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Respiratory illness season update

Huron Perth, ON – The challenging respiratory illness season in Huron Perth continues. Respiratory viruses including COVID-19, influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) are still circulating and are causing severe illness in some individuals.

The number of new lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 has been steady. As of January 11, 2023 there were two active outbreaks and five people in hospital due to COVID-19. From September 4 to December 31, 2022, there were 121 lab confirmed cases of influenza, nine hospitalizations, one death and one outbreak.  Influenza activity may have peaked in December however local cases continue to be reported.

“Huron Perth is still experiencing a complicated respiratory illness season, which has led to a lot of strain on our healthcare system,” says Dr. Miriam Klassen, Medical Officer of Health. “I urge everyone to keep “layering up” to protect themselves, their loved ones and the community from viruses such as COVID-19, influenza, RSV and colds.”

How to Know if You Are Up-To-Date on Vaccinations

If you did not receive a COVID-19 booster in the fall of 2022, you should get a booster now. If you received a monovalent or bivalent COVID-19 vaccine booster on or after September 1, 2022, there is no provincial recommendation to receive another dose of COVID-19 vaccine at this time. This includes individuals who were vaccinated using any authorized original or bivalent COVID-19 vaccine. Original and bivalent COVID-19 vaccines will boost immune responses and are likely to provide significant protection against hospitalization and severe disease.

If individuals wish to receive an additional booster, they may do so after talking with a primary care provider and/or vaccination clinic staff. The suggested timing for this second booster would be six months after your last COVID-19 vaccine; the minimum timing is 84 days. Check the Vaccine Dose Calculator at www.hpph.ca/getvaccinated to see your options.

If you have recently had a COVID-19 infection, talk to a health care provider and/or vaccination clinic staff about vaccination options.

COVID-19 and influenza vaccines continue to be available at HPPH clinics, select pharmacies, and some primary care provider offices.

HPPH COVID-19 vaccine clinic dates and locations up to the end of February are available at www.hpph.ca/getvaccinated. For more information about influenza vaccines, visit www.hpph.ca/flu.

Layers of Protection

Protect yourself, your loved ones and the community by using layers of protection during this “triple threat” season of COVID, RSV and influenza circulating at the same time. These layers include:

  • Staying home if you are sick
  • Screening for respiratory symptoms daily
  • Wearing a mask in indoor public settings. Also consider wearing a mask in crowded outdoor settings.
  • Choosing outdoor spaces and reducing time in crowded indoor spaces as much as you can. If indoors, choose well ventilated spaces when possible.
  • Staying up-to-date with vaccines (including COVID-19 and influenza)
  • Washing hands often
  • Regularly cleaning high-touch surfaces
  • Keeping physical distancing when possible, especially indoors. 
  • Improving ventilation and filtration in your home and maintain HVAC systems

More information on using layers of protection can be found at www.hpph.ca/layerup. To learn more about how to manage or be assessed for cold, flu, COVID-19 and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), visit the Huron and Perth Area Ontario Health Team Caregiver Resources page at hpaoht.ca/pfc-resources.

Contact Us

Huron Perth Public Health

Huron Office
77722B London Road, RR #5, Clinton, ON
N0M 1L0

Perth Office
653 West Gore St., Stratford ON N5A 1L4
Toll-free 1-888-221-2133
askhpph@hpph.ca

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