Hastings Prince Edward Public Health
Online Bulletin for Municipal Partners
December 22, 2020
To ensure everyone has current information, Hastings Prince Edward Public Health will be providing regular COVID-19 updates.
For more information please review our website or call 613-966-5500 or 1-800-267-2803.
- Hastings and Prince Edward Counties have 256 cumulative lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 29 active, 222 resolved and 5 deceased. There were 3 new cases reported today.
- There are no local long-term care facilities experiencing COVID-19 outbreak; additional outbreak details can be found online.
- More information is available on our website hpePublicHealth.ca
- Ontario is reporting 2,202 cases of COVID-19 and 21 deaths as nearly 45,300 tests have been completed. There are 636 new cases in Toronto, 504 in Peel, 218 in York Region, 95 in Hamilton, 86 in Durham and 48 in Halton.
- In Canada, as at December 21, there are 515,314 total cases of COVID-19 with 77,361 active cases and 423,621 recovered. To date, there have been 14,332 COVID-19 related deaths and more than 13,188,981 individuals tested.
Summary of cases of COVID-19: Ontario, January 15, 2020 to December 20, 2020
Number of Cases
|158,053 || |
Change from previous day’s report (new cases)
|2,123 || |
|134,867 || |
Change from previous day’s report
|1,654 ||1.2 increase |
Total number of deaths
Total tests completed
Total test completed in the previous day
Currently under investigation
Summary of Cases in Ontario Schools - Updated December 21, 2020.
Number of New Cases
|Cumulative Cases |
School-related student cases
School-related staff cases
|35 ||1,094 |
Individual(s) not identified (other staff)
Current number of schools with a reported case
|976 ||N/A |
Current number of schools closed
As we near the end of 2020 and the unprecedented challenges it has brought us, I would like to express my gratitude and appreciation for the dedication and hard work shown by all of you, our municipal partners.
As we have worked together to respond to the pandemic, your teams have continued to step up and support the efforts of HPEPH and promote proactive public health precautions. You have also continued to deliver and adapt essential municipal services to maintain quality of life in our community. This year, this has meant taking extra measures and precautions to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission in your workplace and in the community. It has also meant getting creative and finding new and innovative solutions to deliver services, events, and celebrations. We recognize the additional efforts of your team to protect the health and safety of our communities this year.
On behalf of the entire team at HPEPH, I want to thank you, our municipal partners! Your support and collaboration has been, and continues to be essential to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our region. I sincerely wish you a wonderful, safe, and well-deserved holiday season. I encourage you to take steps to celebrate safely in order to protect your own health, and the health of those you care about.
Our team looks forward to continuing to work together in the new year and beyond.
Dr. Piotr Oglaza, Medical Officer of Health and CEO
ASK the MOH videos:
- Two new videos have been added to our YouTube channel and linked on our website.
- Quinte West supports provincial shutdown
- The City of Quinte West’s Emergency Control Group met yesterday to discuss Premier Ford’s announcement of a provincial shutdown starting Saturday, Dec. 26, 2020, at 12:01 a.m.
- “We appreciate the proactive approach being taken by the provincial government,” says Quinte West Mayor Jim Harrison. “This shutdown will be difficult for individuals and businesses, but these are the measures needed to stop the spread of the virus. We encourage residents to stay home when possible and only leave the house for essential reasons.”
- Belleville Transit:
- Belleville Transit has received calls and social media enquiries about the lock down and day to day operations.
- Belleville Transit will continue to be available for those who need to make necessary trips.
- If there are any changes, they will be communicated to the passengers via social media and City's website.
- Holidays, Provincewide shutdown to impact Prince Edward County services schedule
- Public will not have access to all municipal buildings, recreation facilities, town halls, museums, and library branches during the provincewide shutdown, which will be in effect until Saturday, January 23. You can access services and make a variety of payments online. Visit the County website for more information.
- On Saturday, December 18, Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board shared that a student at Stirling Public School tested positive for COVID-19. The case was not acquired at school. High-risk contacts have been contacted by Public Health. All families have been notified by phone, low-risk contacts will receive this letter.
- HPEPH has confirmed two cases COVID-19 at the Wellington Legion. While HPEPH is in the process of completing a thorough investigation, at this time all individuals who attended the Legion between November 30 – December 18 are currently considered to have potential high-risk exposure.
- HPEPH is asking anyone who visited Peterson Orthodontics between December 14 – 16 to self-monitor and to get tested for COVID-19 if symptoms develop.
- Older adults who need help to place a grocery order by email or online can call Prince Edward Community Care at 613-476-7493 for assistance.
- Quinte Health Care (QHC) would like community to be aware of some important changes they have made to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:
- All care partners/visitors and patients are now required to wear a medical-grade mask that will be supplied when you enter QHC hospitals.
- For everyone's safety, QHC is asking that care partners and visitors keep their mask on at all times.
- QHC has shared holiday hours of operation for our local COVID-19 Assessment Centres (CACs).
- Please note all CACs have processes in place to check for any positive results on the dates that they're closed and will call the After-Hours PHI with anything to report.
Chief Medical Officer of Health’s Advice:
- All Ontarians are advised to stay home as much as possible with trips outside the home limited to necessities such as food, medication, medical appointments, or supporting vulnerable community members.
The New Ontario Small Business Support Grant:
- The Ontario Small Business Support Grant will provide a minimum of $10,000 and up to $20,000 to eligible small business owners to help them through the lockdown. .
- Eligible small businesses include those that: are required to close or significantly restrict services subject to the provincewide shutdown effective December 26, 2020; have less than 100 employees ; and experienced a minimum of 20 percent revenue decline in April 2020 compared to April 2019.
Ontario Announces Provincewide Shutdown to Stop Spread of COVID-19 and Save Lives:
- As COVID-19 cases continue to rise at an alarming rate, the Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts, is imposing a Provincewide Shutdown.
- Additional restrictions will be put into place and reinforce that Ontarians should stay at home as much as possible to minimize transmission of the virus and prevent hospitals from becoming overwhelmed.
- The Provincewide Shutdown will go into effect as of Saturday, December 26, 2020, at 12:01 a.m.
- In response to these exceptional circumstances, the Provincewide Shutdown would put in place time-limited public health and workplace safety measures similar to those in other jurisdictions.
- Measures include, but are not limited to:
- Restricting indoor organized public events and social gatherings, except with members of the same household (the people you live with). Individuals who live alone may consider having exclusive close contact with one other household.
- Prohibiting in-person shopping in most retail settings - curbside pickup and delivery can continue. Discount and big box retailers selling groceries will be limited to 25 per cent capacity for in-store shopping. Supermarkets, grocery stores and similar stores that primarily sell food, as well as pharmacies, will continue to operate at 50 per cent capacity for in-store shopping.
- Restricting indoor access to shopping malls - patrons may only go to a designated indoor pickup area (by appointment only), essential retail stores that are permitted to be open (e.g. pharmacy, grocery store), or, subject to physical distancing and face covering requirements, to the food court for takeout purchases. Shopping malls may also establish outdoor designated pickup areas.
- Prohibiting indoor and outdoor dining. Restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments will be permitted to operate by take out, drive-through, and delivery only.
- The current COVID-19 Response Framework will be paused when the Provincewide Shutdown comes into effect. The impacts of these time-limited measures will be evaluated throughout the 14 days in Northern Ontario and 28 days in Southern Ontario to determine if it is safe to lift any restrictions or if they need to be extended.The Chief Medical Officer of Health will assess and apply lessons learned thus far to the COVID-19 Response Framework to ensure appropriate and effective measures are in place to protect the health of Ontarians and enable economic recovery after the Provincewide Shutdown ends. This will include an assessment of how a revised approach for the safe reopening of retail may be operationalized, according to the latest available evidence.
- While transmission in schools remains low, all publicly funded and private elementary and secondary schools are to move to teacher-led remote learning when students return from the winter break on January 4, 2021. This action is being taken in support of the Government's broader efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Public Health Unit Region Classifications:
- Based on the latest data, the following public health regions will move from their current level in the framework to the following levels effective December 21 with Peel Public Health and Toronto Public Health remaining in lockdown until at least January 4:
- Grey-Lockdown: City of Hamilton Public Health Services
- Red-Control: Brant County Health Unit and Niagara Region Public Health
- Orange-Restrict: Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health
- Yellow-Protect: Timiskaming Health Unit
- Green-Prevent: Public Health Sudbury & Districts
- All other public health regions will remain at their current level.
Ontario Expands COVID-19 Vaccine Locations:
- The provincial government will be distributing additional doses of the Pfizer vaccine to 17 more hospital sites over the next two weeks, including regions with the highest rates of COVID-19 infection. This is part of the initial phase of the government's three-phase vaccine implementation plan that began on December 14 with the initial vaccinations administered at Toronto's University Health Network (UHN), followed by the launch of the pilot project at UHN and The Ottawa Hospital on December 15.
- To date, as part of the pilot project, Toronto's UHN and The Ottawa Hospital have administered over 2,300 doses and will continue to aim to vaccinate over 2,500 health care workers providing care in hospitals and long-term care homes.
- "Following a successful pilot, we are excited to continue onto the next stage of our rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines to Ontarians," said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. "While we are planning to ensure that everyone who wants a vaccine will receive one, we need to first protect our frontline workers and those providing essential care to our most vulnerable."
- Ontario is expecting to receive doses of the Moderna vaccine once approved by Health Canada, which will allow vaccines to be administered onsite at long-term care homes in lockdown areas, followed by retirement homes, other congregate care settings for seniors, and remote Indigenous communities.
Ontario Supporting Workers Impacted by COVID-19:
- Hastings-Lennox and Addington MPP Daryl Kramp announced $77M to help people who were laid off due to the impact of COVID-19 find in-demand jobs in their local communities. This funding is being provided through the redesigned Second Career grant program and will help more than 2,750 job seekers with up to $28,000 for tuition, training materials and living expenses.
- You qualify for Second Career if:
- You have been laid off and have not been working
- You have been laid off and are working a temporary job just to cover costs and
- If you’re receiving Employment Insurance, or have in the past, you can still apply.
Canada suspends flights from the United Kingdom for 72 hours (from Dec. 20):
- The Government of Canada is closely monitoring the genetic variant of the virus that causes COVID-19 identified in the United Kingdom and is working with international partners, including the World Health Organization, to better understand this variant and its impacts.
- Genetic variation of viruses such as the one that causes COVID-19 is to be expected and have been previously observed in parts of the world this year.
- While early data suggest that the United Kingdom variant may be more transmissible, to date there is no evidence that the mutations have any impact on symptom severity, antibody response or vaccine efficacy.
- Additionally, passengers who arrived in Canada on December 20 from the United Kingdom are now subject to secondary screening and enhanced measures, including increased scrutiny of quarantine plans.
- Passengers who arrived recently from the United Kingdom will also receive additional direction from the Government of Canada.
Canada’s COVID-19 Vaccine Strategy:
- Procurement Minister Anand announced that Canada will receive approximately 212,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine this week, with a subsequent delivery during the following week for a total of 255,000 doses this month.
- Prime Minister Trudeau noted Canada will receive 500,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine in the month of January — 125,000 per week.
- Procurement Minister Anand indicated Canada is on track to receive the balance of the four million Pfizer doses in the first quarter of 2021.
National Research Council of Canada supports development of 4 COVID-19 therapeutic candidates:
- The federal government is aggressively pursuing the purchase and development of COVID-19 treatments and related supplies to protect Canadians and is working to strengthen Canada’s biomanufacturing sector. This includes engaging with Canadian scientists, businesses and manufacturers to build Canada’s capacity to fight COVID-19 and future pandemics.
- On December 18, the National Research Council of Canada announced it is providing advisory services and over $9M in research and development funding through the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) to support 4 therapeutic firms.
- These investments will help produce safe and effective treatments for those who contract the COVID-19 virus, while building domestic capabilities to fight future pandemics.
Health Canada warns Canadians not to buy COVID-19 vaccines sold online or from unauthorized sources:
- Health Canada is warning Canadians not to buy COVID-19 vaccines sold on the internet or from unauthorized sources as they are counterfeit.
- Counterfeit COVID-19 vaccines may pose serious health risks, and are ineffective at protecting an individual from the COVID-19 virus.
- Health Canada takes this issue seriously and is working with international partners and other government departments and agencies, such as the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), to help protect Canadians.
Heightened COVID-19 measures in Community Correctional Centres:
- In the interest of the health and safety of the public, employees, inmates, and their families, the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) has temporarily suspended in person visits at all of its Ontario Institutions and community correctional centres' as of December 16, 2020.
- This decision will limit comings and goings from its facilities. It follows extensive consultation with public health officials and will be reassessed on an ongoing basis.
- The Public Health Agency of Canada is conducting an analysis of Canadian cases of COVID-19 to identify if the genetic variant from the United Kingdom has been observed in Canada.
- Genetic variations of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 have been observed globally this year and are not unexpected.
- The observation that this strain has been associated with a resurgence in the United Kingdom raises the possibility of increased transmissibility. More evidence will be needed to confirm this observation.
- Currently, there is insufficient evidence to determine if this strain has any impact on disease severity, antibody response, the performance of diagnostic tests, or vaccine efficacy.
- Canada and Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte announce funding to improve access to safe drinking water for the community
- On December 17, the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte and the Minister of Indigenous Services announced funding to support the last phase of the community's multi-phase project to improve access to safe drinking water for the community. Together, the Government of Canada and the First Nation are contributing a total $18.2M for this project. This project will ultimately lift five long-term drinking water advisories in the community.
- Construction is expected to be complete by fall 2021, due to delays created by COVID-19 and will support the lifting of five long-term drinking water advisories.
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