Friday, January 8, 2021
Acting MOH Urges Vigilance to Stop the Spread of COVID-19
With the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths continuing to rise throughout the province, the local Acting Medical Officer of Health is urging area residents to do everything they can to stop the spread of the virus.
Dr. Ian Gemmill, Acting Medical Officer of Health (MOH) for the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit, is echoing comments made today by Premier Doug Ford when he said that today’s numbers are “scary,” and the province is in a “desperate situation” after reporting a record number of cases and deaths.
“We too are seeing record numbers in our local area, and it is very worrisome,” said Dr. Gemmill. “Please don’t become complacent about this virus. It is very real and has caused deaths in the vulnerable, even in this area.”
Since the beginning of January, the local Health Unit has seen days with as many as 20 new cases. Today, the Health Unit is reporting 12 new cases for a cumulative total of 628 cases.
As well, the Health Unit has reported 25 COVID-related deaths since the start of the pandemic, including four deaths in the past week. Three of the deaths were City of Kawartha Lakes residents, and one was a Northumberland County resident. While none of the deaths are related, those who have died have been high-risk contacts of a confirmed case.
“I want to offer my deepest condolences to those families who have lost loved ones during this pandemic,” he said. “It is a very sad time for so many people.”
To help to stem the sweeping tide of cases, Dr. Gemmill is urging people to follow the public health recommendations: stay home except for essential travel; do not socialize with people outside of your household, except by phone or computer; stay home if you are sick; wear a mask when you need to be out in public; maintain a physical distance of six feet from others; and wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.
“Our actions affect other people,” said Dr. Gemmill says. “If you choose to get together with friends and you get the virus, you could just experience mild symptoms and recover. You could also spread the virus to someone else who is older and more vulnerable, and they may not be so lucky.”
Until everyone is vaccinated, Dr. Gemmill says following the public health measures is the only way to stop the spread of the virus. The province is currently rolling out the first phase of its vaccine distribution plan, vaccinating residents and staff in long-term care and retirement homes in areas of the province with the highest numbers of cases. The Health Unit is working with area hospitals and health care partners to prepare for the next phase, which will see vaccine available in our local area, but that may not be until the spring, added Dr. Gemmill.
“Until we can get the vaccine into everyone’s arms, we need to remain vigilant and to continue to do our part to protect each other,” he said.
– 30 –
For media inquiries:
Chandra Tremblay, Manager, Corporate Services; Communication and IT Services: Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit; 1-866-888-4577, ext. 1212 or email@example.com
(NOTE TO MEDIA: A PDF COPY OF THIS NEWS RELEASE IS ATTACHED FOR YOUR USE.)
– Accountability. Collaboration. Communication. Professionalism. Respect – These are the Values of the HKPR District Health Unit. The information in this email is intended solely for the addressee(s) named and is confidential. If you have received this communication in error, please advise the sender by email, and delete or destroy all copies of this message.