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Health Unit to follow province into Step 2, as of now

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(This story has been updated to reflect the updated number of cases reported by the Health Unit Thursday afternoon)

The North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit will be following the province into Step 2 of the reopening plan next Wednesday. 

“That’s the plan right now and we’re following it but things can change quickly,” says Dr. Jim Chirico, Medical Officer of Health. “We have to continue to monitor closely. It will have to do with our healthcare capacity and overseeing within the hospitals as well as we’re seeing in public health and the ability to respond, and the number of cases.”

Eight new cases of COVID-19 are being reported by the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit Thursday.

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All of the new cases are in Nipissing.

With resolved cases there are 75 active cases in the district.

All but three are in Nipissing.

The North Bay Jail outbreak case-load remains at 33.

Over 24% of our area’s adults are fully vaccinated.

“We are seeing cases across the Nipissing District and I’ll mention there are active cases in the Parry Sound district as well […] Where we see increased incidence, or potentially a little bit more than average number of cases, we may do outreach and targeted testing or vaccine as a mitigation strategy or prevention strategy but I can advise you there are cases across the district of Nipissing,” says Shannon Mantha, Executive Director of Clinical Services and Chief Nursing Officer. 

She says that drives home the point they’ve tried to relay throughout the pandemic. 

“When there’s community spread, and as long as COVID-19 is a reality for us, we all have to take precautions and treat people like they have COVID. It’s a very real reality, and it’s just keeping in mind all public health measures and getting fully vaccinated as soon as you can,” Mantha says. 

Dr. Chiciro also pointed out that the majority of the cases locally had not been vaccinated. 

“As of June 21st, with the number of cases that we saw, about 74% of those cases were not vaccinated and we certainly recognize that is an issue,” he says. “In the short term, we have to follow public health measures to get this under control. We’re stepping up our efforts to get more people vaccinated.” 

He says residents will be seeing more spots available and more clinics coming up and urges people to get their first and second doses as soon as possible. 

“They’ve been shown to be very effective in reducing hospitalization, reducing severe disease and death. We have a tremendous tool that everybody should consider getting as soon as possible,” said Chirico.

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