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COVID-19: Peterborough health unit re-activates emergency response; some programs reduced, suspended

Peterborough Public Health has re-activated its COVID-19 emergency response, meaning some other services will be reduced or suspended. Global News Peterborough

Peterborough Public Health has re-activated its emergency response team starting Thursday to address the current phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“With the imminent arrival of COVID-19 vaccines in our community, we have moved from recovery mode back into emergency response to focus our efforts on the two major elements of the pandemic response: Vaccine rollout and COVID-19 containment,” stated Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health.

“This means that essential public health services will remain intact, while others will be reduced or suspended so we can reassign staff to both fronts of the emergency response.”

Read more: Pfizer vaccine coming to Peterborough

Some services have been impacted due to the redeployment of staff to assist with the emergency response. The services and programs either reduced or suspended include:

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Reduced

  • community Dental Clinic (emergency services only)
  • sexual Health Clinic services (limited to contraception — age 25 years and under; emergency contraception; pregnancy testing; STI testing and treatment for people with symptoms; routine testing will not be available)
  • routine immunization clinics
  • healthy Babies Healthy Children and Infant & Toddler Development program (most services are being provided via telephone or videoconference)

Suspended

  • in-person prenatal classes (online prenatal modules continue to be available)
  • activities in all schools including school-based immunization clinics, vision and dental screening
  • food handler training classes and certification exams

The health unit says those who have registered for a scheduled class, workshop or appointment will be contacted directly if it is cancelled.

The health unit says it has also restructured its efforts on the pandemic response including:

  • case management of COVID-19 cases and high-risk contacts and contact tracing
  • outbreak management and infection control and prevention activities
  • planning for COVID-19 vaccine rollout and coordinating mass vaccination clinics
  • providing bi-weekly media briefings and ongoing public education efforts
  • enforcement of COVID-19 public health measures and responding to complaints
  • liaising with community partners to provide sector-specific support (such as long-term care homes, retailers, places of worship, schools, etc.
  • handling inquiries through the COVID-19 hotline and email.
  • epidemiology activities to support data needs for evidence-informed decisions
  • training on new provincial software programs for vaccine rollout

As of Wednesday evening, the health unit reported 47 active cases of COVID-19 among the 495 reported since the pandemic was declared in March 2020. There have been six COVID-19 related deaths. The health unit serves Peterborough, Peterborough County, Curve Lake First Nation and Hiawatha First Nation.

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