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Board of Health Update – February 2020

Today, the Hastings Prince Edward Board of Health (HPEPH) held its monthly meeting for February 2020.

Preparations Underway to Respond to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus

Work is underway at HPEPH to respond to the emergence of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). This new virus has never been seen in humans before, and was discovered just over a month ago. The virus causes many general respiratory symptoms, similar to a cold or flu, but has also been seen to cause symptoms such as pneumonia, or in severe cases, death. While over 20,000 cases have been confirmed in China, there has been very limited spread of the illness within North America, and only 5 confirmed cases within Canada. While the 2019-nCoV is new, regular infection prevention techniques are still effective! All residents are encouraged to wash their hands thoroughly, cough/sleeve into their elbow, and stay home if they are sick.

All public health units, including HPEPH have processes in place to respond to infectious illnesses such as the 2019-nCoV. In addition to maintaining and enhancing regular protocols to protect members of the local community, HPEPH is providing support to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), in response to federal plans to receive repatriated Canadians from Hubei Province at CFB Trenton. While PHAC is leading these arrangements, HPEPH is working closely with the Ministry of Health and the Federal Government to provide support as required.

“I recognize that the arrival of Canadians from Hubei province at CFB Trenton may result in questions and concerns,” says Dr. Piotr Oglaza, Medical Officer of Health and CEO for HPEPH. “I would like to reassure local residents that comprehensive processes are in place to protect the health of all involved, including the surrounding community. The risk to our community remains low.”

For more information about the repatriation of Canadian citizens to CFB Trenton, or for general information about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), please visit hpePublicHealth.ca.

Board of Health Passes Balanced Budget for 2020

Today, the Board of Health approved a balanced budget for 2020. This budget continues to reinforce the directions of the 2019-2023 Strategic Plan, which prioritized the review and evaluation of programs and services, creation of processes to improve efficiencies, and optimizing the allocation of resources. These actions will help prepare HPEPH for the modernization of public health. Work is continuing to ensure that staff resources are best aligned to meet organizational needs, while continuing to provide community services. A complete overview of the budget can be accessed at hpePublicHealth.ca.

Work Continues to Build Relationships with Indigenous Communities

HPEPH is continuously working to build our relationships with Indigenous communities, which includes enhancing understanding of Indigenous history and culture. To support these efforts, in December, members of the Board of Health, select staff at HPEPH, and community partners participated in a unique exercise that enhanced our understanding of the complex history between settlers and Indigenous people in what we now call Canada. This opportunity helped HPEPH better prepare us for our ongoing work to engage with the Indigenous community in our region. This year, HPEPH will continue working towards collaborative engagement with the three local Indigenous communities: the Algonquin Nation Kijicho Manito Madaouskarini, Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte, and the Métis Nation of Ontario.

Media Contact:
Emily Tubbs
613-966-5500 x 464 or 613-848-2398
etubbs@hpeph.ca

About Hastings Prince Edward Public Health

Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH) is a public health agency that serves the counties of Hastings and Prince Edward from four local offices. We monitor the health of our local population, deliver programs and services within our communities, and help develop healthy public policies. We provide information and support in many areas to help improve the health and well-being of our residents. Together with our communities, we help people become as healthy as they can be. For more information, please visit hpePublicHealth.ca. You can also find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

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COVID-19 VACCINES IN HPEPH

Appointments for individuals 5+ can be booked through the provincial vaccine booking site, or by calling 1-833-943-3900 from 8 am to 8 pm, 7 days a week.  

Due to limited supply, HPEPH will initially be prioritizing available bivalent vaccine for residents and workers at identified highest-risk facilities.  Some HPEPH vaccination clinics MAY offer the bivalent vaccine, as availability allows. Vaccine clinics in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties will continue to offer monovalent vaccines (the same mRNA vaccines given as the primary series) for all eligible individuals until a steady supply of the bivalent vaccine is available.

Visit the HPEPH vaccine booking web page for details.

COVID-19 PROTOCOLS

Symptoms or exposure? Visit www.ontario.ca/exposed for the most up to date information about what to do.

For the most up to date information on current provincial restrictions, visit https://covid-19.ontario.ca/public-health-measures.

The Ministry of Health has launched a new toll-free line as an additional resource to help answer questions from the public regarding evolving COVID-19 testing and isolation guidance. The line can be reached at 1-888-777-0730, and is available from 8 am to 6 pm, 7 days a week.