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Local health services calling citizens to action as COVID-19 rate here is higher than Toronto

Letter to community members:

Quinte Health Care (QHC), Hastings Prince Edward Public Health and Hastings-Quinte Paramedic Services are seeking the community’s assistance in protecting the most vulnerable among us, and our local health care system through what is a very challenging fourth wave of the pandemic.

While the earlier waves of COVID-19 ravaged larger cities and communities in Ontario, the fourth wave of the pandemic is remarkably different in its disproportionate and concerning impact on smaller and rural communities.

From Timiskaming to Chatham, smaller communities are seeing rapidly rising COVID-19 cases. At present, Hastings Prince Edward (HPE) counties’ COVID-19 rate is more than double that of Toronto, there are 25 active outbreaks in our community and our numbers continue to dramatically rise, with 203 active cases.

While vaccinations play a remarkable role in protecting most of our citizens from severe illness, any continued community spread will inevitably lead to an increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations at a time when our hospitals are caring for an unprecedented number of patients.

Continued community spread will make the already challenging health human resource situation worse and will increase the likelihood of COVID-19 outbreaks in the hospital. Our regional hospital partners to the East are experiencing similar increases in community prevalence, creating an extreme burden for the broader regional health system.

We need your support and assistance to help slow down the spread of COVID-19 in our communities in order to protect our most vulnerable citizens as well as to ease the burden on, and ensure continued access to, your local and regional health care systems.

We urge you to:
Get fully vaccinated when you are eligible to help protect those most vulnerable and keep your neighbours, friends, and family members out of the hospital.
Get your third dose/booster dose as soon as you are eligible.
Screen for symptoms of COVID-19 daily.
Stay home, isolate, and make an appointment to get tested if you have any symptoms, even mild symptoms.
Recommit to evidence-based public health measures: stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with; wear a mask in indoor spaces; limit close contacts by keeping gatherings small, and keeping contacts consistent.
Support your local health care heroes as they care and support our community through the fourth wave.

Health care workers have been pushed to their limits throughout this pandemic and we are immensely proud of their collective strength, resilience and compassion as they provide care for those living in our communities.

However, they cannot carry this burden alone – we all have a role to play in bringing the COVID-19 numbers down in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties. The continued support and actions of our communities has been, and will continue to be, of vital importance to our teams as we face these challenging times together.

Stacey Daub, President and CEO, Quinte Health Care

Dr. Colin MacPherson, Chief of Staff
Quinte Health Care

Dr. Ethan Toumishey
Medical Officer of Health
Hastings and Prince Edward

Doug Socha, Chief
Hastings-Quinte Paramedic Services

Filed Under: News from Everywhere Else

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  1. Teena says:

    I only mentioned Covid: (And … if you do get ill from COVID, then look after yourself and leave the doctors, nurses and hospitals alone. Or pay for your care yourself.)

  2. kb says:

    That approach doesn’t work Teena because if it did, then people who fall without taking safety precautions or wearing helmets, people with diabetes who didn’t manage their diet or health better, and people in cars or on bikes who end up in accidents through no fault of their own, would be responsible for their own care. What your saying is we’ll just blame anyone without a vax and they’re on their own.
    It’s clear Covid isn’t going away – it’s here to stay.
    How can we trust the government’s response when we see the border entries, people not quarantining and the gross mismanagement of supplies, vaccines, tests PPE and long term care. I respect everyone’s right to their own opinion, and I too have an opinion.
    I am not an anti vaxxer by the way – but we must change the lens as to how we are looking and reacting to this. Hold your government accountable. We have the power to influence the decisions and it’s okay to challenge our representatives.

  3. Teena says:

    I’m growing tired. If you choose not to be vaccinated, fine. That is your right. Wear a mask. Keep your distance. Keep clean. Keep your gatherings small. Stay away from public spaces. And … if you do get ill from COVID, then look after yourself and leave the doctors, nurses and hospitals alone. Or pay for your care yourself.

  4. kb says:

    Can everybody stop “blaming” the unvaxed for this pandemic? It’s turned us against each other. The government ignored all the warning signs for several years – experts predicted this, and it was just a matter of time. Noteworthy is this morning’s regional COVID report which states:

    “Nine new cases are located in Belleville, six in Trenton, five in Centre Hastings, three in the Deseronto area, two in Prince Edward County and one in North Hastings.

    Fourteen cases are unvaccinated and a dozen are fully vaccinated.”

    Pretty close to half and half. Stop looking to blame the unvaxed. After this, who would trust anything this government says anyways. I agree, they have contributed to the crisis when they could have mitigated and in some cases prevented the spread. Ridiculous to read some of these views, albeit, we are all entitled to our own thoughts.

  5. Craig says:

    Sounds like some people are sick of taking flack for not being vaccinated. This is a PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS and forgive me if my feeling for those that continue to contribute to it are beyond lacking.

  6. Fred says:

    I think the Feds and Provincial Governments have done a credible job. Not and easy task.

  7. Dennis Fox says:

    Unless there is there is a “REAL” medical reason (there are not many) for a person to be exempt from the vaccine, I have very little desire to be patient with those who only want to find excuses for not being vaccinated. If the unaxxed are prepared to stay at home and to permanently isolate themselves until the danger has passed, then great! However, as we know this is impossible to monitor and it requires a level of responsibility on their part, that so far they have not shown. They cannot be trusted. People are tired of this whole mess, those who refuse to be vaccinated have to understand that people have jobs and families that they would like to get back to. It has been shown, without any doubt, that the unvaccinated are the spreaders of COVID and are the ones occupying the ICU in our hospitals. They do have a choice and instead want to argue about their rights – but never consider the rights of others to live.

    It is time for the unvaxxed to grow up and to stop thinking that this is all about them – this is about the survival of many – from seniors to school kids. I believe government will have to get much more involved and tougher before this virus is laid to rest. The way this is going – we will be back here next year doing the same thing.

    How dare anyone thinking they have a right not to be vaccinated because they have some twisted notion that their civil rights are more important than everyone else’s – and are willing to make others sick to prove it. This is not an example of what taking care of each other means. It is time for everyone to do everything they can to defeat this virus – doing nothing and making excuses is not an option!

  8. Jamie Blemkie says:

    Provincially, 1536 new cases in Ontario on Monday with 634 of them being the unvaccinated. That’s hardly 50%+ of the unvaccinated. I agree, people should start reading more about the virus.

  9. JennyD says:

    The government has grossly mismanaged the pandemic from the beginning, and they lost a lot of credibility. I’m sure I’m not alone when I say how exhausted this has made me. We need to worry about ourselves and stop playing persecutor to those who are unvaxed. Support one another throughout this. Vaxed or not. Mind our own business and stop judging others. Reading some of these comments and hearing what others are saying causes me to think there is some sort of vigilantism which is supported by government health officials.

  10. Fred says:

    50% + of the cases are from 20% of the unvaccinated population. That is a staggering number.

  11. Bruce Nicholson says:

    Well articulated Dennis !

  12. Dennis Fox says:

    People need to start reading and thinking more about this virus. From Day 1, it has been repeatedly stated that vaccines DO NOT prevent you from getting COVID, they do help you to stay alive if you should ever become infected – PLUS the vaccines help relieve the pressure on our hospitals. Most who are vaccinated do not require hospitalization. Those who remain unvaccinated are taking up hospital space, resources and staff time – creating the situation of huge back-ups for surgery – causing some cancer patients to delay their surgery and possibly jeopardizing their life by doing so.

    All in all, refusing to be vaccinated is a selfish act and potentially dangerous to others who require healthcare. The Omicron virus is going to overwhelm our system with numbers like we have never seen before – the time has come to stop with all the theories, avoidance and pseudo knowledge – it is time to get your shot and to become a true member of the community. Think that getting the vaccine is like wearing your car seat belt – you don’t appreciate it until you need it – and it will save your life!

  13. jenn says:

    The numbers appear to be nearly half and half. Half of hospitalized patients are vaxed and the other not. The numbers don’t support what people are claiming as far as putting all the blame on the unvaxed. Simply not true.

  14. kb says:

    Vaccine? What vaccine?….big pharma is the only entity benefitting from this, and the the feds are wasting what they haven’t given to big pharma. This entire circus was misleading from the get go. Just like early on when we were told masks wouldn’t help…. The issues keep changing based on circumstance. Government pockets must be deep. Would you treat smokers and obese patients the same way as you describe treating the unvaxxed?…..I invite those of you to sit a ponder this before making negative comments about those who chose not to be vaxxed. If we’re going to start punishing patients, let’s start at the beginning, because there were a lot of them before the pandemic. Stop blaming and punishing one another and get on with it. If you believe in the vax then you should have nothing to worry about as far as what others choose.

  15. JB says:

    The biggest concern with all this is that the hospitals are beginning to refill but this time with many unvaccinated patients. They are needlessly impacting health care for others, leading to delays, suffering and even premature deaths. Singapore has addressed this by still treating the unvaccinated but charging them for their hospital stay. Allows for choice. Get the vaccine or not….. but, if not, you also then have the choice to treat yourself at home or visit the hospital but pay. Reduces hospital capacity and encourages vaccination. Some will say this unfair and will speak about our right to health care and then wrongly compare the vaccination choice with poor lifestyle choice, like poor diet or drinking or lack of exercise, but none of those factors can be remedied with a five minute vaccination.

  16. Teena says:

    Just maybe … it’s time to get the darned vaccination. By all means, don’t rule out the addition of alternative solutions. Come on. It’s been about two years now and I’m still asking people to turn around in the grocery stores [how difficult is it to follow an arrow on the floor that’s been there through all of this?], and some breeze past the hand sanitation stations provided just inside the shop doorways. A few cashiers in grocery stores here are cashing through customers well before the first customer has finished bagging their food, and so no social distancing at all [Hello No Frills!]. I’m growing very tired of the selfishness and idiots out there. Smarten up, people, or there will be no end to this!

  17. Jamie Blemkie says:

    Thank you Rob #2! Facts matter.

  18. angela says:

    Maybe it’s time to stop believing that appealing to public decency is a waste of time. This week in Dollarama there was a woman coughing her head off in one of the aisles. To make it worse she was wearing one of those clear plastic face shields that allow all of the germs to float out beneath them. Imagine using one of those self-checkout stations after her. She should have been invited to leave the store. They no longer bother to wipe the checkout stations down. And at Foodland the only sanitation offered for carts was a bottle of disinfectant and a single cloth wipe to be used by the customer on his or her shopping buggy. Great way to move germs around. Maybe it is time for tighter restrictions and the realization that many people seem intent on thumbing their noses at COVID and ignoring pleas for common sense behaviour. Smaller Christmas gatherings? Not likely. The numbers after the holidays will probably be staggering.

  19. Rob #2 says:

    Maybe it’s time to acknowledge that what is purported as a vaccine is really more of a therapeutic product with temporary effectiveness, one that doesn’t seem to prevent you from getting the virus or transmitting it.

    Maybe it’s time to hear more seriously those who have claimed success using other therapeutic products early on in treatment of suspected cases.

    Maybe it’s time to have a serious study of what number of people have actually had Covid and carried on with little or no recognizable symptoms.

    At this time it appears that all roads have to lead through vaccines, anything else is drowned out. Countless jurisdictions in the developed world all collecting their own statistics and presenting them in various ways has made it impossible for anyone to draw conclusions.

    At what point do we carry on and accept the fact that this threat may be with us forever? How much anxiety, isolation and other mental illness do we as a society incur as a debt to our fear of a virus that statistically claims a small number? What kind of education do those who are heading to post secondary institutions or in them now receive locked away at home in front of a computer?

    Each generation faces challenges. Our challenge will be a decision between carrying on our way of life accepting the limits to our immortality and cowering in fear indefinitely as the virus mutates and we are pursued by our Government, employers, neighbors and even family members in what may be a foolhardy dream of achieving zero covid through neverending periodic lockdowns and booster shots.

  20. Snowman says:

    It’s time to stay home.Limit trips to stores.
    It’s time for The Province of Ontario to man up and make vaccinations mandatory.
    Anti vaxxers, give yer heads a shake

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