The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit is encouraging people aged 12 to 17 to get vaccinated against COVID-19 during June.

Based on the province’s schedule for second doses, youth vaccinated this month will be eligible to receive their second dose in August, ensuring they are fully vaccinated when school resumes in September, the health unit said on June 11.

“While it’s important for people of all ages to be vaccinated against COVID-19, we want to ensure that our young people are fully protected before heading back to class in the fall,” said Dr. Natalie Bocking, medical officer of health for the HKPR District Health Unit.

Youth are encouraged to book an appointment at any of the health unit’s immunization clinics. Appointments must be booked through the provincial booking system. Some local pharmacies may also provide youth vaccinations and should be contacted directly to book appointments. As well, primary health care providers may also offer vaccinations to their younger patients and their families.

Assessment centre COVID update

The positive rate for COVID-19 continues to trend downwards in Haliburton County, however 100 per cent of positive cases are now for variants of concern (VOC).

The latest report, issued June 9, found the positivity rate for the period May 17-28 was 1.29 per cent. That is down from the May 3-14 rate of 5.31 per cent. The number of average tests completed each week was also down to just 78.

“Although the overall number of COVID19 positive cases are declining, it is critical that public health measures continue to be followed in order to help prevent further spread of the virus and the VOCs, particularly as the province moves ahead with its roadmap to reopen plan. These measures include frequent handwashing, wearing a face mask in public spaces, and maintaining physical distancing,” the report said.

They also stressed the need for people in the community to get vaccinated.

Patient records improved

Haliburton Highlands Health Services (HHHS), along with six other hospital organizations representing 14 hospitals in Ontario’s central east region, are partnering to deliver a new, digital clinical information system (CIS), HHHS said in a news release.

“For the first time in central east Ontario, patients and their entire care team will have real-time access to each patient’s health information in one place,” said Carolyn Plummer, HHHS President and CEO.

She added the CIS “will dramatically improve the ways patients and health professionals communicate with each other, supporting them to make the best possible decisions about each individual’s treatment and care.”

The seven partner hospital organizations participating in this major health care initiative are: Campbellford Memorial Hospital, HHHS, Lakeridge Health, Northumberland Hills Hospital, Peterborough Regional Health Centre, Ross Memorial Hospital and Scarborough Health Network.

“This unprecedented partnership will substantially improve the patient experience by supporting patients throughout their transitions between organizations and services,” added Plummer. “This is of tremendous value for a small rural health care provider such as HHHS with so many patients receiving care provided by our regional partners.”

She said another feature is patient access to a user-friendly and secure portal called MyChart to view their health information and upcoming appointments

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