The Grey Bruce Health Unit reported two new cases of COVID-19 on Friday.
Both are residents of Owen Sound and bring the cumulative number of confirmed cases for the two counties to 132. Owen Sound now has had 56 confirmed cases.
Grey-Bruce Medical Officer of Health Dr. Ian Arra said that the two cases are a man and a woman, both in their 60s and from the same household.
“Whenever you see a case in a household or with a spouse, it is expected the other spouse would be infected,” said Arra.
There are currently three active cases in Grey-Bruce. A total of 124 people have recovered, while five have been referred to other health units. No cases are hospitalized and there have been no deaths attributed to the virus in the two counties.
A total of 28 cases have been reported in health-care workers in the region.
There are currently no outbreaks reported in long-term care or retirement facilities, schools or daycares.
Arra released a statement Friday afternoon assuring parents that there are no known active cases of COVID-19 in any children in Grey-Bruce who have attended school since the start of the school year.
“There is no COVID-19 outbreak in any Grey Bruce schools at this time,” the statement said.
Arra said there have been a couple of rumours about cases in area schools and those are not true. He said he started to see mentions of cases in schools on social media so he wanted to assure people that wasn’t the case.
Arra asked people to continue to follow current health guidance of physical distancing of two metres, washing hands frequently with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer and wear face coverings correctly in indoor public spaces.
On Friday, Ontario saw its COVID-19 daily case total surpass 400 for the first time since early June.
Ontario health units reported 401 cases on Friday, with large urban centres once again making up the majority of cases. Toronto reported 130 new cases, followed by Peel Region with 82 and Ottawa with 61.
The provincial government has rolled back the maximum permitted size of private, informal social gatherings in those three locations to 10 indoors and 25 outdoors.
The rest of the province, including Grey-Bruce, remains at a maximum of 50 inside and 100 outside.
The province has confirmed 46,077 total cases of the virus and 2,825 deaths. There were no additional deaths reported on Friday.
Grey Bruce Health Services has launched an online system for booking appointments at its COVID-19 assessment centre at the Owen Sound hospital.
To manage the volume of patients and to reduce wait times, walk-ins will no longer be accepted at the centre and everyone coming for an assessment or test must be booked ahead of time, according to a news release from GBHS on Friday.
Patients have been able to call to make appointments since the centre opened, but the new system allows them to book directly from their device, such as a smartphone.
The assessment centre has seen an increase in the number of people wanting COVID-19 tests this week. On Monday, 168 people were tested, whereas previously the number had been between 100 and 120 daily.
To book an appointment at the centre, people are asked to go to www.gbhs.on.ca and click on “Book COVID-19 Test” or call 519-378-1466 anytime between noon and 4 p.m. Monday to Friday.
The centre is open Monday to Friday from noon to 8 p.m.
Tests take five minutes per person and results take about three or four days to come back, the release said.
Those coming for an assessment are asked to go directly to the centre and not arrive more than five minutes prior to their appointment to reduce congestion in the parking area. People are asked to bring their own masks.
Grey-Bruce Medical Officer of Health Dr. Ian Arra is recommending that only those who are showing symptoms of the disease or have been identified by the health unit as being a close contact with a COVID-19 case should get a test. Provincial regulations also require visitors to long-term care homes get tested within two weeks of visiting such homes.