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COVID-19 - page 2

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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City council prepares to move municipality to level orange

in Health/Municipal by
If Kawartha Lakes moves to orange level, downtowns and other community businesses will get to re-open. Photo: Jessica Topfer.

Chief Administrative Officer for Kawartha Lakes, Ron Taylor, told council recently that while the city is looking forward to reopening on Feb. 16, citizens should expect continued restrictions as the city will likely be designated orange under the current provincial re-opening framework in the continuing battle to limit COVID-19 and its variants’ spread.

The colour orange in the province’s framework means enhanced measures are still in place, there are restrictions on the number of people who can gather at businesses (which get to open again) or in homes, and enforcement while avoiding any closures.

“It has been a couple of months since my last report,” Taylor said, “and this report is in response to the provincial re-opening announcement made on Feb. 8.”

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Basic income is needed to underpin a fairer society

in Opinion/Social Issues by
Basic income is needed to underpin a fairer society

The year 2020 has demonstrated why the expression “May you live in interesting times” is seen as a curse. As the world reeled under the loss of life, economic impacts and the removal of opportunities many of us have taken for granted, the desire to move back to more stable times has appeared attractive.

Yet the chaos we continue to live through also offers us a chance to reimagine the world we live in — to challenge the dominant presumptions we entered the pandemic with, and to implement new policies to ensure we build forward better.

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Health unit requests money from city after reduction in public health spending by Conservatives

in Health/Municipal by
Health unit requests money from municipality after reduction in public health spending by Conservatives

With the Ontario Conservative government reducing provincial grants by 30 per cent for mandatory provincial programs, the local health unit has requested a 19 per cent increase in funding for the 2021 operational year from the municipality.

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New COVID-19 funding for HKLB school boards

in Education/Municipal by
The Trillium Lakelands District School Board (TLDSB) will receive a total allocation of $600,787.

In an effort to keep schools safe from COVID-19, the Ontario government is investing an additional $381 million provided by the federal Safe Return to Class Fund. This funding will be used to improve air quality and ventilation in schools, support online learning, promote student mental health and hire more staff.

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Questions remain as to who will administer rapid COVID-19 testing in schools

in Education/Health by
Questions remain as to who will administer rapid COVID-19 testing in schools

At a recent press conference Education Minister Stephen Lecce and Chief Medical Officer of Health David Williams were vague on key educational issues, leaving Trillium Lakelands District School Board parents, students and staff needing more clarification about March Break.

This includes questions on who will be administering the rapid COVID-19 test in the school setting, and when Muskoka students be back to in-person learning.

During the question and answer section of the briefing, March Break, scheduled to run from March 13-22, became a point of contention. Dr. Williams was asked directly if there were plans to “cancel March Break to make up for time lost due to COVID-19.”

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Declaration to fix long-term care made by local group

in Health/Seniors by

“We, residents from across Haliburton County and the City of Kawartha Lakes, and friends, gathered together virtually, declare that we are of consensus that to fix long-term care, we need to…” so begins the Haliburton-City of Kawartha Lakes Declaration to Fix Long-Term Care, passed unanimously by some 50 residents from communities across the area at a virtual town hall meeting last week.

Hosted by the recently formed Haliburton-City of Kawartha Lakes Long-Term Coalition, the meeting included a presentation by Cathy Parkes of Canadians 4 National Standards.

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Catching a cold still possible, even with exceptional hygiene: Health unit

in Health by

While most of us are being extra cautious these days when it comes to personal hygiene, some readers have been asking how they’re getting sick at all if they’re barely leaving the house.

As many people observe strict COVID protocols of only leaving home for essential reasons, coupled with strict handwashing regiments, how is the common cold or other ailments even possible?

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Kawartha Lakes students back to school Monday

in Education by

Many parents in Kawartha Lakes are overjoyed to hear that their school-aged children who were attending in-person learning before the Christmas holiday will be returning to school on Jan. 25.

The Ontario government, in consultation with the chief medical officer of health, announced that schools under jurisdiction of the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit will be returning to in-person learning Jan. 25 while schools under jurisdiction of the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit will continue remote learning until at least Feb. 10.

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School board notes: Health unit supports classes shut down until at least Jan. 25

in Education by

The Ontario government has extended the temporary remote learning period for elementary schools by an additional two weeks while they monitor the ever increasing second wave of COVID-19.

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