HPPH COVID update includes future follow up with school boards

Huron Perth Public Health

With Premier Doug Ford announcing earlier this week a plan to begin vaccinating those working in the education sector, the Medical Officer of Health for Huron and Perth, Dr. Miriam Klassen, says HPPH will be working to get a plan in place soon.

“We will be connecting with the school boards about education workers who provide direct support to students with special education needs, and the later rollout to other educators. A full list of those that are currently eligible for the vaccine can be found on our website,” said Dr. Klassen.

You can find that website and relevant COVID-19 vaccine information can be found by clicking here.

Expanding on her Thursday update, Dr. Klassen says there have been 1,446 confirmed COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic.

Eight cases have been added and one referred to another health unit since Wednesday. Among the 27 active cases, 12 of them are variants of concern.

“We must all act as if we could come into contact with the virus anywhere in our community, and as if we ourselves could transmit it unknowingly. In terms of outbreaks, there are no facility outbreaks at this time, and there is currently one active COVID-19 outbreak in a workplace,” said Klassen.

Dr. Klassen notes that there is one Huron-Perth resident in hospital currently with COVID-19, and the total deaths in the region remains at 51.

On the vaccination front, Dr. Klassen says 25,308 vaccines have been administered in Huron and Perth and 91 percent of residents aged 80 and up in the area have received a COVID-19 vaccine dose.

But even with the vaccine, Dr. Klassen stressed the importance of following public health measures, as vaccines are just another layer of protection.

With the high vaccination rates in the 80-plus group, they have expanded vaccination eligibility in Huron and Perth this week.

“In terms of vaccine eligibility, we have expanded that to adults turning 65 and older, so anyone born in 1956 or earlier. These individuals can book into our mass immunization clinics,” stated Dr. Klassen.

One of the challenges health officials are facing when it comes to vaccines is people booking multiple appointments the cancelling those appointments, leaving holes in the schedule.

Dr. Klassen says thankfully there hasn’t been a very high percentage of vaccine waste in Huron and Perth so far but adds overbooking and then cancelling numerous appointments can be detrimental because once a vaccine vial is opened, it can’t be resealed and used later.