Brant County’s acting medical officer to leave in spring

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Brant County’s Health Unit (BCHU) says acting medical officer of health of Dr. Elizabeth Urbantke will be departing her role as of the Spring of 2021.

In a release on Wednesday morning, board chair John Bell didn’t reveal the reason for the exit and said a search for a successor has begun.

“I’d like to thank Dr. Urbantke for her service to this community, especially through what has been a very difficult year,” said Bell.

Read more: Coronavirus: Outbreak declared at satellite health facility in downtown Hamilton

“I’m confident, that despite Dr. Urbantke’s departure, the Health Unit can effectively plan and carry out its key objectives in what will be a crucial time in our pandemic response with vaccine administration on the horizon.”

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Urbantke joined the BCHU in September of 2019 and had a lead role for the county during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I will miss working with the amazing team at BCHU and the warm community welcome I received when I came to Brantford-Brant in 2019. I will assist with the transition in any way I am able,” said Dr. Urbantke in a statement.

On Tuesday, Urbantke revealed the region had its highest single-week case count to-date for the week of Jan. 3, far surpassing a previous high of 95 cases.

“We continue to see large amounts of cases linked to non-household social gatherings. We are also seeing an increase in cases acquiring the illness in workplaces located both within and outside of Brant,” Urbantke said in her weekly update on Tuesday.

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She also revealed the county will receive its first doses of both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines next week.

The vaccines will be administered to priority populations set by the ministry of health and vaccine task force.

Brant County reports 36 new COVID-19 cases

Brant County has had 1,063 COVID-19 positive cases since the pandemic began, adding 36 more cases on Thursday.

Read more: Hospital system CEO resigns from Ontario’s COVID-19 advisory table after Caribbean holiday vacation

The region now has 181 active cases with seven people receiving hospital care.

The BCHU is reporting a new outbreak as of Thursday at the Fox Ridge Care long-term care home on West Street in Brantford.

Brant now has five ongoing institutional outbreaks including four in Brantford at the aforementioned Fox Ridge, John Noble LTCH, Brierwood Gardens and St. Joseph’s YMCA Child Care Centre.

The other outbreak is in Paris at the Park Lane Terrace retirement home.

Brant has six total deaths connected with the pandemic.