Health unit announces new case and contact tracing strategies

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35 new cases reported in HN

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The Haldimand Norfolk Health Unit has implemented new case and contact management strategies in response to the increase in cases of COVID-19 and the worrying Omicron variant.

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Under the new policies, all members of a household in which someone has tested positive will be asked to self-isolate regardless of their immunization status.

Close contacts of those who have tested positive in collective living environments, schools and daycares must also self-isolate, regardless of their vaccination status, according to the health unit.

Other changes implemented by the health unit in response to the Omicron variant include a focus on the most-at-risk environments and individuals.

The health unit, as part of its case and contact management strategy, will use text messaging and the provincial workforce to notify people of a positive test.

As a result, individuals may receive a phone call from an unrecognized number. Anyone who has recently been tested for COVID-19 is urged to answer calls and texts.

The health unit is also asking people who test positive to immediately notify their close contacts and encourage them to self-isolate for 10 days from their last contact and get tested.

Options for COVID-19 testing can be found at www.covid-19.ontario.ca/assessment-centre-locations.

The new policies and procedures are in line with provincial guidelines and were announced by the health unit on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the health unit on Thursday reported 35 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.

There were, as of Thursday, 247 active cases of the virus in the two communities.

Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 3,845 positive tests in both communities since the start of the pandemic and of these, 3,531 have been resolved.

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There have been 58 deaths from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic and nine people, who tested positive for the virus, have died from other illnesses.

A total of 199,479 vaccines have been administered in the two communities so far, including 167,579 by the health unit. According to the health unit, 65,321 people have completed their vaccination series.

The health unit also announced Thursday that it is currently experiencing, along with the rest of Ontario, a shortage of Pfizer vaccines for adults (12 years and older).

The shortage is expected to last until mid to late January and until it is corrected at the provincial level, all available Pfizer will be reserved for people aged 12 to 29, for whom Pfizer is the preferred vaccine.

Adults 18 years of age and older who received their second dose at least 84 days before are eligible for a booster. Appointments can be made at www.hnhu.org/popup or at a local pharmacy or doctor’s office.

The health unit said Thursday that Moderna, which is safe, effective and available now, will be available for those over 30.

Early concerns about travel with a mixed-dose vaccine series have been resolved in most countries around the world, including the United States, where travel is no longer limited to people receiving mixed doses, the office said. health.

Public health officials have also said that the best COVID-19 vaccine available for booster injections is the one available first, adding that a booster injection greatly increases a person’s protection against COVID-19. , including the Omicron variant.

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Since the health unit began recording cases by vaccination status on June 1, unvaccinated people account for 67.7% of all cases, while 5.3% are partially vaccinated and 27% are fully vaccinated.

The health unit reminds residents that the best protection against COVID-19 and the Omicron variant is to get fully immunized and request a third dose when available.

Other protective measures include:

  • Check for symptoms of COVID-19 daily, stay home, isolate, and get tested even if symptoms are mild.
  • Avoid social gatherings and limit visits or guests.
  • Stay two meters from people you don’t live with and wear a mask in indoor spaces.
  • Consider curbside pickup, delivery, or alternate times for shopping, especially if you’re at a higher risk of illness.
  • Frequent hand washing.

Meanwhile, the health unit also updated local outbreaks by context in the two communities which include the farm (two); school-wide (two); other parameter (one); gathering frame (one); workplace (three); classroom (13) bus (13).

Six Nations Public Health on Thursday reported a new case of COVID-19 in the community. This brings the number of new cases to five since December 17.
One person is hospitalized, 81 people are self-isolating and there are seven active cases in the community, Six Nations public health said.

There have been 870 positive tests in the community since the start of the pandemic and of these, 843 have been resolved. Fifteen people from Six Nations have died from COVID-19.

Vball@postmedia.com

twitter.com/EXPVBall

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