Wellington County adds 19 new COVID-19 cases as spike continues

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Wellington County added 19 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday as it continues to see a significant spike of positive tests through November.

There are now 64 active cases, which is 13 more than the previous day, however, no one is being treated for the virus in hospital.

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Resolved cases have increased by six from the previous day to 170.

One month ago, on Oct. 20, not a single person in Wellington County had COVID-19, according to Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health.

Since then Wellington County has added 124 cases, which is more than half of its 237 total cases, and one person has died, bringing the death toll to three.

“What I think happened was a sense of complacency,” said Warden Kelly Linton in a phone interview on Friday.

He added that he believes some residents are not taking the disease seriously enough given that it is such a rural area.

Linton said the message around taking proper precautions hasn’t changed, but it is now coming with a sense of urgency.

“We need to change the behaviour,” he said. “We need to get active on enforcement around the county because we cannot afford another lockdown.”

At least two COVID-19 outbreaks have been connected to a church and school in the Old Order Mennonite community near the town of Minto.

In response, medical officer of health Dr. Nicola Mercer ordered all schools and churches connected to the community to close.

Outbreaks have also been declared at a retirement home and two long-term care facilities in the county where a staff member from each location has tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Mercer has also been urging residents to not visit the homes of friends and family, and not to allow visitors inside their homes unless absolutely necessary.

She said people visiting homes of friends and family has become the number one cause of COVID-19 transmission.

“Not allowing people into your homes will help stop the spread of COVID-19,” she said on Monday. “Until everyone is safe from COVID-19, we all need to avoid the number one cause of its spread.”

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As of Friday morning, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health was in the orange level of Ontario’s COVID-19 response framework.

However, certain indicators could push the jurisdiction into red, such as the rate of confirmed cases and the test positivity rate.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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