COVID-19 Update - vaccine appointments, eligibility, remote learning

Huron-Perth, ON – Huron Perth Public Health is adjusting its vaccine appointment availability based on the latest information from the province about vaccine supply. As a result, there are no clinics currently open to book appointments. We will post additional clinics when we receive confirmation of further vaccine deliveries. Our website and phone line have been updated to indicate this.

HPPH had hoped to expand vaccine eligibility to adults aged 60 and older this week, however, based on our vaccine supply, we are not able to do that.  The public may see some newspaper ads for adults 60 and older this coming week, but those ads are incorrect. Currently community clinics are open to adults turning 65 and older.  We apologize for any confusion this creates.

 “We understand that many people are eager to be vaccinated, and that is a good thing,” says Dr. Klassen, Medical Officer of Health for Huron Perth. “There will be enough vaccine for all Ontarians.  Everyone who wants to be vaccinated will eventually have the opportunity to be vaccinated.  We thank everyone for their patience and remind people to be kind if calling HPPH. Abusive language will not be tolerated.”

Huron Perth Public Health follows the province of Ontario’s three-phase vaccination plan and ethical framework. Vaccination eligibility is also reviewed weekly by the Vaccine Prioritization Advisory Committee (Huron Perth Public Health, Middlesex London Health Unit and Southwestern Public Health), based on the regional vaccine supply and Provincial direction.

Every health unit region moves through its eligible residents at different paces. There will be slight variation between health units regarding who is eligible to book an appointment on any given day. Huron-Perth residents may see other regions with broader eligibility because of the way they are getting through their groups. HPPH has had great uptake in our eligible groups so far, which means it takes longer to get through those groups. A full list of those who are currently eligible for the vaccine can be found on our website at www.hpph.ca/vaccinebooking.

 

Education workers

In keeping with provincial direction, education staff in Huron Perth who provide direct support to students with complex special needs are eligible for vaccine. These staff are defined as those who support students who meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • require support with activities of daily living, including health and safety measures
  • are unable to wear masks for medical reasons
  • have complex medical needs  
  • cannot be accommodated through remote learning.

The school/school board determines which staff are eligible, and provides those staff with a letter confirming their eligibility. Eligible education staff will be able to access the HPPH booking system, however appointment availability is dependent on vaccine supply to HPPH. Unfortunately, there is currently no availability in clinics to the first week of May. HPPH hopes to have more clinics posted as soon as there is adequate vaccine supply.

Other education staff in Huron-Perth are not able to book yet, but will be eligible soon. In select hot spot areas in the province, all education workers are able to start booking the week of April 12. Huron Perth is not considered a hot spot at this time.

 

Remote learning

Today, the Ontario government announced that all public and private elementary and secondary schools will move to remote learning following the April break.  This proactive decision was made in response to the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases, the increasing risks posed to the public by COVID-19 variants, and the rise in hospital admissions. “I believe that schools are an important part of healthy child development and the first choice is to have students attend school in person,” says Dr. Klassen. “However, case numbers are beginning to climb in Huron Perth and we know that when community transmission increases, we will see more cases associated with our schools. Until the current wave is under control across Ontario, it is safest for students to learn remotely.”

 

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