Grey Bruce Public Health Unit Health Departments WFP

GBPH Demands $16.5 Million From Taxpayers

Last August, the Ministry of Health announced a Strengthening Public Health in Ontario strategy, aimed at optimizing capacity, stability, and sustainability in the Province’s Public Health system.

The plan includes several priorities, including those related to funding for Public Health Units and support for voluntary mergers between existing Health Units.

In releasing the plan, the Ministry of Health announced that Public Health Units will receive annual 1% base funding increases over the next three years as the Ministry collaborates with municipalities on a longer-term, sustainable funding agreement.

While this ensures predictable, stable funding for health units, the 1% annual increase has created a challenging budget shortfall for Public Health Units, including Grey Bruce Public Health, due to ongoing inflationary pressures and escalating costs.

During a comprehensive budgeting process, GBPH developed a plan to address the funding shortfall while minimizing job losses and service impacts. This plan was endorsed by the Grey-Bruce Board of Health, which approved GBPH’s 2024 budget at its February meeting.

“While some Ontario health units have announced significant layoffs in recent months to deal with budgetary pressures, Grey Bruce Public Health developed a plan to address its funding shortfall largely through attrition, the gapping of some positions, maximizing back-office savings, realigning certain functions, and finding other efficiencies,” says Grey-Bruce Board of Health Chair Sue Carleton.

“I’m happy to share that we’ve been able to balance the budget while maintaining service levels and without the need for group layoffs.”

GBPH’s $16.5-million budget requires only a 1% funding increase from both Grey and Bruce counties, which contribute a combined 18.2% of its operating revenue. The remainder of GBPH’s operating revenue comes from the Province through several Ministries.

As part of the Strengthening Public Health in Ontario plan, the Ministry of Health is also encouraging Local Public Health Agencies to explore voluntary mergers with neighbouring health units.

Recently, the Grey-Bruce Board of Health corresponded with neighbouring health units. The discussions concluded no potential merger at this time.

Health Departments Southwestern Public Health

Black Tick Warning

Southwestern Public Health is reminding residents to be aware of ticks after a sharp rise in Blacklegged tick, or Deer tick, submissions to the health unit since March 1.

Over the span of two weeks, 8 ticks submitted for identification to the health unit were Blacklegged ticks which can carry the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. In comparison, only 1 Blacklegged tick was submitted to public health the entire month of March in 2023.

“We tend to think of ticks as a warm-weather pest, yet ticks start to become active once temperatures rise above 0oC,” says Serena Roberts, Public Health Inspector at Southwestern Public Health. “The springlike weather we have been experiencing is likely contributing to this early tick activity.”

Lyme disease is an illness caused by the bacteria b. burgdorferi, which is spread to humans through bites from infected ticksOnly Blacklegged ticks carry this bacteria, although not all do. Symptoms of Lyme disease begin 3 to 30 days after a bite and may include fever, headache, and an expanding rash that may or may not resemble a bullseye. The rash can appear anywhere on the body. If untreated, the bacteria can spread through the bloodstream to affect other parts of the body. Late Lyme disease symptoms include arthritis, multiple rashes, and neurological and cardiac issues. Early diagnosis and antibiotic treatment can help prevent these symptoms.

“Protect yourself from ticks by covering up when you are going to be walking through or working in tick habitats – such as tall grasses, shrubs, or piles of leaves,” says Roberts. “If you find a tick attached to you, carefully remove it using a tick removal device and bring it into the health unit for identification. Always inform your health care provider when a tick is attached to you, regardless of what type of tick it is.”

The Environmental Health team at Southwestern Public Health conducts routine surveillance for the presence of medically significant tick species in the region. In 2022, Springwater Conservation Area within the Southwestern Public Health region was added to the Public Health Ontario Risk Map for Lyme Disease.

Alerts Health Departments Huron Perth Public Health

HPPH Threatening 2,900 Students With Suspension For Not Disclosing Health Information

Huron Perth, ON – The Immunization team at Huron Perth Public Health (HPPH) is reminding parents to update their child’s immunization records. Nearly 2,900 records remain incomplete, down from the initial 5100.

These students are either missing immunizations required for school attendance, their immunizations have not been reported to public health, or they do not have a valid exemption on file. Students with incomplete immunization records may be suspended from school under the Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA).

ISPA requires elementary and secondary school students to be immunized against specific diseases to attend school. The purpose of the Act is to protect the health of children against these preventable diseases.

The increase in measles activity globally, and recent cases in Ontario, reminds us how important it is to stay up to date with immunizations. The list of ISPA required immunizations includes immunization against measles. The higher the number of vaccinated students, the more protection all students have from potentially serious diseases.

In January, HPPH sent letters to parents/legal guardians of students whose immunization records were incomplete. Parents who have not yet responded to this first notice will now receive a phone call from a public health nurse.

Parents who received a letter are asked to do one of the following:

  • If your child is up to date on their immunizations, go to to report the required information online, or call HPPH at 1-888-221-2133 ext. 3558.
  • If your child is not up to date on their vaccinations, contact your healthcare provider and/or HPPH. HPPH is holding immunization clinics to get students caught up. You can book an appointment online at or call HPPH at 1-888-221-2133 ext 3558. Parents are encouraged to book early as appointments are limited.

In April, HPPH will mail suspension notices to students who have not provided proof of up-to-date immunizations or a valid exemption. School suspensions will begin on May 23, 2024.

Parents must provide proof of their child’s immunizations, or a valid exemption, to public health. Public health and healthcare providers do not share the same system for documenting immunizations, so it is important to let HPPH know if your child has received an immunization at their primary care provider’s office.

Alerts Health Departments Huron Perth Public Health

HPPH Pushing Vaccines Again

Huron Perth, ON – Measles cases are increasing globally, including in Ontario. Huron Perth Public Health (HPPH) strongly encourages residents to make sure they have protection against the measles virus and receive a vaccination if necessary.

Measles is one of the most highly contagious infectious diseases. The virus spreads through coughing and sneezing and it can live for up to two hours in the air or on a surface. 

Many people recover from measles within two to three weeks, but measles can cause complications such as pneumonia, ear infections, diarrhea, hearing loss, brain swelling (encephalitis), seizures, or, rarely, death.

In December 2023, the World Health Organization reported a 30-fold increase in measles cases in Europe. A rise in imported measles cases has been reported in the Americas, and there are currently four active cases of measles in Canada – two in the Greater Toronto Area.

“Vaccination against measles is safe and effective at preventing the virus,” says Dr. Miriam Klassen, Huron Perth Medical Officer of Health. “With the recent global and provincial increase in measles cases, I encourage everyone to consider their risk for measles, for example if planning to travel internationally, and to receive a vaccination if they are at increased risk.”

Current recommendations for vaccines against measles:

According to Ontario’s Publicly Funded Routine Immunization Schedule:

  • Children and adolescents should receive two doses of vaccine against measles to be considered up to date.
    • In Ontario these doses are typically given on or after the first birthday and at four to six years of age
  • All adults 18 years of age and older who have previously received one dose of vaccine against measles should receive a second dose if they are:
    • Healthcare workers
    • Post-secondary students
  •  Adults born before 1970 can be presumed to have acquired natural immunity to measles.

With increased international travel expected over March Break, the Chief Medical Officer of Health has made the following additional recommendations:

  • Infants six to 11 months of age who are travelling to areas with increased measles transmission should be immunized with one dose of vaccine against measles. Two additional doses are required on or after the first birthday.
  • Adults 18 years of age and older who have previously received one dose of vaccine against measles should receive a second dose if they are planning to travel to areas with increased measles cases.

If you are in one of the above groups, speak to your doctor. If you do not have a family physician, call Huron Perth Public Health. More information on international travel and measles risk can be found at Canada’s Global Measles Notice.  

Role of Public Health

Children in Ontario are required to be immunized against measles under the Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA).

HPPH is currently carrying out a review of student vaccination records as part of its regular ISPA review process, which will also identify students who may be missing a dose of measles vaccine.

Local healthcare providers are required to report to HPPH any suspect or confirmed cases of measles; HPPH takes actions to prevent the further spread of any measles. 

Grey Bruce Public Health Unit Health Departments

1 New Covid-19 Case In Grey Bruce

Testing and case counts reported as of 15:30 hrs, January 19, 2021:

new case(s) reported in past 24 hours in Grey Bruce; 1-The Blue Mountains

654 confirmed cases to date (current cumulative total)

35 active case(s)

Active Probable Cases. Probable cases are not lab confirmed, but are symptomatic and are high-risk contacts of an active case

103 High Risk Contacts associated with active cases

576 recovered cases; 43 cases referred to other health units

confirmed case(s) currently hospitalized in Grey Bruce


41 confirmed cases reported in Health Care Workers working in Grey Bruce

200 COVID-19 Vaccine doses administered out of 200 doses delivered to Grey Bruce

  • 100% administration rate

0 facility(ies) in COVID-19 outbreak. Reported in Long-Term Care / Retirement Homes)

0 facility(ies) in COVID-19 outbreak Reported in Schools

0 facility(ies) in COVID-19 outbreak Reported in Daycares

Health Departments Huron Perth Public Health

North Huron Covid Surge – Braemar Outbreak

Case count

  • Our data from Sunday, December 27, shows that Huron-Perth has a cumulative total of 635 confirmed cases since the beginning of the pandemic, with 70 cases added between December 24 and 27. There are currently 101 active cases.   
  • Sadly, one person has passed away since our previous update and we extend our condolences to their loved ones. The person’s passing was not associated with a long-term care home outbreak.
  • There are currently 3 people in Huron-Perth in hospital due to COVID.


  • Hospitals:
    • The outbreak at Listowel Memorial Hospital continues and the confirmed cases remain at 4 patients and 9 staff.  
  • Long-Term Care & Retirement Homes:
    • There are currently five active long-term care outbreaks in Huron-Perth:
      • Braemar in North Huron (1 staff)
      • Caressant Care in North Perth (1 staff)
      • Exeter Villa in South Huron (4 residents, 5 staff)
      • Hillside Manor in Perth East (1 staff)
      • Knollcrest Lodge in Perth East (2 staff)
    • The Cedarcroft outbreak continues to be under control. There has been no change in case numbers: 50 confirmed cases in residents and 24 cases in staff. There are no active cases among residents or staff.

COVID-19 Vaccine

  • HPPH continues to work with Middlesex-London Health Unit, Southwestern Public Health, and London Health Sciences Centre to arrange vaccinations in London for long-term care and retirement home healthcare workers from Huron and Perth, as part of Phase 1 of the vaccine distribution plan.
  • In addition, HPPH is working together with local partners including Ontario Health partners (such as SW LHIN, Hospitals, Home and Community Care), Primary Care, and Paramedic Services to plan for Phase 2 and Phase 3 when more vaccines are available and they can be delivered in Huron Perth.
  • Only priority groups established by the Ministry of Health are receiving the early vaccine doses. At an unknown later time, this will be expanded by the province.
  • For the latest information about vaccines in the province, visit 

Provincial Lockdown

  • The province-wide lockdown came into effect on Saturday, December 26, 2020
  • The provincewide shutdown is to help interrupt or slow current community transmission, reduce mobility and allow our health care and public health systems that are reaching critical limits to recover briefly and catch-up
  • To find out more about the restrictions and public health measures in place, visit:

For more information


Alerts Grey Bruce Public Health Unit Health Departments

Covid-19 Outbreak At Lee Manor – More Cases In Grey Bruce

Testing and case counts reported as of 15:30 hrs, December 19, 2020:

new case(s) reported in past 24 hours in Grey Bruce; West Grey -2, Owen Sound – 2, Southgate, Saugeen Shores, South Bruce, Hanover

430 confirmed cases to date (current cumulative total)

31 active case(s)

Active Probable Cases. Probable cases are not lab confirmed, but are symptomatic and are high-risk contacts of an active case

203 High Risk Contacts associated with active cases

376 recovered cases; 23 cases referred to other health units

confirmed case(s) currently hospitalized in Grey Bruce


40 confirmed cases reported in Health Care Workers working in Grey Bruce 

1 facility(ies) in COVID-19 outbreak. Reported in Long-Term Care / Retirement Homes)

  • Lee Manor Long-Term Care Facility, Owen Sound
Alerts Health Departments Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance

Covid-19 Outbreak At Listowel Hospital, Stratford General Hospital, Knollcrest Lodge & Cedarcroft

Case count


  • Hospitals:
    • An outbreak has been declared on the 2nd floor medicine unit of the Listowel Memorial Hospital. Currently, 4 patients and 8 staff have been identified as part of the outbreak.  HPPH is working closely with the hospital in responding to the outbreak. For more information:
    • The outbreak at the Medicine Unit at Stratford General Hospital appears to be under control and remains at 7 staff members.  Outbreak control measures continue to be in place.
  • Long-Term Care & Retirement Homes:
    • There is currently 1 outbreak at Knollcrest Lodge, declared after a healthcare worker tested positive during routine surveillance.
    • There continues to be no change in number cases related to the Cedarcroft outbreak. The total number of confirmed cases remains at: 50 confirmed cases in residents and 24 cases in staff. There are no active cases among residents OR staff.

COVID-19 Vaccine

Health Departments Southwestern Public Health

The Biggest Single Day Spike of COVID-19 Cases in Our Region Means We Could be Moving Up a Tier

Today Southwestern Public Health reported 19 cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of active confirmed cases in the region to 72. It also reported the region’s eighth death.

“These numbers are predictive of a move to the Red Tier of Ontario’s Safe and Open Strategy which will have a significant impact on our local businesses. These numbers – some of the highest of the year for us – are also predictive of an increase in serious illness, hospitalizations, ICU stays, and death,” warns Dr. Joyce Lock, Medical Officer of Health for Southwestern Public Health.

“There is good news, however. The good news is that each of you have what it takes to bring these numbers down, to decrease the amount of virus circulating around us, and to lower the risk to the community we love,” adds Dr. Lock.
The health unit asks the public to focus on three actions that will reduce the most common sources of transmission seen in our region:

  1. Maintain physical distance and wear a face covering in the workplace. The virus spreads quickly and easily when people are close together and unmasked, particularly in areas like break or lunchrooms.
  2. Limit close contact to members of your household. Close contact is within 2 metres for longer than 15 minutes.
  3. Stay home and get tested if you experience even one symptom. A test is the only way to know if your symptoms are COVID-19 related. Once you know your result you can take action to keep your loved ones safe.

About Southwestern Public Health
Southwestern Public Health works with its partners to ensure the health of the whole community. Our programs respond to public health emergencies; promote healthy lifestyles; help prevent injuries, illness Southwestern Public Health delivers mandated programs under the Ontario Public Health Standards and is regulated by the Ontario Health Protection and Promotion Act. The health unit maintains primary locations in Woodstock and St. Thomas. For more information, visit

Health Departments Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance

COVID-19 Outbreak Declared on the Medicine Unit at Stratford General Hospital

The Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance (HPHA) has declared an outbreak of COVID-19 on the Medicine Unit at its Stratford General Hospital site today after two cases of the virus were identified in staff members. No patients have acquired the virus while in hospital.

Outbreak status refers to two COVID-19 cases within a 14-day period, where both cases could reasonably have been acquired in the hospital.

“All outbreak control measures are in place and there has been no transmission to other patient care areas of the hospital,” says Andrew Williams, President & CEO. “We are taking an abundance of caution as we review this situation, are working closely with Huron Perth Public Health and will ensure staff, patients and family members/caregivers are kept apprised of all necessary information.”

Affected staff are currently self-isolating at home and will not return to work until their self-isolation period is complete and they are asymptomatic.

Since receiving transfers from the Cedarcroft Retirement Home in mid-November the Medicine Unit has implemented enhanced cleaning and infection control procedures. As a result of the Outbreak, the Unit has enacted restricted admission and discharge protocols and will be closed to visitors, with limited exceptions.

“These realities serve to remind all of us of the importance of following public health measures – wearing a mask, physically distancing, washing our hands and staying home when unwell,” adds Williams. “By doing this, and working together and supporting one another, we will get through this.”

The hospital remains open for all scheduled clinics, procedures and emergency visits and HPHA will continue to update the community, as more or changing information occurs.

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