Point Edward, ON – Lambton Public Health (LPH) is announcing that effective Wednesday, June 1 it is exiting Emergency Response Mode and will begin a staged return to normal operations.
After 26 months of emergency operations, this transition will allow for LPH staff to begin to readjust focus to other public health priorities, while also ensuring staff are able to quickly pivot back to pandemic response mode if outbreaks and cases increase, or additional immunization efforts are required.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted everyone significantly, and the demands on our public health workforce has been no different,” said Andrew Taylor, General Manager, Public Health Services Division for the County of Lambton. “Their flexibility and efforts in responding to the community’s needs as they arose throughout the pandemic has been greatly appreciated and we look forward to slowly refocusing our efforts on providing our core services.”
This staged return to core services is made possible by a variety of factors, including other community partners shifting back to pre-pandemic operations.
“As others begin the transition out of the pandemic, it is important that we are able to support them and help provide guidance when navigating an evolving world,” said Dr. Sudit Ranade, Medical Officer of Health for the County of Lambton. “We are now in a position where we feel comfortable to begin that transition ourselves, while still ensuring supports are available to all who need it.”
As part of this shift, LPH will be making a change to its online COVID-19 Surveillance Reporting schedule. Moving forward, reports will be updated each Wednesday morning before 11:00 a.m.
Other factors contributing to this change in status and reporting include environmental factors, a high vaccination rate amongst at-risk populations, and other supporting data.
Warm weather effects
The months of June, July, and August bring about nicer weather which encourages people to spend more time outdoors. This outdoor socialization decreases the risk of transmission of COVID-19 and has positive impacts on both mental and physical health. Information on how to stay safe outdoors in the summer months is available by visiting www.lambtonpublichhealth.ca
At-risk population vaccinated
With over 90% of Lambton’s population aged 60+ having received at least two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, Lambton County has a high baseline immunity which is important in maintaining low levels of hospitalizations and easing the burden on the healthcare system.
LPH is encouraging those over the age of 60 who are eligible for a 4th dose of the vaccine to visit GetTheVaccine.ca today to book their 2nd booster. A full list of vaccine eligibility is also available.
No new variants of concern identified
Public Health Ontario (PHO) is continuously monitoring and testing for new COVID-19 variants of concern (VOCs) in Ontario. These are identified when a variant begins to have an impact on the following: spread, severity of disease, vaccine effectiveness, or diagnostic testing.
At this time, no new VOCs have been identified within the province.
These factors allow LPH to shift COVID-19 surveillance to focus on longer term trends, reported on a weekly basis. Public health units across the province have been making similar changes to COVID-19 reporting schedules, with the same goal.
The structure and content of LPH’s report will not change and it will continue to include details on COVID-19 cases, deaths, and hospitalizations, as well as testing, active outbreaks, and vaccine coverage.
Residents are reminded that PHO continues to provide COVID-19 data updates seven days per week, including data specific to Lambton County. PHO’s COVID-19 Data Tool is updated Monday to Friday at 1:00 p.m., and their Daily Epidemiological Summary is updated seven days per week.