Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph declared ‘hotspot’ for Delta COVID-19 variant

GUELPH – The province has declared the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (WDGPH) region an area of concern when it comes to the Delta (B.1.617.2) COVID-19 variant.

As a result of the June 10 “hotspot” declaration, 8,000 extra doses of the Moderna vaccine will be delivered to the region to help with first and second doses.

“This additional support from the province will help us continue to protect our community from COVID-19 – especially as we seek to reopen across the region,” said medical officer of health Dr. Nicola Mercer.

“I am urging every resident of the region: do not wait. Book your first or second dose as soon as you can.

“Have the vaccine conversation with friends, family and co-workers and help ensure all of us are protected.”

Public health officials have not explained the criteria used to determine hotspots in the province, other than the presence of the Delta variant, which is expected to become the dominant strain in Ontario this summer.

There have been five cases of the variant, which originated in India, reported in the region to date, though 187 variants discovered in the region have not yet been identified, according to the WDGPH website.

Second doses

To make sure vaccinations in the region continue to happen as quickly as possible, WDGPH will begin online booking for second doses on June 14.

Individuals who received their first dose on or before May 9 will receive an email or text message with booking instructions.

“We want to make booking a second dose as easy as possible,” said WDGPH director of information systems Dr. Kyle Wilson.

“We know people are keen to get vaccinated as quickly as possible, so we are grateful for people doing what they can – being patient, continuing to check their spam and junk folders and using our online booking website to book their appointment.”

Because more than 60,000 invitations will be sent, residents should expect to receive their invitation between June 14 and 16.

Individuals having trouble booking online can call 1-844-780-0202 for support beginning Monday.

Visit wdgpublichealth.ca/register to pre-register for a first dose appointment.