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Public Health Placing Temporary Hold on Non-Essential Services as Precaution

Hastings and Prince Edward Counties/March 16, 2020 – 5:40 pm 

Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH) announced today that all non-essential public-facing programs and activities offered by the public health unit are being placed on hold until further notice. All public health offices will be closed to the public at 4:30 pm today. Plans are being put in place to continue with essential services through other mechanisms such as telephone, email, social media, etc. These changes will allow HPEPH staff to be temporarily reassigned to respond to COVID-19 inquiries and operational demands. The HPEPH response to COVID-19 includes ongoing community monitoring, providing up-to-date information to the public and health care providers (including dedicated COVID-19 phone lines), responding to community inquiries, and providing infection control support to the community.

“We recognize that many individuals rely on public health services to improve their quality of life, and we are committed to finding alternate ways to deliver as many of these services as possible,” says Dr. Piotr Oglaza, Medical Officer of Health and CEO at HPEPH. “We are prioritizing our response to COVID-19, encouraging social distancing, and ensuring our staff are available to respond to immediate community needs.”

The HPEPH website hpePublicHealth.ca and social media accounts will be updated regularly as new information becomes available. Residents are encouraged to check back often for the latest information on programs and services.

If you are not able to find answers to your questions regarding programs and services online, please dial 613-966-5500 or 1-800-267-2803 and use one of the following extensions to make specific enquiries. Callers may have to wait for their call to be answered due to high call volumes. These extensions are answered by public health staff Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm only.

Child and Reproductive Health CARELine – ext. 223

Communicable Disease Intake Line – ext. 349

Healthy Babies Healthy Children – ext. 269

Healthy Communities – ext. 610

Healthy Environments – ext. 677

Immunization Records and TB Testing – ext. 221

Needle Exchange Program – ext. 620

Oral Health and Vision – ext. 680

Sexual Health Intake Line – ext. 418

Tobacco Talk Line – ext. 600

The COVID-19 phone lines continue to be open seven days a week for individuals who are unable to find their answers on our COVID-19 web page. Updates will be also be posted to our Facebook Page, Twitter @hpePublicHealth.

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Media Contact:
Veronica Montgomery, Foundational Standards Manager
vmontgomery@hpeph.ca

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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.