COVID-19: Two Omicron cases in Peterborough region, 27th death reported –

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Two cases of the Omicron COVID-19 variant have been confirmed in the Peterborough region, the area’s health unit reported Tuesday afternoon.
Peterborough Public Health medical officer of health Dr. Thomas Piggott announced the two cases as he outlined details on letters of instruction on safety measures for workplaces and food premises. Issued on Monday, the measures — including remote work for non-essential employees — takes effect Wednesday.
Read more: COVID-19: Peterborough non-essential employees to shift to remote work; new measures for food premises
He said it is not surprising the variant has been found in the region, and that it was only a “matter of time,” as the variant has been located across Ontario over the past few weeks. The health unit serves Peterborough, Peterborough County, Curve Lake First Nation and Hiawatha First Nation.
Piggott said the two cases are not linked to one another — one is linked to another known Omicron case outside the region and the other case remains under investigation.
“Behave as though Omicron is here and is spreading in the community,” he said. “And I do anticipate we will see many more cases in the coming days.”
Piggott also reported the 27th COVID-19 death since the pandemic was declared — the third death this month. Piggott said the latest victim was a man in his 40s who was unvaccinated.
We're taking additional public health measures locally @Ptbohealth to help businesses stay open and maintain safer environments for staff and patrons in the context of the growing threat of #omicron
— Dr Thomas Piggott (He/Him) (@twpiggott) December 14, 2021

Piggott also said the health unit is ramping up efforts to administer third-dose vaccinations, highlighting 5,500 additional appointment slots for booster shots for individuals age 50 and up, which opened Tuesday after scaling up clinics “five-fold.”
He said the health unit is redeploying as many staff as possible to assist with future vaccination clinics. However, Piggott says they are seeking volunteers or individuals to serve as administrators to assist in future clinics.
“This is a all-hands-on-deck effort,” he said.
Visit the health unit’s career website to sign up as a volunteer.
Piggott stressed while they continue to focus on vaccination, they are also strengthening local public health measures via the letters of instruction.
“The time to get off the train tracks is when we see the train approaching, not after it has hit us,” he said.
“The public health measures will be extremely important in helping us protect the population against Omicron.”
The health unit’s COVID tracker update, issued around 4:33 p.m., shows 49 active cases of COVID-19, down from 54 reported on Monday.
Read more: Ontario regions bring in stricter measures, booster bookings ramp up in Omicron race
The health unit reports the following three active outbreaks on Tuesday:
The outbreak declared Dec. 3 at Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School in Peterborough was lifted on Tuesday.
The health unit has had 366 cases associated with 64 outbreaks since the pandemic was declared.
Other data from the regional health unit on Tuesday:
The Peterborough Victoria Northumberland Clarington Catholic District School Board as of 11:25 a.m. Tuesday reported eight active cases at schools within the health unit’s jurisdiction (school board does not indicate if cases involve students or staff. All schools remain open):
Two cases at Holy Cross Catholic Secondary in Peterborough reported resolved and the outbreak was lifted.
The Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board as of 11:30 a.m. Tuesday reported 16 active cases among its schools within the health unit’s jurisdiction. All schools with cases remain open (school board does not indicate if cases involve students or staff):
Single cases at Adam Scott Intermediate and Thomas A. Stewart Secondary School, both in Peterborough, were reported resolved Tuesday.
Trent University reported one active case at its Peterborough campus Tuesday — one less since Monday — and none at its Durham campus. The university reports that 96 per cent of students and 97 per cent of employees are fully vaccinated and zero per cent of students and zero per cent of staff are partially vaccinated.
Fleming College has not reported any cases at its Peterborough campus. The college will resume in-person classes and services in January 2022.
The health unit releases its weekly vaccination rate data on Wednesdays. The latest data can be found in this Global News Peterborough article.
The health unit will host a number of vaccination clinics for children at several Peterborough County schools. All clinics will be held outside of school hours. Clinics include:
Read more: COVID-19 — Five Counties Children’s Centre to hold vaccination clinic for Peterborough-area kids
Bookings for children ages five to 11 to receive a COVID-19 vaccine are available as well as third-dose/booster vaccinations. All appointments have to be booked on Ontario’s online portal or by calling the provincial vaccine booking call centre at 1-833-943-3900.
All testing and medical assessments for COVID-19 in Peterborough are now consolidated at Peterborough Regional Health Centre’s assessment centre at 1 Hospital Dr.
A number of Peterborough and area pharmacies offer vaccinations to eligible recipients. Appointments are required and can be made by calling the respective pharmacies or visiting the Ontario government’s website.
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