low vaccine supply delays further expansion of delivery
It was announced on Apr. 13 that Huron Perth Public Health (HPPH) is adjusting its vaccine appointment availability based on the latest information from the province about vaccine supply. As a result, there are no clinics currently open to book appointments. HPPH will post additional clinics when they receive confirmation of further vaccine deliveries. Their website and phone line have been updated to indicate this.
HPPH had hoped to expand vaccine eligibility to adults aged 60 and older this week, however, based on their vaccine supply, they are not able to do that. The public may see some newspaper ads for adults 60 and older this coming week, but those ads are incorrect. Currently community clinics are open to adults turning 65 and older. HPPH apologize for any confusion this creates.
“We understand that many people are eager to be vaccinated, and that is a good thing,” said Medical Officer of Health for Huron Perth, Dr. Meriam Klassen. “There will be enough vaccine for all Ontarians. Everyone who wants to be vaccinated will eventually have the opportunity to be vaccinated. We thank everyone for their patience and remind people to be kind if calling HPPH. Abusive language will not be tolerated.”
HPPH follows the province of Ontario’s three-phase vaccination plan and ethical framework. Vaccination eligibility is also reviewed weekly by the Vaccine Prioritization Advisory Committee (Huron Perth Public Health, Middlesex London Health Unit and Southwestern Public Health), based on the regional vaccine supply and Provincial direction.
Every health unit region moves through its eligible residents at different paces. There will be slight variation between health units regarding who is eligible to book an appointment on any given day. Huron-Perth residents may see other regions with broader eligibility because of the way they are getting through their groups. HPPH has had great uptake in the eligible groups so far, which means it takes longer to get through those groups. A full list of those who are currently eligible for the vaccine can be found on the website at www.hpph.ca/vaccinebooking.
In keeping with provincial direction, education staff in Huron Perth who provide direct support to students with complex special needs are eligible for vaccine. These staff are defined as those who support students who meet one or more of the following criteria:
Some surgeries delayed to support Hospitals at capacity
Following direction from Ontario Health, the Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance (HPHA) has postponed a small volume of scheduled surgeries as of Monday, Apr. 12. This is in order to preserve critical care and human resource capacity due to the increasing case counts of COVID-19 and widespread community transmission across many parts of the province.
Patients whose surgeries will be postponed will be contacted directly by their surgeon’s office. Those who don’t receive a call, are asked to please attend as previously directed.
“We deeply regret the stress and disappointment this announcement may cause,” said Andrew Williams, president and CEO. “It is important that we align with Ontario Health’s direction to ensure that we have the capacity to support our provincial healthcare system so that we may continue to treat patients, with and without COVID-19, who require urgent, lifesaving care.”
As a provincial system partner the Stratford General Hospital site of the HPHA is accepting patients from the Greater Toronto Area to support hospitals who are under extreme pressures.
“This is a fast-changing situation and we may be asked to further reduce services, including more scheduled surgeries and some of our ambulatory care services if we need to care for a greater number of patients from other parts of the province,” added Williams. “We will continue to monitor the situation and share information if any additional changes need to be made.”
The province and HPHA endeavor to bring on surgical capacity and other deferred services as soon as safely possible.
“The continued efforts of those in our communities, included impacted businesses, in adhering to provincial directives is so important and remarkably appreciated,” said Williams. “This adherence to the Province’s stay-at-home order and public health measures along with increased vaccination will be key to hastening our recovery.”
HPHA also reminds community residents that it is safe to receive care at any of their hospital sites and that community members should not delay seeking treatment if it is needed.
Online Conservation Dinner Auction begins tomorrow
Each year for 30 years, more than 400 people gathered in person to support their community at the gala Conservation Dinner auction event. In 2021, the Conservation Dinner is an online event. Hundreds of people can’t be in the same room this year but there are still fun ways to enjoy the festivities and support local community conservation projects.
The #VirtualConservationDinner online auction runs for one week, from Apr. 15 until Earth Day (Apr. 22). This year, the Conservation Dinner Committee is to host a one-hour livestream online and TV broadcast at 7 p.m. on the first day (Apr. 15) of the online auction and another at 7 p.m. on the last day (Apr. 22) of online bidding. To watch the livestream broadcasts, visit the new livestream page at conservationdinner.com/livestream/. These one-hour simulcast TV shows are to be broadcast on social media. Local cable television providers have been invited to broadcast these one-hour shows and announcements of details are expected in the coming days.
Dave Frayne is Chair of the Virtual Conservation Dinner and Online Auction Committee. He invites people to bid on items during the online auction week and he also invites people to tune into the livestream broadcasts on the first and last days of the bidding week.
“Whether watching the livestreams on TV or on another device, these livestream programs are a way to find out about this community fundraiser and the great auction items and it’s also a way to find out about the importance of this work for the community,” said Frayne.
To bid on the many wonderful online auction items, during the Apr. 15-22 bidding week, visit the online auction page at: conservationdinner.com/online-auctions/
Other ways to support the Virtual Conservation Dinner, organized by the Exeter Lions Club and Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation (ABCF), include direct donations; purchasing online 50-50 raffle draw tickets at ExeterLions5050.com (with the prize growing every day); and purchasing special take-out meal entrées during specified dates as part of ‘dining for your community.’ To find out more, visit conservationdinner.com.
The Conservation Dinner is a partnership of the Exeter Lions Club, ABCF and other community partners. It has raised more than $1.2 million for projects in local communities over 30 years.
This fundraising event supports projects in local communities. Projects include parks and conservation areas; accessible nature trails in Bayfield, Clinton, Parkhill, Lucan, Arkona, Exeter, and Varna; outdoor nature education; a $1,000 student environmental bursary for students in local communities; a summer job at Ausable Bayfield Conservation for a senior secondary school student; turtle monitoring in Port Franks and Ailsa Craig; aquatic habitat studies in Old Ausable Channel at Grand Bend; and other projects.
The Huron Perth Public Health website is updated regularly with confirmed case counts received.
“Our online case reporting is not a real-time tool but is meant to keep the community informed on trends we are seeing,” explains Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Miriam Klassen.
For the latest statistics on COVID-19 cases in Huron and Perth Counties please visit: www.hpph.ca
Applications are now being accepted for the annual Summer Company program. All students, aged 15-29, that are looking to start their own businesses are eligible to apply. Successful applicants will receive up to $3,000 in start-up funds and business coaching throughout the summer of 2021.
The County of Huron, in partnership with the Province of Ontario, will award up to five students the chance to start their own companies this summer.
“The Summer Company really changed everything, I couldn’t have done it without it,” stated Brody Nesbitt, owner of Brody Builds, a participant in the 2020 program. “They helped me overcome getting started, get the ball running and get going. The start-up costs really helped.”
Applications for the Summer Company program are open now through May 23. To apply, individuals must determine if they are eligible and submit an online application inquiry. They will be connected with the local program provider, Huron County Economic Development, who will support individuals in submitting an online application, which includes a business plan and cash flow projections. All submitted applications will be reviewed and applicants may be contacted for an interview before being approved for the program.
To learn more about the eligibility requirements and to apply, please visit www.ontario.ca/page/start-summer-company-students.
For more information about the Summer Company program, please visit ecdev.huroncounty.ca or contact Entrepreneur and Business Coach, Patrick Donnelly at 519 524-8394 Ex. 3307 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Move for Mentoring
From May 1st-15th community members are invited to “Move for Mentoring” by getting active, having fun, and helping to ignite the power and potential of young people in the area in support of Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Huron (BBBSSH).
BBBSSH provides their services to Ailsa Craig, Bayfield, Brucefield, Centralia, Crediton, Clinton, Dashwood, Exeter, Grand Bend, Hensall, Huron Park, Lucan, Parkhill, Seaforth, Vanastra, Zurich and surrounding areas.
They provide a variety of quality mentoring programs that are supported by professional caseworkers, ensuring their programs meet agency and national standards while ensuring safe, positive and healthy relationships between Big and Little. These programs, the support, and professional case work, are offered at absolutely no charge to young people and their families. The agency relies primarily on funds raised through The Little Shop (their children’s consignment store), grants, fundraisers, sponsorship and individual donations, to provide programming.
Move for Mentoring is a simple and fun way to help support BBBSSH. People are invited to challenge themselves (and each other) to be active while raising pledges to support area young people. During the first two weeks of May participants will commit to a movement of their choice – walking, running, cycling (one, two or five kilometres) or holding a one-hour dance party are but examples, participants are encouraged to get creative on how they can Move for Mentoring. The next step is to let everyone know about the challenge completion by tagging Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Huron on social media with photo or video evidence of the challenge as it happens or after it happens using the hashtags #BBBSSH #BiggerTogether
People can sign up as an individual or part of a team. To register visit: southhuron.bigbrothersbigsisters.ca/event/move-for-mentoring. Register by Apr. 24 to receive a branded BBBSSH bandana to wear while moving, sponsored by Canadian Tire. Participants will also have a chance to win a daily draw prize, sponsored by Tim Horton’s, from May 1st-15th on Facebook: Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Huron.
Participants are asked to collect pledges using their online fundraising page. Paper pledge forms are also available. Donations will be accepted until May 31st.
More than ever before, BBBSSH needs to be there for the young people in the community. The BBBSSH waiting list continues to grow, and the need for support in the community is dire. Many young people face adverse barriers, which can escalate during the pandemic when they are at home, isolated and distancing from others.
For more information, or to register, please contact the BBBSSH office at email@example.com or call 519 235-1780, or visit their web-site at southhuron.bigbrothersbigsisters.ca, or reach out on Facebook.