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COVID: Delta variant confirmed in Hanover rooming house outbreak

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The Grey Bruce Health Unit confirmed Tuesday the case to spark an outbreak at a Hanover rooming house has been identified as the Delta variant, a highly transmissible variant of concern first identified in India.

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There are currently 25 cases and 38 high-risk contacts associated with the ongoing outbreak.

The Grey Bruce Health Unit announced on June 3 at least 10 people had tested positive. It advised in a news release that anyone who stayed at the rooming house, at 315 10th St., since May 26 should self-isolate for 14 days from the last day they were present and should contact a local assessment centre for testing.

The Delta variant was identified by surveillance testing, the health unit said in a media release. The testing process takes 10 to 14 days.

“While more confirmations of the variant are expected, there is currently one Delta variant (B.1.617.2) identified in a recovered case in Grey-Bruce,” the health unit’s release said. “Both first and two-dose vaccinations are effective in reducing the hospitalization rates from the Delta variant.”

The health unit has engaged a network of community partners to support the rooming house residents, over 30 of who are still isolating at the residence. Available resources include mental health supports, primary care, EMS, medical monitoring and site coordination. Local food and social support organizations are ensuring resources such as food, water, clothing and essential care products are making their way to the isolated individuals.

EMS is helping some of the people involved suffering from addiction withdrawal symptoms and reports of overdoses early in the outbreak.

A security firm has been brought in to ensure the residents who remain at the rooming house stay inside and prevent any public members from entering the facility.

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Hanover police have also agreed to assist security if needed.

Meanwhile, the Grey Bruce Health Unit reported two COVID-19 infections Tuesday in Grey-Bruce.

The newest cases have been reported in Brockton and South Bruce.

As of Tuesday, there were 42 active cases in the region including one involving a variant of concern.

The health unit’s contact tracers are following 81 high-risk close contacts.

None of the local people infected with COVID-19 are being treated at local hospitals. Two people with COVID-19 from Grey-Bruce are being hospitalized outside of the region, and four people from other regions are being treated at local hospitals, according to the health unit’s report.

To date, 1,397 Grey-Bruce residents have had confirmed COVID-19 infections including 99 healthcare workers. Of those, 1,348 are considered resolved.

There are no reported outbreaks in any hospitals, long-term care and retirement homes, schools or childcare centres in Grey-Bruce.

The Grey Bruce Health Unit’s report shows 119,979 doses of the COVID-19 vaccines have now been administered in the region including 11,140 in the past seven days.

Public health units throughout Ontario reported a combined 296 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday, the lowest case count in a single day since Sept. 17.

Sixty of the new cases were reported in Toronto, with 62 in Peel Region and 45 in Waterloo Region.

Thirteen more deaths were reported Tuesday as well.

As of Tuesday, more than two million Ontario residents were fully vaccinated with two doses of the COVID-19 vaccines.

Nearly 185,000 doses were administered Monday.

The seven-day rolling average was 479 and the test positivity rate 2.3 per cent out of over 17,000 tests processed.

Ontario reported 433 people are hospitalized with COVID-19 with 382 patients in intensive care units and 244 patients on a ventilator.

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