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HKPR issues an alert following an increase in local overdoses

DAN CEARNS, The Standard

KAWARTHA LAKES: The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPR) is sounding the alarm, after seeing an increase in opioid overdoses in their health unit area.


On Tuesday, November 29th, the local health unit announced an opioid overdose alert had been issued for the City of Kawartha Lakes, County of Haliburton and Northumberland County.

This followed, what the health unit described as, “a noticeable increase in overdoses over the past 30 days.”

“Hospital data indicated there were three overdoses this past weekend,” HKPR’s Health Promoter, Kate Hall said in a statement. “Recent data is showing an increase in youth drug overdoses. We want to remind parents/guardians of the importance of talking to their children about drugs.”

An HKPR press release explained, an overdose alert “automatically flags the problem for community partners and first responders, which triggers enhanced outreach efforts and distribution of naloxone kits.”

In other health unit news, HKPR announced, on Thursday, December 1st, they will be resuming enforcement of the Immunization of School Pupils act, after a hiatus which began in March 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The HKPR District Health Unit is required under the ISPA to collect and maintain up-to-date immunization records and valid exemptions for all children attending school in the region. All students between the ages of 4 to 17 must be vaccinated, according to Ontario’s Immunization Schedule, which includes vaccinations against diphtheria, tetanus, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, pertussis (whooping cough), varicella (chickenpox) and meningococcal disease,” a separate HKPR press release explained.

In a statement, Marianne Rock, HKPR’s Manager of Health Protection, said, the health unit is “here to support families, by ensuring children receive the required vaccinations, and immunization records are kept up to date, to ensure the schools remain a safe space for all children.”

The health unit is expected to start sending notices, to parents of children who are not up to date with these vaccines, in January. Anyone who wishes to get further information is asked to call the health unit, at 1-866-888-4577 extension 1507.

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