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Grey and Bruce counties into a modified Step 3 opening

Grey and Bruce counties are moving into a modified Step 3 opening Friday.

With the surge in COVID-19 cases, the local health unit is using a modified Step 3 to reduce the risk of the surge worsening.

That includes keeping limits on gatherings. A maximum of five people indoors and 25 outdoors.

Recommendations include encouraging only outdoor dining, personal service settings and salons continue require masks be worn as in Step 2, workplaces follow public health measures as well as those attending church services or family functions such as wedding receptions.

According to the health unit, Grey and Bruce are still seeing a significant number of COVID-19 cases with 99 percent being the Delta variant. And a number of of current cases are in individuals that were not vaccinated or became infected as the result of gatherings where COVID-19 precautions were not followed.

There are also concerns, that due to the nature of the Delta variant, health officials say a high percentage of high-risk contacts will become cases. And a high number of hospitalizations may present a challenge to local hospital capacity.

A modified Step 3 plan was made in consultation with hospital CEOs and the endorsement of local, regional and provincial partners and approved by the Chief Medical Officer of Health.

The health unit states that while a significant number of residents in Grey Bruce have had their vaccine, the modified Step 3 recommendations will only be revoked when the majorly of youth 12-35 have had two vaccines and/or the current surge is diminished.

As of Thursday, the Grey Bruce Health Unit was reporting 21 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 182 active cases. Of the active cases, 99 percent are the Delta variant. Hospitalizations include 17 in the local region and another three are hospitalized outside the region. Over 17,300 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered this week.

Other COVID-19 prevention measures continue to be encouraged:
Practice Physical Distancing
Wear a face covering in indoor public places and when physical distancing may be difficult
Wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
Sneeze and cough into your sleeve
Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
Avoid contact with people who are sick
Stay at home if you are sick or unwell
Clean and disinfect high-touch objects and surfaces frequently
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