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Statement from the Medical Officer of Health: Please be Kind

Dr. Oglaza

Photo Courtesy of The Intelligencer/Postmedia

Hastings and Prince Edward Counties/November 27, 2020

To all members of the Hastings and Prince Edward Communities,

Over the past several months this community has made considerable sacrifices and diligently followed Public Health advice to control the spread of COVID-19. Despite the hard work taking place at many levels, we have seen a significant increase in the number of cases of COVID-19 in our region over the past few weeks. Please don’t get discouraged by these numbers but instead consider this to be motivation to redouble your efforts to make responsible choices that protect the larger community.

No one is immune to this virus and even the most diligent among us can become infected. I am asking you to remember this when you hear either rumours or confirmation that a neighbour, co-worker, health care provider, or student has tested positive for COVID-19.  While many of us are doing all we can to protect ourselves and those around us, some may be exposed due to circumstances beyond their own control.

Now is not the time to place blame, discriminate, or speculate about who may be infected or how they might have been exposed. These discussions do not contribute to our efforts to stop the spread and instead contribute to an environment of discouragement, fear, and intolerance. This is a difficult time for everyone and I encourage you to use your energy productively and for the good of the community. Instead of judging the actions of others, please focus your efforts on your own choices and actions. Remember that we are all in this together.

Please treat your fellow community members, both old and new, with kindness and tolerance. Our actions and words will live on in this community long after this pandemic is over, and I hope that each of us will be able to look back on our individual choices and be proud of how we treated one another.

As part of your efforts to prevent the spread, please continue to avoid unnecessary travel, stay home as much as possible, and avoid the 3 C’s: closed spaces with poor ventilation; crowded places; and close contact where you can’t practice physical distancing.  Continue to monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 and follow guidance provided in provincial assessment tools regarding testing and isolation.

I believe in our community and know we can come through this pandemic stronger and more united. On behalf of the entire team at Public Health, I thank you for everything you are doing, and everything you will continue to do to protect and respect one another.

Dr. Piotr Oglaza, Medical Officer of Health and CEO
Hastings Prince Edward Public Health

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COVID-19 VACCINES IN HPEPH

Individuals turning 12 and over in 2021 who have not yet had a first dose, or those who meet the minimum second dose interval are now eligible to attend HPEPH walk-in clinics. To view the schedule, visit the Booking and Eligibility Page.

If you attended a clinic and did not receive an email copy of your vaccination receipt you can download a copy off the provincial booking site at covid19.ontariohealth.ca.

PHARMACY-BASED VACCINATIONS

Individuals turning 12 and over in 2021 can also receive their vaccination at participating local pharmacies. Please visit covid-19.ontario.ca/vaccine-locations for location and registration information.

CURRENT RESTRICTIONS IN HPEPH

On Friday, July 16 at 12:01 a.m., Ontario moved to Step 3  of the the Roadmap to Reopen. We must all continue to follow the public health measures, advice and restrictions. Outdoor gatherings are limited to 100 people in Step 3, and distancing must be maintained. For more information, visit our COVID-19 page.

POTENTIAL EXPOSURE TO COVID-19?

If you are concerned about potential exposure to a positive case of COVID-19, please be reassured that any contacts of a confirmed case will be contacted directly and monitored by public health.

Low-risk and indirect contacts should self monitor for symptoms for 10 days from the time of potential exposure and seek testing if symptoms develop. Low risk contacts do not need to isolate unless symptoms develop, and can continue to attend school/work/daycare while monitoring for symptoms.