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Non-essential travel discouraged in order to keep HPEPH in green/prevent zone

Hastings and Prince Edward Counties/November 20, 2020 – Today, the province announced that Hastings and Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH) will remain in the green/prevent zone of Ontario’s COVID-19 Response Framework for another week. Currently in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties there are 15 active cases of COVID-19, with 14 of these being new cases that have been reported over the past 7 days.

With 14 new cases being reported in the region over the past 7 days, the local incidence rate of COVID-19 cases is 8.3 per 100,000 people. The incidence rate demonstrates how quickly rates of the virus are increasing in the region. Within the COVID-19 Response Framework, an incidence rate that exceeds 10 cases per 100,00 people is one of the factors considered by the province to determine if HPEPH should move into the yellow/protect zone. Considering the population in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties, HPEPH will exceed this rate if 17 new cases of COVID-19 are identified locally over a 7-day period.

As case numbers continue to grow in the region, residents are asked to remain diligent with their efforts to practice public health protocols, and consider additional changes to their travel and social habits. The entire team at HPEPH continues to be grateful for the ongoing efforts of the community to curb the spread of COVID-19 and recognizes that these efforts are not easy. However, residents are asked to carefully consider how essential their travel and social activities may be, recognizing that any situation where there is close contact with others can increase the risk of contracting and spreading the virus.

“I am asking all residents to consider additional changes they can make to help reduce the risk of exposure to, and spread of, COVID-19”, says Dr. Piotr Oglaza, Medical Officer of Health and CEO at HPEPH. “Please avoid travel to other regions unless absolutely necessary. Consider postponing invitations for visits from friends or family members who reside in other areas. Every new case in our region increases the risk of local spread and could severely impact our vulnerable loved ones.” 

In addition to avoiding unnecessary travel, everyone is asked to continue their efforts to reduce their number of high-risk contacts in general, which will help slow the spread of illness. To reduce high risk contacts, avoid the 3 C’s: closed spaces with poor ventilation; crowded places; and close contact where you can’t practice physical distancing. All residents should continue to monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 and follow guidance provided in provincial assessment tools regarding testing and isolation.

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Media Contact:
Emily Tubbs   
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.