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Province-wide shutdown an urgent and necessary step to save lives

As health and social care providers affiliated with the Ontario Health Team of Northumberland, and patient and caregiver partners, we welcome the Ontario government's announcement of a forthcoming province-wide shutdown. With the holiday season almost upon us, and the very real risks posed by the movement of people into and across our province, this shutdown—in our view—cannot come soon enough.

Cases of COVID-19 are rising dramatically in Ontario. For the past week, we’ve watched as the total number of new confirmed cases in Ontario has exceeded 2,000 every day. Countless more cases are unconfirmed—carriers who do not yet have symptoms and are unaware that they may be spreading the virus.

Targeted measures have had an impact on transmission, but the rising case count tells us they are not enough. A swift and broad response is required now to avoid or, at least, minimize even more individuals falling ill or worse in the coming weeks and months. Greater than half of the more than 200 cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Northumberland County have been detected since the end of November alone. While cases here are fortunately not as numerous as they are in neighbouring regions like Toronto, Peel and Durham, local growth is moving swiftly in the wrong direction. Over 14,000 Canadians have died of COVID-19. More than 4,000 of these confirmed COVID-related deaths have been in Ontario and 20 in the region covered by the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit. By acting now, we will help to stop these figures from growing even larger. The sacrifices are significant, both personal and economic, but the alternative, without a doubt, would be much worse.

As we urged in an appeal to our community earlier this month, vaccines offer hope, but the benefits are many months away. Thank you to everyone in Northumberland for your continued efforts to meet this challenge. Please, remain vigilant with the preventive public health measures proven to reduce COVID’s spread. Support the province-wide shutdown with your own personal actions, and consider doing so now, before the official shutdown comes into effect on Saturday, December 26 at 12:01 AM.

The best gift we can all give this holiday season is distance.

Sincerely,

Trish Baird, Executive Director, Community Care Northumberland

Carol Beauchamp, Executive Director, Rebound Child and Youth Services

Adrienne Bell-Smith, Executive Director, Northumberland Family Health Team

Linda Davis, President and CEO, Northumberland Hills Hospital

Delayne Donald, Executive Director, Trent Hills Family Health Team

Varouj Eskedjian, President and CEO, Campbellford Memorial Hospital

Kaye Jackson, caregiver representative

Kerri-Anne Kidd, Executive Director, The Bridge Hospice

Scott Macpherson, patient representative

Jennifer Moore, Chief Administrative Officer, Northumberland County

Wendy Parker, Executive Director, Lakeview Family Health Team

Taryn Rennicks, Executive Director, Community Health Centres of Northumberland

Nora Sawyer, Interim Manager, Alderville First Nation Health and Social Services

View/download the news release pdf