COVID-19 Update - January 5, 2022

Case count

  • In response to the Omicron variant, provincial case management and testing guidance has been updated.  PCR testing is now available only for high-risk individuals who are symptomatic and/or are at risk of severe illness from COVID-19. 
    • This means that Public Health Units will not be advised of every new case, nor will every new case even be detected or reported. 
    • This also means that the number of people in Huron Perth who actually have COVID-19 is much higher than what we are reporting.
  • We are focusing our investigation efforts on cases occurring in highest-risk settings, including long-term care and retirement homes, hospitals, and some congregate living settings.
  • As of Tuesday, January 4, Huron Perth has a cumulative total of 3,890 confirmed
    COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic. There are currently 925 confirmed active cases.
    • There have been five new deaths due to COVID-19 over the past two weeks, bringing the total to 75.  Our condolences go out to the loved ones of these individuals.
    • There are currently eight people in hospital due to COVID-19.
  • Data is available on our COVID-19 in Huron and Perth dashboard. 
    • In the coming days you will see changes in the data we report, due to this change in testing and investigation guidance. The number of new cases added daily will be much lower since we will only report positive cases from those groups who are eligible for PCR testing. We have also stopped reporting number of active contacts and total number of contacts.

 

 

The Ontario Science Advisory Table dashboard illustrates that while the protection against Omicron infection provided by two doses of vaccine is reduced, unvaccinated inviduals are still being hospitalized and admitted to ICU at much higher rates compared to those with at least two doses (https://covid19-sciencetable.ca/ontario-dashboard/).   

Outbreaks

  • There are active outbreaks in the following settings:
    • Long-term care homes – 4
    • Retirement homes – 3
    • Congregate living settings – 5
  • All active school and childcare outbreaks have been declared over.
  • Details on active and past outbreaks can be found on our COVID-19 in Huron and Perth dashboard. 
 If you think you have, or were exposed to, COVID-19
  • If you think you may have COVID-19 or were exposed to the virus, please visit Ontario.ca/exposed and follow the isolation and/or self-monitoring guidelines to take care of yourself and protect others.
  • Individuals who have symptoms of COVID-19 should assume they may have the virus and may be contagious. 
  • Omicron transmission is very widespread.  Please continue to follow public health measures and advice to slow COVID-19 transmission:
    • Wear a well-fitted mask in indoor public spaces and any time physical distancing is a challenge
    • Limit close contacts/interactions
    • Maintain physical distance (2 metres) from those not in your household
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
    • Screen every day before going to work, school or childcare
    • Stay home if you are sick, even with mild symptoms
    • Follow gathering limits
    • Get vaccinated as soon as you are able

COVID-19 Vaccine Update

  • As of January 4, we are reporting 257,198 vaccine doses administered in Huron Perth by HPPH and partners. 
  • 82.9% of Huron Perth residents aged five and older have received at least one dose of vaccine, 78% are fully vaccinated with two doses and 31% have received three doses of vaccine.  Nearly 40% of five to 11 year olds have received their first dose.

Huron Perth vaccination opportunities

  • For the latest vaccination opportunities in Huron-Perth, please visit www.hpph.ca/vaccinebooking.
  • Our online booking system has been closed due to technical issues.  We regret the inconvenience and difficulty it has caused for our community trying to book appointments. We realize this has been frustrating for the public, and that appointments across the province can be hard to find at this time.
  • Due to unresolvable issues with our booking system vendor, HPPH will be moving our online booking to a new system. This means that online booking will not reopen this week as we had hoped. We expect the online system to be available mid-January.
  • Our phone line, 1-833-753-2098, is open and we continue to book appointments by phone. We are experiencing very high call volumes and it may take us longer to get back to callers. Please be patient and do not leave multiple messages as it slows down our response time.
  • We have many staff working to book appointments. Despite the issues with our online booking system, we continue to fill our clinics to capacity and there are no unused appointments. There are no appointments available for walk-ins.
  • We have a temporary online appointment request form on our website at www.hpph.ca/vaccinebooking for use while we transition to the new online booking system.
    • We ask that people complete only one form per household/family.
    • Do not leave a phone message and also submit the online form, as this will also slow down our response time. Please use only one channel (phone or online form) to request an appointment.
  • Once online booking reopens, appointments will be available.  Staff are working hard to complete this transition as quickly as possible.
  • Select local pharmacies also continue to offer COVID-19 vaccinations. The current list of pharmacies offering vaccine can be found at: https://covid19.ontario.ca/vaccine-locations.
  • If you are ill or isolating because of a COVID-19 exposure, please do not come to clinic. You will need to reschedule your appointment.

Additional provincial measures

  • Effective today, January 5, 2022 at 12:01 am, the Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, is temporarily moving the province into a modified Step Two of its Roadmap to Reopen.  This is in response to the Omicron surge and recent trends that show an alarming increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations. These temporary measures will help slow virus transmission and prevent hospitals from becoming overwhelmed while COVID-19 vaccination efforts continue.
  • Measures will be in place for at least 21 days (until January 26, 2022), subject to trends in public health and health system indicators.  An overview of the measures is available at https://covid-19.ontario.ca/public-health-measures.   
  • In addition, starting today, all public and private schools will move to remote learning until at least January 17.