, there were 242 new cases every day per million people in those unvaccinated, and 109 cases per day in those with at least two doses.
The data concludes there’s a 55% reduction in the risk of contracting a case with two vaccine doses.
The reduction in the risk of being hospitalized with two doses is 83.7%.
According to WDGPH data as of Feb. 22, 85.3% of high school students are vaccinated with two doses and around 1,688 remain without a single dose.
In elementary schools within the health unit’s catchment area, 48.5% of an estimated 28,507 eligible students are two-dose vaccinated. There remain another 10,149 students without a single dose.
Outbreaks in health care settings
There is currently a single active outbreak of COVID-19 declared by WDGPH on Feb. 11 at Elora’s Heritage River retirement home within Wellington County. One resident and one staff member have tested positive for COVID.
For public health officials to declare an outbreak over, 14 days must pass since the last symptomatic or positive individual is reported.