Peterborough Public Health has added more COVID-19 vaccination clinics to the booking system as new PCR test confirmed cases continue to mount and hospitalized cases hit new heights.
Peterborough Regional Health Centre, which has a COVID-19 outbreak on Unit C3, had 36 admitted patients with the virus on Tuesday, up from 34 on Monday and the highest number of cases ever since the pandemic began in March 2020, topping the previous high of 35 on Jan. 17 and 18.
The two health units in the Peterborough area have not released updates on their cases since last Wednesday because of the Easter long weekend even though cases have soared from the sixth wave of the pandemic.
Peterborough Public Health had 386 active confirmed cases on Tuesday, down from 406 on Monday, according to Public Health Ontario, but up from the 333 active confirmed cases reported by the health unit last Wednesday.
The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit had 514 active confirmed cases on Tuesday, down from 537 on Monday, according to Public Health Ontario, but up from the 227 active confirmed cases reported by the health unit last Wednesday.
Both jurisdictions have also each had two new COVID-19-related deaths since last Wednesday.
Ross Memorial Hospital in Lindsay was up to seven admitted patients with the virus as of Tuesday.
A new COVID-19 outbreak was also reported facility wide at the Rosewood Estates retirement home in Cobourg.
The reported cases are considered to be an underestimation of the actual total cases now that PCR testing is limited to people from a high-risk setting or for people with moderate symptoms if they go through their family doctor (more details are at ontario.ca/exposed). There have been countless cases in schools, daycares, congregate living facilities and in the public.
Peterborough Public Health elevated the community COVID-19 risk level to “very high” last Wednesday, the highest level on a five-level scale.
Treatments not getting to lower-income settings, Piggott fears
“COVID-19 has upended science, showing us we can accomplish great things by working together,” Peterborough medical officer of health Dr. Thomas Piggott said Monday.
“However we’ve learned that despite global advancements in preventions and treatments, they’re actively withheld from people living in lower-income settings, and lower income people living in high-income settings too.
“Despite being a global public health emergency, this has been a relatively small proportion of global research production. COVID-19 has magnified, but followed the same injustices society does.
“While scientific evidence is not all that goes into decision-making, much of the public wishes it were. In democracies, our elected officials make difficult decisions for us. In the pandemic ‘science’ has been used to defend decisions that certainly weren’t based on it.
“It’s critical to separate scientific advising bodies and the final decisions made. This is why we need independent PHOs and PHACs and WHOs etc. If science and politics are conflated it undermines trust in science, and that will have concerning impacts well past this pandemic.”
Clinics no longer walk-in
Peterborough Public Health’s has COVID-19 vaccination clinics at the Healthy Planet Arena at 911 Monaghan Rd. in Peterborough on Tuesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., along with April 25 and 27 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and April 26 and 29 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., May 2 and 4 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and May 3 and 6 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., May 9 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., May 10 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and May 11 and 13 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Upcoming clinics in the county include Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Buckhorn Community Centre at 1782 Lakehurst Rd., April 28 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the North Kawartha Community Centre at 340 McFadden Rd. in Apsley, May 5 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Norwood Community Centre at 88 Alma St. and May 12 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Cavan Monaghan Community Centre at 986 County Road 10.
Walk-in service is no longer available at those clinics. Appointments can also be booked online at covid-19.ontario.ca/book-vaccine/
Special walk-in clinics are available for pediatric doses for children 5 to 11 at the Healthy Planet Arena on Tuesday and Friday from 2 to 4 p.m. along with April 25 and 27 from 3 to 6 p.m.
Residents 60 and older are eligible for a fourth dose if they received their third dose at least three months ago. Fourth dose booster shots are also available for immunocompromised people.
Masks are still required at health unit vaccination clinics.
Doses are also available at some pharmacies, usually by appointment.
Rapid test kits
The Ontario government is continuing to distribute free COVID-19 rapid antigen test kits each week, available while in stock and while supplies last, with one box of five tests per household per visit.
On Wednesday the provincial government announced that the distribution will continue through to July 31.
Participating locations in Peterborough include the Brookdale IDA Pharmacy, Charlotte Care Pharmacy, Costco Pharmacy, Lansdowne Pharmacy, Loblaw Pharmacies at the Superstore, Your Independent Grocery and the George Street No Frills store, Metro, Pharmasave The Clinic Pharmacy, the Rexalls on George Street and Chemong Road, the Sherbrooke Heights Pharmacy, the two Shoppers Drug Marts on Lansdowne Street West as well as Chemong Road and Charlotte Street, the two Sobeys stores on Towerhill Road and Lansdowne Street West, The Medicine Shopper and the two Walmarts on Chemong Road and Lansdowne Street West.