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Health unit

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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Public urged to be vigilant as local COVID cases spike

in Health by
COVID-19

Until everyone has been vaccinated, the new local medical officer of health, Dr. Natalie Bocking, is urging people to remain vigilant and continue to follow public health recommendations to help stop the increased spread of the COVID-19 virus in the area.

During the past seven days, staff from the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit have conducted investigations on more than 94 new confirmed COVID cases. The bulk of these new cases are in Northumberland County, but additional cases have been confirmed in Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton County.

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City’s ATV task force must put health of citizens ahead of everything else

in Letters to the Editor by
City's ATV task force must put health of citizens ahead of all else

It is outrageous that the Kawartha Lakes ATV task force wants to open up essentially all roads in the City of Kawartha Lakes to ATV and Side by Side use as can be seen when one views the last task force meeting of March 4.

What is most troubling is the fact that the committee members have not consulted the local health unit for an opinion on what effects such a move would have on the health and safety of area residents. Public Health Ontario released a report on the epidemiology of ATV-related injuries in Ontario in 2019 and found that the Haliburton-Kawartha Pine-Ridge Health Unit (to which our city belongs) had the fifth highest rate of Emergency Room visits and hospitalizations of the 34 health units in the province.

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Mass immunization clinics: What it will look like in Kawartha Lakes

in Health by
Mass immunization clinics: What it will look like in Kawartha Lakes
Dr. Ian Gemmill, acting medical officer of health.

As more vaccines get shipped to Kawartha Lakes in the coming weeks and an increasing number of citizens become eligible to get one, what do plans look like here for mass immunization?

According to the plan as it’s written now, the Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health Unit is not planning an around-the-clock effort where vaccines are administered 24/7.

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Province to move local health unit to ‘yellow’ as local cases decline

in Health by
Province to move local health unit to 'yellow' as local cases decline

Declining new coronavirus cases in recent weeks means COVID-19 restrictions will be eased somewhat starting Monday in Haliburton County, Northumberland County and Kawartha Lakes.

As of 12:01 am on Monday (March 8), the Ontario government will move the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPRDHU) region to its Yellow COVID-19 colour category. This is the second lowest level in Ontario’s five-colour COVID-19 Response Framework, and one step below the current Orange category that the area has been in for the past three weeks since the provincial Stay-at-Home order was lifted in mid-February.

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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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No direction given to local health units on use of AstraZeneca, about to expire in April

in Health by

As the country scrambles to coordinate and prioritize vaccinations against COVID-19, thousands of doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine will expire by the end of April.

And while that would conceivably mean a rush for local health units to get them into arms as quickly as possible, the acting local medical officer of health, Dr. Ian Gemmill, says there is not yet any definitive direction on the use of AstraZeneca – not even any indication it is coming to public health units.

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Local vaccine delivery expected this week says health unit

in Health by
A dose of good news: First local vaccine arrives

With more COVID-19 vaccine shipments expected this week, the local public health agency will be initiating vaccination clinics for the next group to be completed under the provincial vaccine distribution plan. 

The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPRDHU) is expecting to receive more than 4,500 doses of the Pfizer vaccine this week, as well another 1,700 doses of Moderna. The Moderna vaccine will be used to provide the second dose to those residents of long-term care and high-risk retirement homes who had received their first dose last month.  Keep Reading

Local health unit favours delaying March break, not cancelling it

in Education by
Local health unit favours delaying March break, not cancelling it
Ensuring Ontarians avoid hot locales like this or even Canadian travel is on the mind of the education minister.

What began as idle speculation last week has now turned into a full blown discussion about what the 2021 school spring break will look like for almost 17,000 Trillium Lakelands District School Board students — and it could mean a deferral of March break, if the local health unit has its way.

However, the minister of education, Stephen Lecce, has decided to frame the March Break question as a public health question rather than an educational question and it looks like the public health community is rallying behind him.

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