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COVID-19: Here's the situation in Collingwood today

Local testing centres log record number of positive results, Hospital CEO worries about rippling impact of full ICUs
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Staff running the COVID-19 vaccine drive-thru in Wasaga Beach and in Collingwood are happy to be part of the local vaccine roll out.

There was one new case of COVID-19 in Collingwood confirmed by the health unit today. 

The case was a man between 18 and 34 years old whose positive test was confirmed on April 19. 

There is one active outbreak at Collingwood Collegiate Institute with two confirmed cases linked. Most in-person learning has been cancelled at all Ontario schools, and the outbreak was declared after schools closed for spring break. 

According to a news release from the South Georgian Bay Ontario Health Team a record of 43 people tested positive at assessment clinics in Collingwood and Wasaga Beach last week. 

Dr. Harry O'Halloran, the lead physician for the Georgian Bay Family Health Team and the co-chair for the South Georgian Bay Ontario Health team is encouraging people in the area to follow the government's stay-at-home order. 

In the region, the variant strains of COVID-19 have mostly overtaken the original strain of COVID-19 that was prevalent in 2020. 

According to Dr. Charles Gardner, medical officer of health for the region, all of the region's cases tested in the last round of variant screening came back positive for variants of concern. 

The health unit has confirmed a total of 208 cases of COVID-19 in Collingwood residents since the start of the pandemic, with 182 of those residents now recovered. Two Collingwood residents have died, and one person is hospitalized. 

In Wasaga Beach there have been 209 confirmed COVID cases, with four deaths, one person currently hospitalized, and 156 people now recovered. The last three cases were reported to the health unit on April 20 and published in today's update. 

In Clearview, there have been 98 cases with 81 people recovered and four people have died. 

There is currently one person hospitalized at Collingwood General and Marine Hospital (CGMH) with COVID-19. 

According to hospital CEO, Norah Holder, the hospital has provided care for 65 COVID-positive patients over the course of the pandemic, and two of them have died in hospital. 

CGMH now has an expanded emergency department and has been using an 18-bed temporary facility set up at the Collingwood Legion for patients awaiting transfers to other facilities. 

Holder said the local hospital is a "level two" intensive care unit, and most COVID-19 patients requiring intubation need a level three intensive care unit such as Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre. 

Collingwood's hospital does, however, accept transfer patients from other hospitals in Central Region (which includes the GTA). Holder said some of the patients are COVID-positive but their status is not considered critical. 

"My worry is, over 50 per cent of patients in central region intensive care units have COVID-related critical illness," Holder told Collingwood council at an April 19 meeting. "When our ICU capacity is full in Ontario, we will not be able to transport anyone out to a level three ICU. If you have a car accident or a brain bleed ... there will not be a bed." 

The April 21 daily COVID-19 update from Public Health Ontario indicated there are 790 patients in intensive care units in Ontario with COVID-related illness, and 566 of them are on ventilators.

Vaccines

The province has opened up vaccine bookings for pharmacy-administered AstraZeneca shots for anyone aged 40 and older. Ontario, however, is facing a disruption in its expected deliveries of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The area pharmacies (within about 30 km) administering AstraZeneca include:

  • Shoppers Drug Mart on First Street in Collingwood
  • Shoppers Drug Mart on Mosely Street in Wasaga Beach
  • Thornbury Pharmacy on Arthur Street West
  • Whitfield Guardian on Queen Street West in Elmvale
  • Markdale Pharmacy on Toronto Street North
  • Dundalk Village Pharmacy on Main Street East 

Vaccine appointments must be booked through the pharmacy. You can see a list of participating pharmacies and booking information for each of them online here.

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit reports that all those who received their first dose of a vaccine against COVID-19 between Dec. 30 and Jan. 9 are now being contacted to book an appointment for the second dose. 

If you are 60 years or older this year, you can book a vaccination appointment via the Ontario website here.

If you are a member of an eligible group, you can pre-register for a vaccine appointment through the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit online here. The groups are updated regularly and posted to the health unit website.




Erika Engel

About the Author: Erika Engel

Erika regularly covers all things news in Collingwood as a reporter, photographer and editor. She has 12 years of experience as a local journalist
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