Health Experts Say the COVID-19 Outbreak Has Likely Peaked in Ontario

News Release

April 20, 2020

Modelling shows physical distancing still needed to prevent further spread

TORONTO — The Ontario government today released updated COVID-19 modelling, which shows that the enhanced public health measures, including staying home and physically distancing from each other, are working to contain the spread of the virus and flatten the curve. However, the Chief Medical Officer of Health says emergency measures must remain in place to continue reducing the number of cases and deaths.

“The modelling clearly demonstrates that we are making progress in our fight against this deadly virus. That’s due to the actions of all Ontarians, those who are staying home and practising physical distancing, and to the heroic efforts of our frontline health care workers,” said Premier Doug Ford. “But COVID-19 continues to be a clear and present danger, especially to our seniors and most vulnerable citizens. That is why we must continue to follow the advice of our Chief Medical Officer of Health and stay the course in order to keep people safe and healthy.”

Key highlights from the modelling update include:

  • The wave of new community spread cases of COVID-19 in Ontario appears to have peaked.
  • Outbreaks in long-term care and congregate settings continue to be a major concern. Concerted actions are underway to protect vulnerable people in these settings.
  • Ontario is now trending toward a best case scenario rather than a worst case scenario and has significantly improved its standing as compared to March modelling.
  • The province has avoided a significant surge in cases. Total cumulative cases are forecast to be substantially lower than worst case or even moderate case scenarios projected by previous models.
  • While several hundred new cases are identified daily in Ontario, hospitals across the province have not been overwhelmed by the COVID-19 outbreak as a result of capacity planning and the public health measures currently in place. The rate of growth day-over-day is declining.
  • To further reduce the number of cases and deaths, it remains critical that Ontarians continue to adhere to public health measures, including staying home and practicing physical distancing if they must go out for essential reasons only.

“The information released today shows early but unmistakable signs that our efforts are working,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “These numbers are not an accident. They are the re sult of months of planning and collective action to stop the spread of COVID-19 and flatten the curve. However, in order for these projections to become reality, each of us must continue to stay home as much possible and practise physical distancing.”

To enhance protections for residents and staff in long-term care homes, last week Ontario launched the COVID-19 Action Plan: Long-Term Care Homes. This action plan will ensure the implementation of critical new measures to prevent further outbreaks and deaths from COVID-19 in long-term care homes. These measures include enhancing and expanding testing for symptomatic and asymptomatic contacts of confirmed cases; providing public health and infection control expertise; and redeploying staff from hospitals and home and community care to support the long-term care home workforce.

“The new province-wide modelling data are encouraging, but we know that long-term care homes and other congregate settings will track on a different path,” said Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care. “We will continue to take aggressive action to support our most vulnerable residents and their caregivers.”

QUICK FACTS

  • All Ontarians need to stay home unless absolutely necessary for essential trips, such as accessing health care services, groceries, picking up prescriptions or supporting vulnerable community members with meeting essential needs. If you must leave your home, go alone and stay at least two metres apart from others.
  • Ontario has made improvements to its COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool by expanding its symptom list, addressing the most high risk individuals, and making it more accessible and responsive.
  • Take these everyday steps to reduce exposure to COVID-19 and protect your health: wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer; sneeze and cough into your sleeve; avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth; avoid contact with people who are sick; stay home if you are sick.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Ontario Expands COVID-19 Vaccination Booking for More People – Individuals Aged 18 and Over in Hotspots Eligible to Book as of May 3

NEWS RELEASE

May 02, 2021
Ministry of Health

TORONTO — Due to a stable and reliable increase in vaccine supply, this week, the Ontario government will further expand booking eligibility for COVID-19 vaccination appointments across the province.

As of Monday, May 3, 2021, at 8:00 a.m., individuals who are 18 and over in 2021 and live in one of the 114 hot spot communities will be eligible to book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment at a mass immunization clinic through the provincial online booking system or directly through public health units that use their own booking system. This expansion of eligibility will support the government’s strategy of allocating 50 per cent of vaccine allocations to hot spots the weeks of May 3rd and 10th.

“With additional supply our government is increasing access to the COVID-19 vaccines in the communities hardest hit by COVID-19,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “Continuing to focus on getting vaccines in the arms of those most at risk will help to stop the spread of COVID-19 in these communities, protect our hospital capacity and save lives. I continue to urge everyone to sign up to receive the vaccine as soon as it’s your turn.”

In addition, beginning Thursday, May 6, 2021, at 8:00 a.m. the following groups throughout the province will be eligible to book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment, through the provincial online booking system and call centre or directly through public health units that use their own booking system:

  • Individuals turning 50 and over in 2021;
  • Individuals with high-risk health conditions;
  • People who cannot work from home who fall under Group One (including remaining elementary and secondary school workers); and
  • First Nations, Inuit and Métis individuals in addition to the other channels previously available to book their appointment.

In addition, priority populations who have been only able to book via the provincial call centre will now also be able to book online, including individuals with the highest risk health conditions, child care workers in licenced child care settings and education workers who provide direct support to students with special education needs.

“With access to more vaccine supply, we are able to expand eligibility and increase the speed and scale of vaccine delivery in communities where it is needed most and will have the greatest impact,” said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones. “I urge everyone who is eligible to book their appointment, to do so as soon as possible. Every vaccine administered is a step toward reducing COVID-19 transmission and will help save lives.”

Ontarians who are now eligible to book their vaccine appointment are asked to be patient, as it could take time to receive their vaccination. Public health units are responsible for managing and overseeing the distribution and administration of vaccines for their entire region, and public health units may have different vaccine administration rates based on local context.

BACK WHERE IT BELONGS – THANK YOU National Wall of Remembrance Association

In 2020, the Village was contacted by the National Wall of Remembrance Association who proposed to undertake the full restoration of the Woman’s Institute of Westport plaque, which is part of the Memorial Gate entrance to Lockwood Park at George St.  This plaque recognizes Westport men who paid the ultimate price during the First World War.

If you walk by this park entrance, you will see that it has been returned to its long held position on the gates, albeit it still covered and protected.  We plan on an “official unveiling” once COVID public safety rules allow for a crowd to gather, however wanted to share this wonderful story of patriotism and generosity by the National Wall of Remembrance Association.  

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:  Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn; At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, We will remember them.”

Local Health Unit starts first Community Clinic in Westport

MEDIA RELEASE:

Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit

April 23, 2021

On Tuesday, April 20, the first Community Clinic was held at the Westport Community Centre/Arena. The Leeds Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit worked with the municipality and a number of local partners to set up the 7 hour long Community Clinic where 280 people were vaccinated. The goal of the Community Clinics is to provide access to vaccinations in communities outside of our Fixed Site Clinics in Almonte, Smiths Falls, Kemptville and Brockville so that those who are unable to travel have the opportunity to receive a vaccine.

Setting up a Community Clinic comes with a set of requirements provided by the Ministry of Health. The amount of space to keep stations 2m apart and the ability to provide internet access are the main factors needed to be able to run a Community Clinic. The team learned some valuable lessons from the mobile clinics held in Long Term Care and Retirement homes as well as in congregate settings and EMS home vaccinations that helped them in planning. Clinics are community driven and achieved by partnership between public health, municipalities, family health teams, health care providers and other interested partners.

To plan the Westport clinic, we started working with the community over a month ago. A lot of work from agencies and volunteers helped make the day a success. The Clinic was held from 10am to 5pm with the morning appointments being booked through the local pharmacy and primary case to give ensure local people had access to the clinic. The clinic filled up quickly with many eager residents wanting to be vaccinated. A second dose clinic will be planned for around August 10th.

In the future, we look forward to providing more Community Clinics in other areas of LGL. A clinic is scheduled for April 27th in Elgin. Vaccine supply continues to be the factor that determines the ability to plan more clinics. 

Watch for promotion through your local municipality for Community Clinics in your area. Until then, we encourage all individuals over 40 years old to contact a participating pharmacy to see if they are providing AstraZeneca vaccine.

For more information about COVID-19 vaccine, visit: https://healthunit.org/health-information/covid-19/protection/. You can also call 1-800-660-5853 or connect with LGLHealthunit on Facebook and Twitter.

VIRTUAL COMMUNITY MENTAL HEALTH FOR PARENTS OF SCHOOL AGE KIDS

THURSDAY, APRIL 22ND @ 7:00 – 830 P.M.

WITH THE RIGHT SUPPORTS, THE KIDS WILL BE OK!

With schools closed again, and an even scarier third wave upon us, we are hearing from many, many parents who are quite concerned for the well-being of their kids.

That is why the Municipality of North Grenville is hosting TONIGHT an online Community Mental Health Forum for parents and caregivers of school-aged children ***via ZOOM*** on Thursday, April 22 at 7:00 – 8:30 pm.

.The Forum is intended to respond to the growing concern about how kids (and their parents) are managing virtual learning and long-standing disruptions to many of their normal routines as a result of the pandemic.

Speakers include;

  • Lisa Livingston and Cheryl Gaumont, Counselling Therapists with the Children’s Mental Health of Leeds and Grenville
  • Diane Oxborough, Program Manager of Parent’s Lifeline of Eastern Ontario (PLEO)
  • Chuck LeBlanc from Kemptville Stress Relief Centre
  • Kim Champagne with Juniper Counselling Centre.

Participants can register anytime before the start of the ZOOM call via email at: mayor@northgrenville.on.ca – in order to get the Zoom link.  

YOU CAN LIVE STREAM THE MEETING OR WATCH IT LATER: https://www.youtube.com/user/NorthGrenville/featured

Committed to community. Dedicated to progress.