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Media Release: HPEPH experiencing backlog in case and contact management due to high case numbers

Hastings and Prince Edward Counties/Dec. 16, 2021

The rapid increase of COVID-19 cases in our region is causing a backlog in Hastings and Prince Edward Public Health’s case and contact management process. As a result, there will be a delay in contacting individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 and their high-risk contacts. The delay may be more than 48 hours.

If you test positive for COVID-19, you must self-isolate and please immediately notify your high-risk contacts of your positive COVID-19 status. A high-risk contact, also known as a close contact, is someone who has been in close contact with you during your contagious period (48 hours prior to symptom onset/positive test result, and up to 10 days after symptom onset).

If you are contacted by someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, get tested immediately, even if you do not have any symptoms or are fully vaccinated. Do not wait for HPEPH to contact you. While you wait for your test results you MUST self-isolate. Check for your test results online. Due to an increase in cases, tests results can take several days.

While waiting to be contacted by HPEPH, please follow the guidance on the Information for those who test positive and Requirements for self-isolation web pages.

Please remain vigilant, get vaccinated when appointments become available

With rates of COVID-19 growing at an alarming rate in our community, and the prevalence of the highly contagious Omicron variant of concern in Ontario, we urge everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

HPEPH is working closely with our community partners to increase appointment availability and will provide updates as new appointments become available.

The best way for individuals to protect themselves against the new Omicron variant of concern is to:

  • Get fully vaccinated and seek a third dose when eligible and when appointments are available.
  • Screen for symptoms of COVID-19 daily, stay home, isolate, and get tested even if symptoms are mild.
  • Avoid social gatherings and limit visiting others or having guests over. Private gatherings cannot exceed 10 people.
  • Stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with.
  • Wear a well-fitted mask in indoor spaces.
  • Clean your hands frequently.

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Media contacts

Maureen Hyland, Communications Specialist

mhyland@hpeph.ca

Emily Tubbs, Communications Specialist

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 and Instagram.

We invite community partners and residents to share this Media Release with their respective networks.

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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.