New COVID-19 death in Haldimand-Norfolk as active cases near 300

·2 min read

A resident of Haldimand-Norfolk has died of COVID-19 as the health unit struggles to trace contacts of infected residents.

The death, announced Thursday without any additional information, brings the COVID-19 death toll to 41.

According to the health unit, 22 residents tested positive on Wednesday and 18 were deemed to have recovered from their bout with the virus, pushing the active case count to 291.

Dr. Shanker Nesathurai, Haldimand-Norfolk’s chief medical officer of health, told reporters contact tracing has been “curtailed” because of the sheer volume of new cases.

More than 1,000 residents are currently in self-isolation.

Nesathurai said health unit projections predict 60 new cases every day if the spread of the virus is not slowed over the next two weeks.

The health unit is managing an outbreak at Grandview Lodge in Dunnville, where one resident of the long-term-care home has tested positive, as well as monitoring COVID-19 cases among quarantining migrant workers at six area farms.

On the vaccine front, just shy of 33,000 doses have been administered in Haldimand-Norfolk, with 2,349 residents fully vaccinated.

A clinic at Norfolk General Hospital recently passed the 10,000-dose milestone, while Hauser’s Pharmacy in Dunnville — one of four local pharmacies designated by the province as local vaccine hubs on April 1 — has already topped 1,000 shots.

Mass immunization clinics at the Delhi and Cayuga arenas are booked to capacity, with more appointments being added to meet demand.

Norfolk EMS chief Sarah Page said everyone with an appointment will be vaccinated, but the health unit might be unable to book new appointments come early May without more vaccine supply from the province.

On Six Nations, just under half of the 21 active COVID-19 cases screened positive for a more contagious variant of concern.

Three new cases were reported Thursday afternoon, with one band member currently in hospital.

Ten band members have died of COVID-19, with 438 recoveries out of 469 total cases.

Some 2,211 band members are partially vaccinated, with 676 having received both doses.

J.P. Antonacci, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Hamilton Spectator