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Scugog Councillors hear latest COVID-19 related information, plans

DAN CEARNS, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, for The Standard

SCUGOG: Scugog Township staff members provided councillors with a COVID-19 related update during a meeting on Monday, January 10th. Scugog Fire Chief Mark Berney cited information provided by the Durham Region Health Department.

“Vaccination rates in Scugog for those 12 years and older have increased to over 90.4 percent with at least one dose and 88.2 percent being fully vaccinated. Vaccination rates for those five to 11 years of age have also increased to 51.2 percent with at least one dose and three percent being fully vaccinated,” he said.

However, the rapid spread of the Omicron variant has led to changes in the way the Township conducts business.

“Community spread continues to drive the source of case exposures, followed by household contacts. These conditions, along with the province’s return to a modified Step Two [of the Reopening framework], have resulted in the closure of our recreational amenities and a return to providing municipal services virtually or by appointment only,” Chief Berney explained.

Public Works Director Carol Coleman said this recent wave of cases has led to further staffing-related planning.

“The spread of the recent variant is a concern to everyone, and it is causing staff shortages in many areas, such as hospitals and businesses. Staff at the Township continue to do our best to limit the spread of COVID-19, and at this time, I’m happy to say that we do not have any positive cases within our Public Works depots. However, we are planning for and considering the possibility we could be short-staffed during a winter storm event. If we have a shortage of staff, it will result in us taking longer than normal to clear roads, sidewalks and parking lots. We will issue public communications and prioritize key routes. So far, we’ve been fortunate this winter and have had relatively little snow.

However, when winter storms do occur, we ask residents to have patience and take extra precautions while travelling, and township staff will do our best to clear roads, sidewalks and parking lots in a timely manner,” she explained.

Scugog Mayor Bobbie Drew stated she hopes 2022 will see “a return to normal.”

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