Board of Health Jan 13 Meeting Summary

Written by Communications, January 18, 2021

Selwyn Mayor Andy Mitchell Re-Elected as New Chair of Board of Health, City of Peterborough Councillor Henry Clarke Elected Vice Chair

At its inaugural meeting of the new year, the board held elections for its 2021 positions. Andy Mitchell, Mayor of Selwyn Township was acclaimed as the new board chair for a second consecutive term, and Councillor Henry Clarke, of the City of Peterborough, was also acclaimed as vice chair. Members at large serving the Board of Health for 2021 include:

  • Gary Baldwin, Councillor, City of Peterborough
  • Bonnie Clark, Deputy Mayor, Township of Otonabee-South Monaghan
  • Matthew Graham, Deputy Mayor, Township of Cavan Monaghan
  • Nodin Knott, Councillor, Curve Lake First Nation
  • Hans Seltzer, Provincial Appointee
  • Andy Sharpe, Provincial Appointee
  • Don Vassiliadis, Councillor, City of Peterborough
  • Kathryn Wilson, Councillor, Hiawatha First Nation

COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout

Over the Jan. 9-10 weekend, both General Hillier and Premier Doug Ford, as well as several Ministers, met with all local Medical Officers of Health and Hospital CEOs to advise them that they have set a new target for the province: by February 15, all residents, staff and essential caregivers in our long-term care homes must be immunized with at least the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. To this end, Dr. Salvaterra will convene the Peterborough Inter-Agency COVID-19 Vaccine Planning Team on January 15. The first vaccine to be received will be the Pfizer vaccine, and that this will be the one used with priority populations. Mobile vaccination teams will work with all eight long-term care facility partners to ensure that this target will be met or surpassed here in Peterborough. As soon as PPH receives confirmation of its vaccine delivery date and the supply, plans will ramp up to ensure high and comprehensive uptake of the vaccine so that residents are protected. Other health units such as Toronto and Peel Region have much higher case incidence rates (see graph) and that is why they are prioritized to receive vaccine before Peterborough.

Although vaccine supplies as currently predicted mean that the vaccine will not be rolled out to the general community until the spring, public education activities have already begun to help local residents make informed decisions. Dr. Salvaterra presented at a vaccine information session hosted by Hiawatha First Nation on January 11, and more than 500 residents have registered for the virtual event “COVID-19 & You” taking place on January 15.

Opioid Poisoning Prevention Strategy

The Board of Health moved to direct staff to re-engage community partners to explore new and innovative approaches, including the recommendations in a recent Toronto Board of Health report, to address the current trend of opioid poisonings impacting our local communities. Research from other countries who have chosen to take a health rather than an enforcement-based approach to problematic drug use have demonstrated positive results. In September 2018, the Board of Health endorsed the recommendations of Canadian Public Health Association’s 2017 position statement on the decriminalization of personal use of psychoactive substances. The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) released a position statement calling for decriminalization for personal use in July 2020.

Next meeting:

The Board of Health meets next virtually on Wednesday, February 10, 2021 at 5:30 p.m. Please click here for a list of Board of Health meeting dates and location details.