Covid-19 Outbreak at Hospital

Today Northumberland Hills Hospital said that “The number of admitted patients at Northumberland Hills Hospital (NHH) continues to rise as case counts increase in the region.”  Susan Walsh, President and CEO of NHH said: “Sadly, COVID-19 has not gone away.”  The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPRDHU) keeps track of outbreaks in high risk settings and one of the 11 Outbreaks in the region is NHH. Three of the Outbreaks are in Cobourg – see list below.  According to HKPR, the count of cases in Cobourg is 8 but the Hospital says that “We currently have eleven admitted patients confirmed positive for COVID-19. Some are here because of COVID-19, some came to hospital for other reasons but were found… Read complete articleCovid-19 Outbreak at Hospital

Monkey Pox in Northumberland

Although the risk is low, it’s a bit scary after our experience with Covid-19. On Wednesday, July 27, the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPR District Health Unit) reported the first lab-confirmed case of the Monkeypox virus in the region. It involves a resident from Northumberland County (no indication whether it’s in Cobourg). The person with the virus is “currently recovering and in isolation”. Also, “the HKPR District Health Unit has also completed follow-up with this individual and has contacted anyone else who may have had close contact with this case, including those who may require vaccination against the virus.” Dr. Natalie Bocking, Medical Officer of Health said that “we are notifying and following up with all close… Read complete articleMonkey Pox in Northumberland

Covid-19 Update – July 2022

Life seems almost back to normal but it’s not quite – Covid is still with us.  At a media briefing today, Dr. Natalie Bocking of the HKPR Health Unit provided an update.  We are now in a seventh wave or a third Omicron wave – caused by the BA-5 variant.  As usually the case with new variants, it’s more infectious and more easily transmissible but does not cause worse symptoms.  Cases in our area are not (yet) at previous levels but we need to be cautious – especially if susceptible such as older or with an immune condition.  Dr. Bocking recommends vaccination protection, staying home if sick (at all), avoiding large indoor gatherings and use rapid testing to check.  However,… Read complete articleCovid-19 Update – July 2022

Campaign to reduce animal bites

The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit is concerned about the number of animal bite/scratch incidents in their region. In each of the last three years, the HKPR DHU has investigated more than 600 animal bite/scratch incidents and this is “worrying given the rabies-exposure risk, the trauma suffered by the victim, and the fact that most of these bites involve pets or domestic animals.”  The idea of the campaign is to ask dog owners (and other pet owners) to use “a yellow ribbon (or bandana, bow or similar marker) tied on a dog’s leash or collar to remind people to give the animal space.”  So if you see a pet with a yellow ribbon – give it space!  It… Read complete articleCampaign to reduce animal bites

Covid-19 Update – January 2022

Although Ontario is scheduled to lift some restrictions at the end of the month, by no means are we out of the woods.  The good news is that we are past the peak that occurred around the end of December; the bad news is that cases have plateaued at a high rate – for Northumberland that’s around an average of 30 new cases per day (see graph below).  Worse, that’s an underestimate – the real number is higher.  That’s because it only measures the results of PCR testing.  Many Omicron cases do not get recorded in official figures.  Because of this, the HKPR DHU Medical Officer of Health Dr. Bocking, says that we should watch other indicators like ICU admissions,… Read complete articleCovid-19 Update – January 2022

County Agrees to Hospital Tax

Part of the County’s tax revenue for 2022 will go to County Hospitals – Northumberland Hills Hospital (NHH) and Campbellford Memorial Hospital (CMH).  As reported earlier (see Links below), the two Hospitals’ fund-raising Foundations originally asked for $1M per year for 10 years and after pushback, lowered that to 1% of the County Levy.  As well as regular Council Meetings, the County held two special meetings to consider the request with the latest one being at 9:30 am this morning (Thursday November 4). Each Councillor made their position known and their reasoning and it was soon clear that although a majority favoured some kind of support, it was not to the level requested.  In the end a recorded vote was… Read complete articleCounty Agrees to Hospital Tax

County Council Considering Large Grants to Hospitals

On June 7, 2021 the two County Hospitals – Northumberland Hills Hospital (NHH) and Campbellford Memorial Hospital (CMH) – asked County Council to grant them $1M annually for 10 years.  It would be divided 75% to NHH and 25% to CMH.  A special meeting was convened on September 29 to discuss the request but County Council asked for more information.  The next step was that the Hospitals made a revised proposal on October 7 which changed the request to 1% of the County levy annually over an 8 year period.  This is estimated to be a minimum of $5.9M.  The money would be used for capital equipment and not for operations or interest.  There is no mandate from the Province… Read complete articleCounty Council Considering Large Grants to Hospitals

More on Adult Fitness Park

A last minute presentation by Keith Oliver at last night’s regular Council meeting seems to have caused a revision in the motion passed by Council.  Instead of the location being the Cobourg Community Centre, it is now not yet decided and once again has been referred to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee (PRAC) where they will consider information provided by Keith in a presentation.  The motion that was passed allows equipment to be ordered so that the grant is not lost (It requires money to be spent by March 31, 2022).  But Keith was also not happy with the choice of equipment – he said some was not suitable for seniors – but this issue was not even discussed… Read complete articleMore on Adult Fitness Park

Zoning of Rehabilitation Centres

In July 2020, Council was asked to approve the use of the (mostly vacant) Medical building at 316 King Street East (opposite the High school) as a rehabilitation centre for patients with drug or alcohol problems.  There was a lot of concern expressed by councillors and the public due to proximity to the school so the issue was deferred pending a study of zoning of such facilities (see link below).  A contract was awarded to Meridian Planning Consultants to report on this subject and their report was presented to Council at Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting.  Their basic conclusion was that such a use should be possible but subject to case by case decisions which would include collecting public… Read complete articleZoning of Rehabilitation Centres

Health Coalitions Survey LTC workers

Three groups have teamed up to survey Long Term Care workers to uncover deficiencies.  Using the results, they are now lobbying the Provincial Government to make improvements.  Their Press Conference on Tuesday, June 22 was on Zoom and recorded on Facebook with the video plus full survey results available via Links below.  This report will focus on their key findings and recommendations.  Their survey shows that the big problem is staffing which was a problem pre-Covid but is now worse.  The group believe that Government promises to increase the number of beds are both insufficient and unrealistic.  They also want a focus on public facilities and not “for-profit” homes.  To be clear, they are not talking about Retirement Homes but… Read complete articleHealth Coalitions Survey LTC workers

Pop-ups Brighten the Day in Cobourg

In 2016, Cobourg Library created pop-up Libraries around Cobourg. These are small boxes installed in Public places that provide reading material for the public on a trust basis and they are still operating. Based on a sample of two that I looked at, they have a varying success rate. A week or so ago, the Art Gallery of Northumberland created mini pop-up Art Galleries and today, two Port Hope non-profit groups (Cultivate and Greenwood Coalition) have created 10 pop-up herb gardens – 5 in Cobourg and 5 in Port Hope. It will be interesting to see how long they survive but it’s great to see these initiatives. Based on the Library experience, Cobourg people can be trusted to a certain… Read complete articlePop-ups Brighten the Day in Cobourg