HPPH is changing how it displays local COVID-19 information for Huron-Perth. Up until this point, they have been updating their own dashboards on COVID-19 testing, cases and vaccination; now, similar weekly information for Huron Perth region is also available through Public Health Ontario’s: COVID-19 and Influenza Activity dashboard.
While HPPH prepares a new way to display local information on respiratory illness that will be the most helpful to residents, the previous Tableau dashboards will not be updated.
Public Health Ontario’s dashboard includes a wide range of COVID-19 data about Huron Perth, including case counts by hospitalizations and deaths, vaccine uptake by age, sex and public health unit, outbreaks, and more.
VIRUS SEASON UPDATE
The challenging respiratory illness season in Huron Perth continues. Respiratory viruses including COVID-19, influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) are still circulating and are causing severe illness in some individuals.
The number of new lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 has been steady. As of Jan. 11, there were two active outbreaks and five people in hospital due to COVID-19. From Sept. 4 to Dec. 31, 2022, there were 121 lab confirmed cases of influenza, nine hospitalizations, one death and one outbreak. Influenza activity may have peaked in December however local cases continue to be reported.
“Huron Perth is still experiencing a complicated respiratory illness season, which has led to a lot of strain on our healthcare system,” said Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Miriam Klassen. “I urge everyone to keep ‘layering up’ to protect themselves, their loved ones and the community from viruses such as COVID-19, influenza, RSV and colds.”
Anyone who did not receive a COVID-19 booster in the fall of 2022 should get a booster now. For anyone who received a monovalent or bivalent COVID-19 vaccine booster on or after Sept. 1, 2022, there is no provincial recommendation to receive another dose of COVID-19 vaccine at this time. This includes individuals who were vaccinated using any authorized original or bivalent COVID-19 vaccine. Original and bivalent COVID-19 vaccines will boost immune responses and are likely to provide significant protection against hospitalization and severe disease.
If individuals wish to receive an additional booster, they may do so after talking with a primary care provider and/or vaccination clinic staff. The suggested timing for this second booster would be six months after their last COVID-19 vaccine; the minimum timing is 84 days. Check the Vaccine Dose Calculator at www.hpph.ca/getvaccinated to see options.
Anyone who has recently had a COVID-19 infection should talk to a health care provider and/or vaccination clinic staff about vaccination options.
COVID-19 and influenza vaccines continue to be available at Huron Perth Public Health (HPPH) clinics, select pharmacies, and some primary care provider offices.
HPPH COVID-19 vaccine clinic dates and locations up to the end of February are available at www.hpph.ca/getvaccinated. For more information about influenza vaccines, visit www.hpph.ca/flu.
Protect yourself, your loved ones and the community by using layers of protection during this “triple threat” season of COVID, RSV and influenza circulating at the same time. These layers include:
More information on using layers of protection can be found at www.hpph.ca/layerup. To learn more about how to manage or be assessed for cold, flu, COVID-19 and RSV, visit the Huron and Perth Area Ontario Health Team Caregiver Resources page at hpaoht.ca/pfc-resources.
MEMORY AND AGING PROGRAM
What is her name? What did I come down here for? Where did I put…? The Alzheimer Society Huron Perth has your back! They will be offering their “Memory and Aging Program” again this winter on ZOOM. The Memory and Aging Program is designed for anyone experiencing normal age-related changes in memory or anyone interested in learning more about this topic.
The Memory and Aging Program describes what memory is, how it changes with age, and when to be concerned. Brain healthy lifestyle choices and practical memory strategies are reviewed and practiced, improving a person’s ability to remember those everyday things – including, those pesky names and things you intend to do! Equally important, the Memory and Aging Program is enjoyable and seeks to build confidence in a person’s own memory ability.
The Memory and Aging Program consists of four weekly ZOOM sessions, 1:30-3:30 p.m. on the following Tuesdays: Jan. 31, Feb. 7, 14 and 21. There is a fee of $25, which covers the cost of the program workbook and materials.
People are asked to register online at Memory and Aging Program Winter 2023 or go to the Education Hour section on their website. For information about this or any other programs, please contact Jeanette at the Alzheimer Society Huron Perth by calling 519 482-1482 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Three people pleaded guilty in Provincial Offences Court in Sarnia on Dec. 5, 2022 for work undertaken without a permit at three properties in the Beach O’Pines community southwest of Grand Bend.
Investigation revealed the property owners hired a contractor to excavate the beach and sand dune and place armour stone blocks and stone material on the beach in front of the three properties in 2019, all without the permission of Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA).
Ryan Finch, Brian Finch and Georgina Finch entered guilty pleas to offences pursuant to the Conservation Authorities Act. The work took place at one property on Beach O’Pines Road and two properties on Huron Drive.
The matter has been adjourned to Jan. 26. The Court agreed to defer sentencing until after the landowners have completed supervised restoration works.
The pleas (four in total) in this case are reminders of the need to abide by laws that protect life, property and the environment.
“We hope this case reminds and educates property owners about the need to obtain the required legal permissions before proceeding with proposed development,” said Daniel King, ABCA Regulations coordinator and Provincial Offences officer.
Construction and other development requires conservation authority approval in all regulated areas. Most property owners and contractors contact ABCA early to obtain the required permits, King said, but prosecution is required in some cases when work has taken place without the necessary permits. Permits are required for work in regulated areas, through Province of Ontario legislation including, but not limited to, Conservation Authorities Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. C.27 and Ontario Regulation 147/06: Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority: Regulation of Development, Interference with Wetlands and Alterations to Shorelines and Watercourses.
Calling conservation authority staff first can help a property owner to avoid costly and avoidable fines, the costs of removing unapproved works and restoring a property, and even time in court.
“If you are considering possible development on your property, call us first to find out if a permit is needed,” King said. “Contacting us early prevents unnecessary costs later.”
ABCA Staff say property owners and agents are invited to contact King at 519 235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610 Ext. 224, or email email@example.com.
“Our staff work hard to ensure anyone who contacts us receives a timely response,” King said.
To find out more about required permits please visit: Planning and Permits..
RECOVERY FUND OPEN
Now more than ever, charities and non-profits are playing a key role in addressing persistent and complex social problems faced by all Canadians. The Community Services Recovery Fund is a $400 million investment from the Government of Canada to support charities and non-profits as they build resilience by making investments in their people, organizations, and program innovation.
“We are now accepting Community Services Recovery Fund applications,” said United Way Perth-Huron Director Governance & Community Impact Megan Partridge. “With this funding provided by the Government of Canada, we will support a broad and diverse range of charities and non-profits to adapt and modernize so they can better support recovery in their communities. We encourage organizations to visit communityservicesrecoveryfund.ca and learn more.”
“The Government is supporting the long-term COVID-19 pandemic recovery in communities across Canada through this historic fund,” said Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Karina Gould. “This transformational investment with the National Funders supports a more inclusive model of economic growth that creates opportunities at the community level. The Community Services Recovery Fund will strengthen the ability of community service organizations, including charities, non-profits and Indigenous governing bodies, to deliver services and resources where they will have the most impact.”
United Way Perth-Huron (UWPH) is proud to be taking part in the Community Services Recovery Fund, a collaboration between United Way Centraide Canada, Canadian Red Cross, and Community Foundations of Canada to provide funding to Community Service Organizations, including non-profit organizations, Indigenous Governing Bodies and Registered Charities located across Canada. The Community Services Recovery Fund responds to what charities and non-profits need right now and supports organizations as they adapt to the long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications will be accepted until Feb. 21.
SOURCE PROTECTION COMMITTEE
A local committee working to protect drinking water sources is proposing updates to source protection plans for the Ausable Bayfield and Maitland Valley areas.
The plans have been prepared under the Ontario Clean Water Act, 2006, to protect municipal sources of drinking water and to ensure their sustainable use into the future. The Ausable Bayfield Maitland Valley Source Protection Committee (SPC) invites the public to review and comment on the proposed updates to these plans. Please submit written comments by Feb. 10 to firstname.lastname@example.org
The local committee developed the source protection plans and the Province of Ontario approved them in 2015. The plans need to be updated, according to the committee, because of recent changes. The wellhead protection area for Belgrave is updated to reflect a new water well. There are also minor changes to wellhead protection areas for Wingham, Palmerston, and Auburn. Policies in the plans are revised to reflect new provincial technical rules and to improve implementation. Key policy changes address road salt, fuel storage, and snow storage.
The proposed changes may affect properties close to municipal wells. For those who live or work in these vulnerable areas, plan policies may affect how and where certain activities which could impact drinking water sources can occur.
Matt Pearson, chair of the SPC, says people are invited to attend open houses, or a webinar, to learn more and to ask questions.
“Locally developed plans have helped to protect municipal drinking water sources since 2015,” he said. “It is now time to revise the plans to keep them current. We want the public to know about proposed changes to policies and we would like to hear people’s questions and comments.”
To review the proposed updates to source protection plans, visit: Source Protection Consultation.
A short video featuring SPC member Allan Rothwell, describes some of the proposed changes. People can view the video, entitled, “Have your Say” here.
People are invited to find out more at the following public events:
- Wingham Open House: Wednesday, Jan. 18, 4:30-7 p.m., Hot Stove Lounge, North Huron Wescast Community Complex, 99 Kerr Drive.
- Clinton Open House: Wednesday, Jan. 25, 4:30-7 p.m., Board Room, Central Huron Community Centre Complex, 239 Bill Fleming Drive.
For more information or to review a paper copy of the documents please call source protection staff at 519 235-2610, or toll-free 1-888-286-2610, Ext. 247.