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Grey Bruce Health Unit declares COVID-19 outbreak tied to field party

FILE - In this Wednesday, March 11, 2020 file photo, a technician prepares COVID-19 coronavirus patient samples for testing at a laboratory in New York's Long Island. AP Photo file

A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared by the Grey Bruce Health Unit after a number of people who attended a field party contracted the virus.

Officials say about 25 people attended the party in Chesley, south of Owen Sound, on July 3. As of Sunday, five of those attendees had tested positive for COVID-19.

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The health unit says the attendees were older teenagers and young adults from different municipalities within the region. Officials say they are all considered high-risk contacts and should immediately isolate and get tested for COVID-19.

The Grey Bruce Health Unit adds that isolation requirements are enforceable under an order from medical officer of health Dr. Ian Arra from April 16.

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The health unit is also advising the wider public to avoid attending events or social gatherings, whether indoor or outdoor, if they or anyone in their household has symptoms, is awaiting test results or is believed to have been exposed to or in contact with someone who has COVID-19.

“It is essential to be vaccinated as soon as possible to reach a herd immunity that protects all of us and to break the chain of virus transmission. With your help we can move towards recovery,” the health unit says.

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As of end of day Saturday, a total of 1,847 COVID-19 cases had been reported with 22 cases confirmed in the previous 24 hours. There were 196 active cases and 361 active high-risk contacts.

On Sunday, the Grey Bruce Health Unit said the “current increase of cases” is due to unvaccinated people participating in private gatherings where health precautions are not being followed or purchasing a substance from and using a substance with others who are infected with COVID-19.

“With the surge of Delta cases, there is nothing more important for every one of us in Grey Bruce this month than to ensure we get the two doses of vaccine as soon as possible,” Arra says.

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“Investing 30 minutes before the end of July to get the vaccine is our duty to protect ourselves, our families, and our community.”

Residents with a second dose scheduled after Aug. 1 are asked to try to get an earlier appointment, provided it is booked at least 28 days after their first dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.

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–With files from Global News’ Natalie Lovie.

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