Press Conferences

Contact(s)

Dr. Jim Chirico, Medical Officer of Health, and the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit, are committed to keeping you informed on the latest developments, plans and decisions on matters related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Bi-weekly press conferences are held with the media on Thursday mornings, and the discussions are posted here and on social media Thursday afternoons for public viewing. Questions that are asked by the media but not able to be answered in the video discussion (due to time limit) are answered below each video.

November 25, 2021

November 18, 2021

November 11, 2021

November 4, 2021

October 21, 2021

October 7, 2021

September 23, 2021

September 16, 2021

 How many COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in North Bay Schools?

A total of 112 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been given at North Bay schools, including 68 first doses and 44 second doses. 

September 9, 2021

September 2, 2021

August 27, 2021

August 19, 2021

August 12, 2021

Update!

August 13 Clinic at Memorial Gardens is Accepting Walk-ins from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The clinic on August 13 at Memorial Gardens runs 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. NOT 5 p.m. 7p.m. If you wish to be vaccinated in the evening, the Monday August 16 clinic at Memorial Gardens is accepting walk-ins from 5 to 7 p.m.

Updated Vaccine Numbers

 

Prior to the press conference there was a slight decrease in the percentage of individuals vaccinated. This was a result of ongoing data remediation to the provincial vaccination system. The remediation has been fixed. The new required numbers to meet the provincial goals are: 

  • To achieve 80% of residents 12 and up immunizations with one dose – we need 1,607 individuals to receive their first dose of vaccine
  • To achieve 75% of residents 12 and up immunizations with both doses – we need 5,581 individuals to receive their second dose of vaccine

August 5, 2021 - No Press Conference 

July 29, 2021

 

July 22, 2021

July 15, 2021

July 8, 2021

June 30, 2021

June 24, 2021

June 17, 2021

June 10, 2021

June 3, 2021

Erratum: At 4:01 into the press conference, the 2021/2022 school year is referenced. Please note that students will not be returning to in-person learning for the remainder of the 2020/2021 school year.

 

What percentage of health care workers and first responders have now been fully immunized?

14.4% of health care workers (i.e. those working in health care industries) and who are residents in our Health Unit’s district are fully immunized. Please note that this number does not include health care workers who reside outside our district but work in our district. The Health Unit does not have statistics on first responders. 

Are there any other Health Units in the province (no naming required) who have not met the provincial vaccination target of 65%?

You can find vaccine coverage information by district on page 13 of the following Public Health Ontario report: https://www.publichealthontario.ca/-/media/documents/ncov/epi/covid-19-vaccine-uptake-ontario-epi-summary.pdf?la=en

Have there been adverse effects of the vaccine on children in any of our clinics?

No adverse effects of the vaccine on children have been reported in our district.

May 27, 2021

Can you please provide details on the age demographics of those hospitalized with COVID-19 from Parry Sound?

Corrections to the dashboard were made, as there were cases from the Nipissing district that were accidently assigned to the Parry Sound district. The change has been made, and no cases are in hospital in Parry Sound. 

Can you also provide details on testing in the District of Parry Sound, it seems numbers have been low this past 10 days

There has been a lag in getting testing data for at least the past six days. We are aware of the situation and are working to have this issue addressed.

Are there any more specifics on the One Step Closer campaign?

The North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit has launched the One Step Closer campaign. The campaign builds on the messaging that the COVID-19 vaccine rollout is one of the strategies that takes us One Step Closer to returning to regular day-to-day activities. However, we understand that some individuals may be a little unsure about getting the COVID-19 vaccine. In an effort to normalize the vaccine within our district we turned to everyday people (business owners, managers, staff, parents, grandparents) to share their thoughts about how getting the COVID-19 vaccine is bringing them One Step Closer to the way things were. There are 36 people from across our district who participated in the campaign.

The campaign is built on simple messaging that identifies one step each and everyone of us can take to get us one step closer to normalcy. The campaign is designed to motivate each community member to consider getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

The campaign runs for seven weeks and each week we focus on a new group of people.

The campaign materials can be found on our website (started Tuesday) with new materials/images being uploaded to the website each Monday.

Campaign materials include:

  • Posters
  • Facebook, Instagram and Twitter posts, both organic and paid
  • Video ads, on Facebook and YouTube
  • Google display ads
  • Website banners
  • Social media banners
  • At our clinics people can take a photo with our pull-up banner and tell us what they are One Step Closer to
  • One Step Closer pin for those who are vaccinated

May 20, 2021

May 13, 2021

Have any adverse effects been reported in our district from AstraZeneca recipients?

There have been 3,368 doses of AstraZeneca administered within our district and there have been four Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFIs) in individuals who have received that vaccine. None of the adverse events were Vaccine-Induced Immune Thrombotic Thrombocytopenia (VITT).  It is important to note that AEFIs are not necessarily caused by the vaccine, they are conditions that are monitored to see if they happen more commonly after immunization.

Can the health unit speak to the vaccinating of education workers? To your knowledge how many education workers have been vaccinated in our district? 

We do not know the number of educators that have been vaccinated within our district, as being an educator is not a distinct category under Reason for Immunization on the provincial reporting system. 

May 6, 2021

How many individuals tested positive for COVID-19 after receiving their first COVID-19 Vaccine?  

A total of six cases reported in the past two weeks received doses prior to their accurate episode date (proxy for infection onset date). Four cases had an accurate episode date within 13 days of being vaccinated, and two cases had an accurate episode date 14 days or after being vaccinated (all with their 1st dose).

April 29, 2021

Are there any businesses in the Parry Sound District that have been brought to the attention of the health unit for non-compliance?

We have responded to several premises in the District of Parry Sound District, no charges have been laid and none are pending.

According to the Board of Health meeting last night I heard that 40% of adults over the age of 18 in Mattawa have received one dose. Are there any other communities with similar high numbers? 

As of yesterday (April 28) the percentage of adult residents with at lease one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine are:
  • Mattawa area: 37.2%
  • North Bay area: 37.4%
  • Parry Sound area: 35.6%
  • South East Parry Sound area: 29.5%
  • West Nipissing area: 33.7%

April 22, 2021

April 15, 2021

April 8, 2021

We've been asked if residents can travel to their cabins or campers that are in the district during this 4 week shutdown?

The province in currently under a Stay-at-Home order. Individuals should not leave their residence unless for essential reasons, such as attending work or school. The order states that if individuals have a second dwelling, they may attend the residence for a period of less than 24 hours and only for one of the reasons listed in the order. For more information, please visit https://covid-19.ontario.ca/zones-and-restrictions

April 1, 2021

March 25, 2021

March 25, 2021 Press Conference Q&A Not Able to be Answered Due to Time

What percentage of our district has received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine?

As of 2 p.m. on March 26, 2021, 12.4% of adult residents have at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

March 18, 2021

March 11, 2021

Dr. Jim Chirico, Medical Officer of Health, with panelists from the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit: 

  • Dr. Carol Zimbalatti, Public Health Physician
  • Shannon Mantha, Executive Director of Clinical Services and Chief Nursing Officer 
  • Scott Thibodeau, COVID-19 Vaccine Public Health Nurse Lead

All media questions submitted live during this press conference were answered. 

March 8, 2021 

Dr. Jim Chirico, Medical Officer of Health, with panelists from the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit: 

  • Dr. Carol Zimbalatti, Public Health Physician
  • Shannon Mantha, Executive Director of Clinical Services and Chief Nursing Officer 
  • Andrea McLellan, Director of COVID-19 Immunization Strategy

Correction: Please note the number of confirmed Variants of Concern originating from the UK in our district at the time of the press conference was two, not 10.

March 8, 2021 Press Conference Q&A Not Able to be Answered Due to Time

Where are we in Phase One? When do you expect to open the gardens for mass vaccinations?

 The Health Unit is currently working through the priorities in phase 1 of Ontario’s COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Implementation Plan:
  • Long-term care home residents, staff and essential caregivers (will be complete end of day March 11);
  • Retirement home residents, staff and essential caregivers (will be complete by end of day March 13);
  • This week, First Nations are beginning to receive vaccine for their communities;
  • Clinics are being planned for the highest and very high community health care providers;
  • Highest priority and very high priority hospital health care worker immunizations have begun and will continue following the Guidance for Prioritizing Health Care Workers for COIVID-19 Vaccination;
  • Clinics for adults 80+ are currently being planned for implementation in the next couple of weeks;
  • Adult recipients of chronic home care – discussions are underway with the Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) to determine how to reach this population.

A mass clinic format will be used for targeted populations such as seniors and health care providers.

When do you suspect everyone who wants a vaccine will get one in North Bay Parry Sound? Can you unveil the sites for rollout in the region?

Provided vaccine supply continues to be received, the Health Unit should meet the June 30 target announced by the Ontario government, for everyone in the district to receive their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

Larger clinics will be held in the following locations:

  • North Bay – Memorial Gardens
  • Parry Sound - Bobby Orr Community Centre
  • Sundridge – Sundridge, Strong Joly Arena
  • Mattawa – Mattawa Community Centre
  • West Nipissing – West Nipissing Arena or Community Centre depending on the anticipated volume of individuals who will attend the clinics

Depending on the target population and the demographic information available, smaller clinics in other communities may also be provided.

Can you please provide a breakdown of vaccinations and vaccination goals per district, Parry Sound and Nipissing number separately?

Vaccine will be allocated based on the group that is being offered vaccines, as per the Ontario’s COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Implementation Plan. The Health Unit’s goal is that all residents who wish to be vaccinated will be able to access vaccine as part of the priority group they fall into and vaccine supply will be provided to each area of our district to meet this requirement.

What is the capacity of our hospitals (specifically in West Parry Sound) for COVID-19 patients?

 For information on specific hospital capacity, please connect with the health care centre directly. 

With the move to red, what are the guidelines for visiting other households, such as our parents who live in their own home?

Indoors or outdoors, everyone should limit close contact to those in your household (people you live with) and stay at least 2 metres apart from everyone else. The provincial framework limits all organized public events and social gatherings to five (5) people indoors. Outdoor gatherings allow for up to 25 people.

Treat everyone outside your household as if they may have COVID-19 and don’t visit other households or allow visitors in your home. For mental health and safety reasons, the Health Unit recognizes that it is important that if you live alone, you can have close contact with one other household.

Every local leader continues to say that we need more vaccines. How does Dr. Chirico rate the federal government's vaccine rollout on a scale from 1-10 considering the U.S. continues its vaccinations at a rapid rate?

I do not believe it is helpful to be critical of others. Moving forward, we all have to work together and focus on limiting the spread of the COVID-19 Variants of Concern and immunizing as many people as possible as soon as possible. These are public health’s main priorities.

Can you comment on the Memorial Gardens arena as a vaccination venue and how much of a challenge will it be for seniors with mobility issues?  

Memorial Gardens is a central location that is accessible by bus. The immunizations will be completed on the first level of the gardens on the rink floor. Ramps are being put in place to ensure access to the floor without a step up. Discussions are underway looking at some adaptations that may be required to provide an area for those who are unable to access the arena floor and ensure that is in place.

 

Looking for some clarification on this morning's COVID-19 update at Skyline Lancelot Apartments. The number of confirmed variants increased over the weekend by four to 21, but the number of preliminary positives that have yet to be genotyped went down by three to nine. Should the number of preliminary positives outstanding have gone down to eight?

Since Friday (March 5), four individuals with a previously reported preliminary positive result for a Variant of Concern (VOC) were confirmed to have a variant originating in South Africa. Additionally, another individual associated with the Skyline – Lancelot Apartments outbreak received a preliminary positive test result for a VOC over the weekend. As a result, the preliminary VOCs associated with Lancelot decreased by 4 (as 4 were added to the South African count) and then increased by 1 (with the new preliminary positive VOC test result).

 

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A total of 112 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been given at North Bay schools, including 68 first doses and 44 second doses.

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