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COVID-19

Benns’ Belief: Politicians are human — and so is learning from our mistakes

in Opinion by
Playgrounds, public health now knows, are not hotspots for COVID transmissions. (File photo from first lockdown.)

As we navigate Lockdown Number Whatever due to the pandemic it’s clear the politicians are determined to simply do what they want. It’s governance by political calculus, not public health needs.

Yes, Premier Doug Ford and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are human. They’re bound to make mistakes during an unparalleled crisis in our history. Other than the most partisan among us, they have been cut a lot of slack by most people I’ve heard from.

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Stricter provincial rules are necessary to slow COVID surge: Health unit

in Health by
Dr. Bocking, Medical Officer of Health at HKPRDHU
Dr. Natalie Bocking, medical officer of health with HKPRDHU.

Extremely difficult, but absolutely necessary.

That is the reaction of the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPRDHU) to new, tougher restrictions announced today by the Ontario government to try slowing surging COVID-19 case counts in the province. With many hospitals, ICU units, health care providers, and public health agencies (like HKPRDHU) facing overwhelming pressures due to COVID-19, additional action has to be taken now.

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Increase in COVID-19 cases stretches health unit capacity

in Health by
COVID-19

Dr. Natalie Bocking, medical officer of health for the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit says that the recent spike in cases has stretched the capacity of the health unit to its limits.

She says the organization has had to make some process changes to balance the work involved with new cases while continuing to offer mass immunization clinics in the communities.

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Lockdown: Small businesses scramble again to counter COVID and its variants

in Business/Community/Health by
Lindsay’s Ctrl V will be one of many businesses closed during the lockdown.

Another lockdown is upon Ontario due to an acceleration of COVID-19 variants – and two local businesses are facing different realities because of it.

At 1:30 this afternoon, Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced the lockdown will begin just after midnight on April 3. This will not be a stay-at-home lockdown. Schools will remain open but for at least the next four weeks, various local businesses are to be subjected to the similar sort of measures already in place in hotspot regions.

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School board trustee wonders why teachers are not a priority for COVID vaccines

in Education/Health by
School board trustee wonders why teachers are not priority for vaccines
"School staff are frontline workers and unfortunately the health units and the ministry do not see it that way."

As far as trustee Gary Brohman is concerned, staff working in Trillium Lakelands District School Board schools are essential workers and he cannot understand why the province has not made the vaccination of teachers, administrators and support staff a priority.

At the recent school board meeting, Brohman advocated forcefully for staff vaccines to be safe against the threat of COVID-19.

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COVID-19 isn’t a pandemic — it’s a syndemic with social origins

in Opinion by

By Dr. Helen Scott

As we approach 2.5 million deaths globally from COVID-19 as I write this, we must begin to address the reality that we are not taking a broad enough approach to managing the outbreak.

Up until now, we have mostly viewed the cause of this global crisis as an infectious disease. Government interventions have focused on stopping viral transmission to control the spread of the virus. We are relying on measures like social distancing, hand-washing and lockdowns. Epidemiologists and infectious disease specialists are guiding governments by approaching COVID-19 in the same ways that we dealt with the plague more than 100 years ago.

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RMH begins COVID-19 vaccine roll-out for staff, physicians

in Health by
RMH begins COVID-19 vaccine roll-out for staff, physicians
It is anticipated that all highest priority staff and physicians will receive their first dose by the end of the week.

On March 3, the first doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine were administered to 78 Ross Memorial Hospital (RMH) staff and physicians.

Following the provincial ethical framework, the vaccine roll-out at RMH will prioritize staff and physicians who are considered front line, in high risk clinical areas. It is anticipated that all highest priority staff and physicians will receive their first dose by the end of the week.

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EORN lobbying for ‘ultra-fast Gig internet’ for area

in Business/Community by

The Eastern Ontario Regional Network (EORN) has made a formal submission to the federal and provincial governments seeking support to deliver ultra-fast Gig internet to homes and businesses across the region.

The submission has been sent to federal minister Maryam Monsef, who has responsibility for rural economic development, and Ontario’s Minister of Infrastructure Laurie Scott, who is tasked with rural broadband matters for the province.

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Asymptomatic testing coming to area schools

in Education/Health by
Asymptomatic testing coming to area schools

Kawartha Lakes area parents will soon get the chance to have their asymptomatic children tested for COVID-19 if they wish.

At the recent Trillium Lakelands District School Board meeting, Director of Education Wes Hahn shared details regarding the changes in testing and screening mandated by the province, soon to be rolled out by the HKPR District Health Unit, private labs, and TLDSB.

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Vaccine hesitancy: Top doc says questions are reasonable but the science is strong

in Community/Health by
Vaccine hesitancy: Medical officer of health talks

Dr. Ian Gemmill gets it. The acting medical officer of health for the HKPR Health Unit says he appreciates how some may be skeptical of the new COVID-19 vaccines’ efficacy – and safety. “Vaccine hesitancy is an interest of mine,” Gemmill tells Denis Grignon, host of The Advocate Podcast: Stories from Kawartha Lakes, in the most recent episode.

“We do have a society that is more questioning than it was 50 year ago. There are a lot of people out there who have questions. And I think the questions, actually, are quite reasonable.” Particularly, he concedes, when it comes to the speed with which the vaccines were developed – less than 10 months, compared to the years it typically takes.

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