grey bruce health

Ontario cottage country taking drastic lockdown measures after teens throw bush parties

Teenagers throwing outdoor "bush" parties are amongst those blamed for a COVID-19 outbreak in Grey Bruce.

The Grey Bruce Health Unit declared a COVID-19 critical threshold on Wednesday after dozens of new cases were confirmed.

A day later, a community outbreak in eastern Grey County was also declared and said to be linked to the spread of a variant of concern.

"Everyone in Grey Bruce should consider themselves a carrier of COVID-19 for the next 48 hours until we reach all people who tested positive for COVID-19 and their contacts. This means staying home, except for essential reasons," officials Tweeted on Wednesday.

They are warning residents that if drastic measures aren't implemented, the pandemic will spiral out of control.

In Wednesday's news release, the health unit said to have identified over 70 new confirmed cases across Grey Bruce in thirty-six hours, a huge spike to their normally low numbers.

This came after "bush parties" were hosted by high school-aged youth, and other individuals failed to follow lockdown and social distancing guidelines while symptomatic.

The outbreak was made worse because of individuals who lied to public health contact tracers. 

Now, staff from the vaccine programs and helpline are being moved to support contact tracing and case management, which have been overwhelmed. 

A vaccination clinic planned for Saturday has been cancelled "in order to minimize the risk of people gathering as well as [allow] public health staff to be redeployed."

Lead photo by

Anna Sakin

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