Haldimand-Norfolk moves back to orange

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Haldimand and Norfolk counties have moved back to orange under Ontario’s COVID-19 response framework.

The move was announced March 5 by the provincial government. The area had been placed in yellow last week but an increase in confirmed cases precipitated the move.

The move came into effect on Monday at 12:01 a.m. Visit www.ontario.ca/covidresponse for more information on what restrictions will be in place under the orange-restrict level.

On Friday, the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit reported its biggest spike in confirmed COVID-19 cases in more than two weeks. There are now 37 active cases in the area after nine new cases of COVID-19 were reported. On Thursday, the health unit reported six new cases.

In total, there have been 1,449 positive cases in Haldimand-Norfolk with 1,368 of those resolved. Over the course of the pandemic, there have been 39 deaths and five people who had tested positive but died from complications attributed to other illnesses.

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There is one ongoing outbreak at Cedar Crossing Retirement Home in Simcoe after a staff member tested positive. That outbreak was declared on Feb. 24.

Provincial government guidelines require outbreaks to be declared whenever there is a single positive case involving a resident or staff member at a retirement or long-term care home.

There have been no new positive tests reported by local school boards last week.

As far as area vaccinations are concerned, 6,474 doses have been administered in Haldimand-Norfolk with 1,580 completed vaccinations. The health unit notes that data on vaccinations can be delayed up to 48 hours.

Over the next few weeks, it’s expected that up to 5,000 people aged 80 and older will receive the vaccine in the area. Clinics are already running at Norfolk General Hospital and the Vittoria Community Centre.

The clinic at Dunnville Lifespan Centre will move to Cayuga Memorial Arena on the weekend and will vaccinate up to 1,000 people per day. Additional clinics will be opened in the coming weeks.

Family doctors will be in touch with patients aged 80 and older to discuss vaccination plans with patients as well as the appointment booking process. The health unit is instructing people not to call their doctor, the health unit or area hospitals to book an appointment.

There is a dedicated vaccine phone line (519-427-5903) and email address (vaccine@hnhss.ca) for questions. Neither are to be used to book vaccinations.

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Visit www.hnhu.org/covid-19 for more information.

Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation has received vaccines from the HNHU and it will hold a vaccination clinic at the MCFN Community Centre on Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to close.

The clinic is open to all MCFN members and those living within the MCFN community who are aged 18 and older.

Those planning on attending are asked to register in advance on Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call 905-768-5036 to book and appointment. There is no voicemail.

Valid health and status cards (expired will be accepted) or proof of on-reserve residency (driver’s license, bill) must be brought to the appointment.

The Pfizer vaccine will be administered at the clinic.

Public Health Ontario also saw a spike in cases as there were 1,250 new cases of COVID-19 reported on Friday. That is an increase from the 994 cases announced on Thursday.

There have been 306,007 confirmed cases in Ontario since the pandemic began and of those, 288,583 people have recovered.

With 22 more deaths attributed to the virus on Friday, the total number of deaths from COVID is now 7,046.

Latest statistics indicate that 269,063 Ontarians have been fully vaccinated.

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