KAWARTHA LAKES-Coronavirus outbreaks have been declared at two Catholic Churches in the Haliburton Area.
The Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge (HKPR)District Health Unit announced the outbreaks at Our Lady Of Lourdes and St John Vianney Catholic Church on Friday. It’s unclear how many cases there are linked to the outbreaks.
The declaration came on the same day the Ontario government closed outdoor parks and playgrounds while leaving churches and large warehouses open, although limiting their capacity.
Effective Monday, April 19, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., the government is limiting the capacity of weddings, funerals, and religious services, rites or ceremonies to 10 people indoors or outdoors. The government is also prohibiting social gatherings associated with these services such as receptions, except for with members of the same household or one other person from outside that household who lives alone. Drive-in services will be permitted.
The government also implemented the following public health and workplace safety measures effective Saturday, April 17, 2021 at 12:01 a.m.:
- Prohibit all outdoor social gatherings and organized public events, except for with members of the same household or one other person from outside that household who lives alone or a caregiver for any member of the household;
- Close all non-essential workplaces in the construction sector;
- Reduce capacity limits to 25 per cent in all retail settings where in-store shopping is permitted. This includes supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, indoor farmers’ markets, other stores that primarily sell food and pharmacies; and,
- Close all outdoor recreational amenities, such as golf courses, basketball courts, soccer fields, and playgrounds with limited exceptions.
Based on the latest modelling data, COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and ICU occupancy are continuing to increase rapidly and are now at their highest levels since the start of the pandemic in March 2020 according to health officials. The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in the province have increased by 29.2 per cent between the period of April 7 and 13, 2021. In addition, between April 8 and 14, 2021, Ontario has seen the number of patients in intensive care due to COVID related critical illness increase from 552 to 659, and admissions are projected to rise to over 1,000 patients by the end of the month. Over the past week, the positivity rate in the province is at 7.2 per cent, well above the high-alert threshold of 2.5 per cent.
“As the latest modelling confirms, without taking immediate and decisive action COVID-19 cases will spiral out of control and our hospitals will be overwhelmed,” said Premier Ford. “That’s why we are making difficult, but necessary decisions to reduce mobility and keep people in the safety of their own homes. We need to contain the spread of this deadly virus, while getting vaccines in as many arms as quickly as possible.”
Ontario has fewer acute hospital beds per 1,000 population than any other province and fewer beds than any other country in the world (tracked by the Economic Co-operation and Development)according to the Ontario Hospital Association.(OHA) Ontario has 1.4 acute beds per 1,000 and 2.2 total beds per 1,000.
According to the Ontario Hospital Association the provincial government total health care expenditure for all sectors combined is the lowest of all provinces at $4,385 per capita. If Ontario were to fund health care at the average rate per capital for all other provinces ($4,701) it would cost an additional $4.6 billion.
In 2018 doctors said Ontario hospitals were “On The Brink”. Officials said throughout the previous year, half of all hospitals were at full capacity, with some operating at 140% capacity.
“Ontario’s hospitals are on the brink. Many hospitals are under enormous pressure to provide care to a growing and aging population, and wait times are going up. Today, many patients are waiting far too long in hospitals to receive care at home, in long-term care, or in the community” said the OHA.
Read more here:https://www.oha.com/hospitals-on-the-brink
That was before the pandemic hit.