A bit of good news in a field of bad was announced on Monday by Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health: By this time on Tuesday, at least one-quarter of the residents in the region will have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Public Health has also announced that pre-registration for a vaccine shot is now open to all people in the region over the age of 16, but it comes on the worst day for new cases since the start of the pandemic.
“This is something to celebrate,” said Medical Officer of Health Dr. Nicola Mercer in a statement. “Public Health and all local vaccination partners continue to work aggressively toward vaccinating our region as quickly as possible.”
According to Public Heath’s COVID vaccine tracker, 59,488 shots of the three currently available vaccines have been given out in Wellington, Dufferin, and Guelph. That’s 23.3 per cent of the total region with nearly 90 per cent of seniors over 80 vaccinated, plus 54.3 per cent of people between 65 and 79, and 13.2 per cent of people under 65 received at least one shot.
Last week was a very busy week for vaccine distribution in the region with nearly 13,000 doses of one vaccine or another given out from April 4 to 10. WDG Public Health has been consistently keeping pace, or outpacing, both Ontario and Canada with vaccine distribution, so it should come as not much of a surprise that they’re now looking to the third phase of the vaccine rollout.
In the same media release, Public Health announced that Monday would be the first day that anyone 16 years of age and older can pre-register for a vaccine shot. Although it’s unlikely that most people will get their shot in the next few days, or even weeks, Mercer said it’s important for everyone to get organized now to continue the efficient distribution of COVID vaccines.
“Now that all of us can pre-register for a vaccine appointment, I encourage everyone to do so as soon as possible,” Mercer explained. “Safe, effective vaccines are our best way to fight COVID-19, protect our region and move back toward a more familiar way of life.”
Despite this good news, familiarity seems actually further away when you look at the latest case numbers from Public Health on Monday morning. The long-term trends continue to go in the wrong direction with the 7-day moving rate of confirmed cases now at 148.1 per 100,000, which is an increase of 18 per cent from Friday. The test positivity rate is now 5.7 per cent, which is a half-per cent increase from the same number on Friday.
Since Friday, there have been 278 new cases of COVID-19 in the region, with nearly two-thirds of all the new cases, 175, in Guelph alone. There are 630 total active cases of COVID in the region right now, which is the second time in two weeks that the record for total active cases has been broken. Last week, there was 462 cases, which is one more case the previous record of 461, which was set in the first week of January.