December 23, 2021 5:26am
Huron Perth Public Health says it’s in everyone’s best interest to follow public health guidelines to avoid overwhelming area hospitals with cases of the Omicron variant.
Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Miriam Klassen, says it’s too early to say whether the Omicron variant causes less severe infections, but it’s likely to affect the healthcare system.
“You may be hearing some conversation around, does Omicron cause milder disease? I think we don’t know yet, frankly, but even if it does, there are still so many people that are susceptible that it could overwhelm our health-care system.”
Klassen says protecting hospital capacity isn’t just about the number of people hospitalized with a COVID-19 infection.
“Even if you have to go to the hospital for another reason, such as you’ve unfortunately gotten into a car crash or have had a heart attack, the capacity is impacted. So we really need everybody to step up one more time and do what you can to decrease the overall risk.”
This week’s increase of eligible residents trying to book appointments for a third dose temporarily shut down Huron Perth Public Health’s online booking portal, but Dr. Klassen says officials are working to add more capacity at local mass-vaccination clinics.
“Like in other areas of the province, our clinics have filled very quickly. So when it opened up to 18-plus, that was a very, very large group of people at short notice. We’re doing our best to add more spots, but we do have limited availability.”
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