Cases continue to rise as Wellington County sees fourth COVID-19 death

WELLINGTON COUNTY – A fourth county resident has died of COVID-19 as cases continue to rise across Wellington.

The death, reported on the  Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (WDGPH) website on Nov. 24, is the county’s second coronavirus-related death in as many weeks.

WDGPH spokesperson Danny Williamson told the Advertiser the latest death, on Nov. 18, was a woman, aged 40 to 59. He did not say where she lived.

The two recent deaths match Wellington County’s total for the entire first wave of the pandemic, with the first death coming on April 5.

Twenty-nine new cases were reported in the county over the weekend and on Nov. 24 another 14 were confirmed, for a total of 66 active cases.

Across the WDGPH region there were 75 new cases reported on the weekend and 12 more on Nov. 24 (141 active cases).

As is the case across the province, the situation has worsened drastically in Wellington County over the last month.

On Oct. 20 the county reported zero cases and its  seven-day average for daily cases – which is often used to indicate trends – was 5.71.

Since then the seven-day average has increased to 8.71, the county has set new highs for daily cases several times and its active cases (66 as of Nov. 24) now exceed the combined total for Guelph (39) and Dufferin County (12).

Williamson urged Wellington County residents to follow public health guidelines and limit close contact to those within their own household.

Asked about the Christmas season and how residents should approach shopping, Williamson said it’s important to strike a balance as the county is “well into the second wave” of the pandemic.

“Of course, we want to support local businesses … but it’s really about people following those health guidelines,” he said.

That includes limiting the number of trips, wearing a mask, physical distancing and practicing good hand hygiene.

Williamson also suggested shopping at times that may be less busy and exploring alternatives such as curbside pickup, delivery and online shopping.

“Any way you can help mitigate the spread (is helpful),” he said.