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Step 3: "One step closer to normal" says Chief Medical Officer
With low numbers continuing to be the trend in the EOHU, and with Step 3 of the reopening plan around the corner, Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, Chief medical officer of the EOHU, gives us encouraging vaccination statistics.
In general, admissions have been on the low side, with no new cases reported in the EOHU over the weekend.
Currently. There are 0 cases in Clarence-Rockland, and 4 in the UCPR, with no outbreaks in congregate settings, and no hospitalizations. Dr. Paul says that our numbers are “in the right direction.”
With the low numbers, and increased vaccination rates, and hard work by frontline workers across the health unit, this has resulted in Ontario moving into step 3 of the reopening plan Friday, July 16th, 5 days earlier than planned.
With this, more activities with increased capacity will occur, with Dr. Paul saying this is “one step closer to normal”. Masks will still be required, and in the same vein, Dr. Paul says that we still need to be cautious of variants and numbers.
Currently, there are no variants in our area, and with numbers going down, testing centres will be staffed by fewer individuals in order to redirect energy elsewhere.
Regarding vaccines, most people are on board with Moderna and Pfzier interchangeability, and both vaccines will have a steady supply.
Dr. Paul does clarify that people will still be able to choose which one they want should they feel uncomfortable with interchanging vaccines.
As of July 11, the EOHU has administered 219k vaccines, with a graphs presented by Dr. Paul showing the positive effects of vaccine administration.
Currently, 70% of individuals over 30 have their first dose, while approx. only 50% of 12-29 year olds have their first dose. Dr. Paul urges the latter age group to get vaccinated, as that will result in the health unit moving out of step 3 sooner. Along with there being plenty of room in the booking system for them, 12-17 year olds are able to walk in without an appointment in some clinics if they are receiving their first dose.
Currently, the EOHU is in talks with local municipalities to be able to transport individuals in rural areas so they can get their vaccines, as well as creating more pop up and walk-in clinics that are more accessible to them. To move out of step 3, the health unit needs to be 80% fully vaccinated.
Dr. Paul says that each health unit will review and amend their section 22 orders as the province moves forwards as they deem fit
On a final note, Dr. Paul says, “The quicker we can get to that higher number, the better it will be for all of us.”
TVC22 is an independent not-for-profit organization founded in 1990 as a community TV station. The mission of TVC22 is to highlight the Clarence-Rockland and surrounding community through the production and dissemination of TV projects that speak to the concerns of the local population while encouraging community involvement in the different stages of production.