Statement from Mayor Hewitt & Council – May 15, 2021

COVID-19 Update

First, let me apologize to those of you who had tried to contact me in the past few weeks. I was successful in contacting COVID and was in a lethargic fog for approximately 10 days. Fortunately it was a bad head cold and nothing that would have led to me to going to the hospital. I certainly can appreciate however, the effect of this virus on those that may be more vulnerable.

I cannot state for fact that vaccinations will shield you or I from getting COVID with any amount of certainty. I have to place my faith in those that have the skills in the medical field that can make the claims that the benefits far outweigh the risks. While it is everyone right and personal decision to make, just the same it is everyone right to feel safe while enjoying some freedoms that we all long for.

As you all know the Ford Government has extended the provincial stay at home order until June 2nd and while many of us have differing thoughts on that, you must understand that it is not option of the local council to defy the orders and/or encourage businesses to re-open. Like many of you, I do not see the logic behind many things, but like it or not we live in Ontario, not in Florida. Making the comparisons does nothing to getting us open any quicker. Our numbers here in H-N are better than in Toronto, why are we suffering just he same? It does not matter; our numbers may look good, but our ICU capacity is severely affected by the current COVID wave.

Would I like to be golfing or boating; absolutely. I would like to also have dinner at the local restaurants. I want to get there just as quick as you all do and the only way to get the Province to open up is to push the numbers down.

I can only hope and ask that you factor those around you and the businesses that desperately need our full support when choosing whether to get vaccinated or not.

Again, I believe the argument in favour of them far outweighs the arguments against.

Vaccine doses administered so far: 46,205
Number of people completely vaccinated: 5,102

Status updates / information on second doses: 

  • The Health Unit is currently vaccinating eligible individuals in Phase 2 of the province’s rollout framework. Current eligibility details can be found at hnhu.org/covax-eligible.
  • All appointments from May 19 onward may be booked using the provincial tool.
  • Individuals who received their first dose of vaccine prior to April 20 are currently being contacted by the Health Unit to schedule second dose appointments. Second doses are being booked by date of first dose, not by age or group, to ensure they are administered within the 16-week (112 day) timeframe established by the province.
  • If you have not received a phone call from the Health Unit and it is more than 90 days after your first dose, please call the vaccine hotline at 519-427-5903 and leave a message for follow-up.
  • As the province expands eligibility further, there will be an increased demand for vaccine appointments. The Health Unit has requested additional doses in order to meet these demands and expedite community rollout. Clinics continue to run at capacity, and appointments are being added as vaccine supply is received.

Information regarding AstraZeneca vaccine:

  • Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health has advised that the Ontario government is reviewing data to consider whether to use AstraZeneca for second doses. The province will be announcing next steps and guidance for people who received AstraZeneca as a first dose.
  • All mass clinic sites in Haldimand and Norfolk are administering the Pfizer vaccine, while participating physicians have been administering Moderna.
  • Individuals who received a first dose of AstraZeneca at a participating local pharmacy will be contacted regarding next steps once further instruction is provided by the province.

Eligibility and waitlist information:

  • Individuals 40 and above, essential workers in Group 1 and Group 2 and individuals from all other previous groups are currently eligible to book online.
  • Individuals 18+ become eligible across Ontario beginning May 24.
  • The province is finalizing plans to administer both doses of vaccine to youth aged 12 to 17. The province anticipates these vaccinations for youth will be offered from mid-June to the end of August, in collaboration with school boards and other partners.​
  • Waitlists continue to be an integral part of the local vaccine rollout strategy by ensuring unused doses (due to cancellations, no shows, etc) never go to waste and priority populations are receiving their shots as quickly as possible.

 

Caledonia Protest Update

 

OPP continue to make arrests and courts continue to release on conditions. It is frustrating for all those involved. I continue to recommend to Chief Hill and others that the time for a local born solution that sees the end of these kinds of interruptions to our communities is the only path of success that I see an end to. Both the Province and the Feds are overwhelmed with the Pandemic and other issues that unfortunately for us caught up in this dispute are not on the radar and waiting for them to arrive and attempt to solve this dispute in the near future is simply not going to happen.

I don’t believe locally we can solve the overarching ongoing land disputes along the Haldimand tract and elsewhere. That is clearly the function of the Federal government, and the process must be top down driven; but the idea of coming together from the bottom up on shared projects that meet local needs for both communities can enable us to demand more from the Province and the Feds. I have put forth several ideas to all those involved like our fresh lake water solution for Six Nations and I truly believe that it is these kind of plans that will start a tradition of successes for both communities living in the area and breakdown the existing barriers to us finding amicable ways of cohabiting and growing together for the benefits of both our future generations.

Lastly, a quick shout out to Shannon MacPherson-Adams. I wish you all the best and success in getting the stem cell treatment you and everyone so deserves. They are completing their fund-raising awareness ride today in Caledonia and I will be there with many of you cheering them on. For those that would like to help and donate, you can go to their Facebook page called; Shannon’s Plasma Cell Mates.

Stay safe,

Ken

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