Gray-Bruce Enters ‘Modified’ Stage 3 As COVID-19 Cases Rise

WINGHAM, ONT. – Gray-Bruce added 36 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, leading Ontario in all of the bad categories.

“We have a worrying situation related to the boom in the Delta variant. Public Health Ontario’s ISAT report showed that 99 percent of our cases are Delta cases, ”said area medical officer of health, Dr. Ian Arra.

Despite 183 active cases and 350 other high-risk contacts, Gray-Bruce joined the province to ease COVID-19 restrictions on Friday by entering Stage 3 of the reopening plan.

But there is a catch. Arra “highly recommends”, but does not “order” certain changes, mainly focused on private gatherings.

First, he recommends that outdoor gatherings in Gray-Bruce stay under 25 people and that indoor gatherings stay at five people.

And he recommends people to dine outside, although there is now the option of eating inside restaurants.

It also recommends wearing masks in barber shops and churches, weddings, workplaces, gymnasiums, cinemas and restaurants strictly follow public health measures.

“The audience is tired. If you stay at step 2, you really penalize the people (who are) invested and the places that are safe. Regulated environments have the same level of risk at this point, so we haven’t seen any overflow in the workplace or in organized events. It is mainly in private settings, linked to parties, ”explains Arra.

Arra says the “strong recommendations” will not be revoked until the Gray-Bruce wave of COVID-19 subsides, or until the majority of 12-35 year olds are doubly vaccinated.

He says targeted vaccinations will be the next tool used to reach more people.

“Mobile units in gymnasiums, hockey games, anywhere to make it easier for the public to get vaccinated. “

Arra says the vast majority of new Gray-Bruce cases go unvaccinated. For example, of the 111 cases in Saugeen First Nation since the end of June, 105 were completely unvaccinated, he said.

“It’s anyone who lives in Gray-Bruce without two doses of the vaccine (who) is at higher risk for serious illness and complications,” he says.

If cases continue to rise, Arra says he will have no choice but to turn his “strong recommendations” into regulatory orders, imposing more intrusive measures on those who violate COVID-19 rules in Gray -Bruce.

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