News Release: Health Unit Urges Province to Provide Greater Vaccine Allocation; Encourages Residents to Continue Strict Public Health Measures

Posted on Thursday April 01, 2021

NIPISSING & PARRY SOUND, ON – Amidst reports that Premier Ford may announce a provincial lockdown later today, the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit (Health Unit) urges the public to continue to follow public health measures, in the wake of the Easter weekend and the April break. Though we are making progress with the vaccine rollout, to date only 14.8 per cent of individuals aged 18 or older in our district have received at least their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. In the interim, the Health Unit is urging residents to continue to physically distance, wear face coverings, and avoid gatherings.

Northern Ontario is experiencing some of the highest infection rates of COVID-19 and the Health Unit’s surrounding districts have experienced surges in COVID-19 cases. As of March 30, Variants of Concern (VOCs) account for 69 per cent of all COVID-19 cases in the province. Compared with early variants of COVID-19, VOCs are associated with a 63 per cent increased risk of hospitalization, a 103 per cent increased risk of intensive care unit admission and a 56 per cent increased risk of death due to COVID-19. In short – these variants are more contagious and result in a more serious illness.

“We await details of the province’s plans with respect to reports of a possible provincial lockdown and will continue to remain in constant communication. I know another lockdown will be difficult for all of us, for our financial well-being, our social health and for our mental health, but the quickest path to a sustained reopening is not reopening too soon. We are not an island and without appropriate interventions, it is only a matter of time until we experience increases in COVID-19 cases locally,” explains Dr. Jim Chirico, Medical Officer of Health. “We are not in a position where we should sit and wait. We continue to advocate for increased access to vaccine. Until a greater per cent of our population is vaccinated we can help to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by being mindful of our activities and actions.”

Together with our municipal partners across the district, the Health Unit continues to urge the provincial government to equitably distribute the vaccine to northern communities to ensure our district can keep pace with the vaccination schedule of the rest of the province.

For more information on the COVID-19 locally visit myhealthunit.ca/COVID-19.

For more information on the local vaccine rollout visit myhealthunit.ca/COVID-19Vaccine.

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Media Inquiries:

Alex McDermid, Public Relations Specialist
P: 705-474-1400, ext. 5221 or 1-800-563-2808
E: communications@healthunit.ca

North Bay

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705-474-1400

Parry Sound

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705-746-5801

Burk's Falls

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