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COVID-19 no longer an international emergency

DAN CEARNS, The Standard

KAWARTHA LAKES: The World Health Organization announced, earlier this month, COVID-19 is no longer a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. However, at a Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPR) board meeting, on Thursday, May 18th, local medical officer of health, Dr. Natalie Bocking, stressed, this doesn’t mean the world has eradicated the virus which caused a multi-year pandemic.


“This does not mean COVID-19 has gone away or doesn’t require [a] significant ongoing response from a public health perspective and from an acute care or healthcare perspective. What it means is, it is no longer requiring an emergency [level] response,” she explained to members at the meeting.

She stated, health professionals know this virus is “here to stay,” and there will be work for health units to continue to undertake, to respond to COVID-19 situations, “for the foreseeable future.”

Dr. Bocking also pointed out, from the data the health unit is seeing, what was once “waves of COVID-19 activity” has now been replaced with “low to moderate ongoing transmission.”

“We’re not seeing the same surges the way we used to,” she said.

There are currently zero COVID-19 outbreaks in the HKPR health unit area.

“We will see more. They have not gone away forever. Really, we are focusing our attention on preparedness for the next respiratory season and [autumn] preparedness,” Dr. Bocking added.

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