WDGPH reports 176 COVID-19 cases over weekend including eighth county death

Driven by Caressant Care Arthur outbreaks, active Wellington County cases reach new high - but active cases are down across region

WELLINGTON COUNTY – Another Wellington County resident has died as public health is reporting 176 new COVID-19 cases in the region over the weekend (Jan. 15 to 17).

A Jan. 18 update from Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (WDGPH) noted four residents are hospitalized with the virus in Wellington County, which had 45 new weekend cases and now has a record-high 108 active cases.

The county’s eighth COVID-related death, and sixth since the start of November, is the third linked to two concurrent outbreaks at Caressant Care Arthur.

Public health is now reporting 92 staff/resident cases split between long-term care (32 residents, 23 staff) and its retirement home (25 residents, 12 staff) at the facility. Caressant Care Arthur has reported over 40 new cases and two long-term care deaths in the last two weeks.

On Jan. 13, the province announced North Wellington Health Care, which operates hospitals in Mount Forest and Palmerston, was taking over management of the Caressant Care long-term care portion of the facility to try to get that outbreak under control.

As of the end of the day on Jan. 17, WDGPH has administered 3,371 COVID-19 vaccines.

Weekend COVID-19 cases in the region are down from the record of 192 set on Jan. 11.

There are now 432 active cases across the region, which is down from a high of 489 on Jan. 11.

Several regional COVID-19 indicators also appear to be trending in the right direction, after a troubling month or so.

The latest case rate per 100,000 population is 111.7 and the test positivity rate is 4.2%. One week ago those figures were 149.2.6 and 5.9% respectively.

WDGPH’s effective reproductive rate – the average number of people one person with COVID-19 will infect – sits at 0.9. Health experts say the figure needs to be below 1.0 for the number of cases to drop.

The City of Guelph has the most cases in the region (110 new and 257 active, with four hospitalizations).

Dufferin County has 25 new cases, 48 active cases (26 in Orangeville) and one person in hospital.

Active COVID-19 case data as of Jan. 18, 2021. (WDGPH image)


Wellington County, outbreaks

Wellington County’s seven-day average for daily cases, which is often used to indicate trends, is now 12.14. One month ago it was 9.71.

Municipality-specific cases in the county are as follows:

  • 46 in Wellington North;
  • 20 in Centre Wellington;
  • 13 in Minto;
  • 11 Guelph-Eramosa;
  • eight in Erin;
  • five in Mapleton; and
  • five in Puslinch.

Most of the Wellington North cases can be attributed to two COVID-19 outbreaks at Caressant Care Arthur, which to-date have affected 57 residents and 35 staff in total.

(Reporting is based on residency, so staff members living outside the township will not be included in Wellington North figures).

There are currently 14 facility outbreaks in the WDGPH region, including seven in Wellington County:

  • Caressant Care Arthur (retirement home), 25 residents and 12 staff, declared on Dec. 12;
  • Wellington Terrace Long-Term Care in Aboyne, 11 staff, declared on Dec. 12;
  • Caressant Care Arthur (long-term care), 32 residents and 23 staff, declared on Dec. 26;
  • Strathcona Long-Term Care in Mount Forest, one staff, declared on Jan. 7;
  • Caressant Care Harriston (retirement home), one staff, declared on Jan. 10;
  • Caressant Care Harriston (long-term care, second floor), one staff, declared on Jan. 12; and
  • Morriston Park (long-term care) in Puslinch, one staff, declared on Jan. 15.