Christine's Chronicle - January 2022

Published on January 14, 2022

 

 

Date:  Tuesday, January 4, 2022

 

As we welcome 2022, I want to wish everyone in Newmarket-Aurora a happy and healthy new year.

 

I also want to extend a special thank you to all health care workers and volunteers who worked throughout the holidays to administer COVID-19 vaccines and keep our communities safe. Their dedication and incredible efforts to protect Ontarians is truly inspiring.

 

As the province continues to rapidly scale up capacity to administer vaccines, including boosters, our government has extended a call to arms to businesses, volunteers, and retired health professionals to help further boost capacity as part of Team Ontario and get more boosters into arms sooner.

 

If you would like to volunteer to support health care providers and others at vaccination clinics, please visit the Ontario COVID-19 Volunteer Portal. The portal is open to Ontarians 16 years and older who can register to volunteer in a variety of roles based on their abilities, knowledge and experience, and the needs of our local public health unit.

 

We have also made changes to allow more individuals to safely administer the COVID-19 vaccine, such as retired nurses and physicians, paramedics, dentists, and firefighters. These individuals are encouraged to register through the Health Workforce Matching Portal to help get boosters into the arms.

 

Vaccines are our best defence against the virus, and I encourage everyone to get their first, second, and booster dose as soon as possible. Getting vaccinated will help protect you and your loved ones from severe illness and hospitalization, which is particularly important given the rapidly spreading Omicron variant.

 

In response to recent trends that show a rapid increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations, Ontario is moving into Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen with modifications that take into account the province’s successful vaccination efforts. These time-limited measures will help blunt transmission and prevent hospitals from becoming overwhelmed as Team Ontario continues to accelerate its booster dose rollout.

 

The high transmissibility of the virus has resulted in a larger number of hospital admissions relative to ICU admissions. Real-world experience and evidence in Ontario reveal that approximately one per cent of Omicron cases require hospital care. The rapid rise of Omicron cases, which may soon number in the hundreds of thousands, could result in the province’s hospital capacity becoming overwhelmed if further action isn’t taken to curb transmission. When one in 100 cases goes to hospital, it means that with this rapid increase in transmission, the number of new cases requiring hospitalization will also rapidly increase daily.

 

While this was not an easy decision, these measures will help preserve hospital bed capacity and prevent our hospitals from becoming overwhelmed. We need everyone to please follow the public health measures and get vaccinated as soon as possible. Doing so will help you protect yourself, your loved ones, and our community, and ensure that Ontarians can receive the high-quality care they need when they need it. We will get through this Omicron variant together.

 

Should you have any questions about this update or any other provincial matter, please continue to contact my office at 905-853-9889 or by emailing [email protected].