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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

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.