OWEN SOUND, ONT. -- After relatively few COVID-19 cases in Grey Bruce over the summer, even with the large number of tourists from the GTA, the situation is rapidly changing.

Over the weekend, the health unit reported 10 new cases.  On Tuesday, it listed three new positive diagnoses with 27 active cases.

Grey Bruce medical officer of health Dr. Ian Arra says the concern now is the number of contacts with these positive cases compared to the spring.

"We used to see three or four contacts for each case. Now we are seeing an average of 10, 20, and sometimes up to 30, 40 for one case," Dr. Arra says.

Grey Bruce's top doc says the large number of contacts makes tracing the virus' spread challenging.

Dr. Arra says the public is fatigued by the pandemic restrictions, and the numbers reflect people's interactions and behaviours. Still, he says that this is the time to double down on preventative measures.

"Washing our hands frequently, watching our distance, 2 meters or more where possible, and wearing a mask correctly... these are the things that kept us safe. These are the things that will carry us until a vaccine is in place, hopefully in a few months from now."

With no outbreaks at any seniors' homes, childcare centres or workplaces across Grey Bruce, Dr. Arra says that's evidence that precautions do work at controlling the spread.

"If people are mindful and keeping the three W's top mind in every interaction, they have that will to ensure their safety, their family's safety and the safety of the community and the community at large," he says.

Health officials anticipate it taking two weeks before the statistics show whether renewed vigilance is working to flatten the curve.