June 8 Board of Health Summary

Written by Comms Team, June 13, 2022

ALPHA conference

Dr. Thomas Piggott, Medical Officer of Health and Mayor Andy Mitchell, Board of Health Chair, will be attending the Association of Local Public Health Agencies (ALPHA) conference next week. The conference will focus on the future of Public Health in Ontario and moving forward with COVID-19.

Annual Report

Peterborough Public Health has finalized the Annual Report for 2020-2021. The report summarized highlights from the last two years including COVID-19 efforts and core program areas.

Peterborough’s Opioid Early Warning and Surveillance System Update

Jocelyn Qualtrough, Health Promoter of Family & Community Health Team and Sarah Peacock, Epidemiologist of Foundational Standards Team provided an overview of Peterborough’s Opioid Early Warning and Surveillance System. Peterborough Public Health (PPH) received funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada from October 2020 to March 2022 for the enhancement of the opioid early warning and surveillance system (EWSS). The intention of the EWSS is to collect community information and quickly detect drug poisonings to alert service providers and residents to take additional precautions when using drugs. The funding allowed for the evaluation and enhancement of the EWSS. The evaluation included an in-depth look into how information moves through the system and is utilized by those who need it. This work has allowed PPH and partners to streamline the EWSS to get out information quickly and effectively. Two products that were developed from this project include the Opioid Harms Data Portal and the Drug Reporting Tool.

COVID-19 Update

Dr. Thomas Piggott, Medical Officer of Health and Chief Executive Officer, provided an update on the status of COVID-19 transmission in the Peterborough community. On June 8, the Peterborough region moved to the “low risk” level of COVID-19 transmission on the COVID-19 risk index. While case rates and PCR percent positivity remain high, other data including wastewater, hospitaliztion, and deaths show low risk for the community. The low trend in wastewater data is comparable to the trend observed last spring and summer. Dr. Piggott reinforced the message of preparing for an increase in cases and COVID-19 transmission for the fall, if not again sooner. Residents are strongly encouraged to receive the COVID-19 vaccine if they have not already and stay tuned to the COVID-19 Community Risk Index for guidance based on the risk of COVID-19 in our region.

Peterborough Public Health is supporting 3 settings that are currently under COVID-19 outbreak. Outbreaks continue to occur in congregate living faciltities. With the province lifting the masking mandate in most places on June 11, residents are reminded that masks are still required to be worn in senior congregate living settings to continue to protect our most vulnerable residents. After June 11, Peterbroorugh Public Health will still require masks to be worn by visitors in all clinical services and reception areas. This includes the COVID-19 mass immunization clinic which is temporarily located at 185 King st. By July the clinic will be relocated to Peterborough Square.

PPH’s Plan for Unfunded One-Time Initiatives 

On May 3, PPH received the 2022 Cost-Shared and One-Time Budget approvals from the Ministry of Health. PPH had requested $2,170,000 in one-time funding which was not approved. $1,760,000 of this request was designated for recovery activities including catch-up, planning, and restorative projects. With an adjusted timeline and capacity, recovery plans have been revised. PPH will move forward with this plan and operate within the available unspent Cost-Shared budget. Further commitment of funding is required for projects that will continue into 2023. If possible, PPH will reapply for the provincial recovery funding to support catch-up initiatives and recovery.

Next meeting:

The Board of Health will meet next on Wednesday, August 10, 2022, 5:00 p.m. either at 185 King Street, Peterborough or virtual.