Postal code – TN 38 http://tn38.net/ Wed, 17 Nov 2021 22:48:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://tn38.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/cropped-icon-32x32.png Postal code – TN 38 http://tn38.net/ 32 32 Your postal code and your healthcare: a necessary correlation https://tn38.net/your-postal-code-and-your-healthcare-a-necessary-correlation/ Wed, 17 Nov 2021 18:19:00 +0000 https://tn38.net/your-postal-code-and-your-healthcare-a-necessary-correlation/

The health care you receive depends on your postal code. Despite government funded health care across the country, each province and territory has a different insurance plan.

For example, dental care is provided by the federal government to military personnel, persons of recognized Aboriginal status, veterans, federal prisoners, refugees and members of the RCMP. But dental care is not covered by provinces and territories for other people, unless it is provided in a hospital, usually for emergency purposes resulting from accidents or injuries.

There are exceptions to this rule. Quebec offers dental services to children under 10, although the list of services is not exhaustive. In most other jurisdictions, a limited range of dental services are provided depending on resources and for specific populations.

The Canadian Association of Public Health Dentistry reports:

“In Canada, general oral health care is not included in the Canada Health Act (CHA). Most Canadians receive oral health care at private dental clinics and pay for the services through insurance or by paying for themselves.

Similar inconsistencies exist regarding treatment for autism, cancer medications, and highly specialized surgeries, among others. Why? Provincial and territorial governments negotiate with the federal government for health care funding that covers only a proportion (on the order of 30%) of the government’s overall health care costs. But once the funds are transferred, the various ministries of health have discretion over the services covered, beyond the five principles of the Canada Health Act:

  • The principle of universality – public health insurance must be available to all Canadians;
  • The principle of completeness – medically necessary hospital and medical services are covered by public health insurance;
  • The principle of accessibility – financial or other barriers to the delivery of publicly funded health services are discouraged, so that health services are accessible to all Canadians when they need them;
  • The principle of portability – all Canadians are covered by public health insurance, even when traveling in Canada and abroad or moving from one province to another;
  • The principle of public administration – provincial and territorial health insurance plans must be administered by a not-for-profit public body.

Why don’t all jurisdictions offer the same health services? The simple answer is that provinces and territories have significant differences in their demographics. The age of the population, its health habits (such as diet, smoking, alcohol consumption, exercise), the proportion of different cultural groups and the incidence of geography-related diseases (due to environmental and occupational factors) affect the overall health needs of the population. population. These factors guide the priorities of government health plans to serve their populations.

It is often forgotten that provincial and territorial health insurance plans are insurers; they are not health care providers. And, as with any insurance policy, there are different coverages.

Similar considerations explain some of the reasons why where you live determines the local handling of the COVID outbreak. It is well known that at the start of the pandemic, it was the frail elderly in collective settings who were the first cases requiring hospital and intensive care treatment – and who died in disproportionate numbers.

Public health authorities in provinces with significant numbers of elderly residents have been the hardest hit. British Columbia was the epicenter of the COVID crisis early on. Ontario and Quebec followed, as their size means they have a large number of people in long-term care homes and other care facilities for the elderly and at risk.

Many volumes will be written on the state of care in long-term care residences, particularly, but not exclusively, those that are owned and managed by individuals. But there is no doubt that the frail elderly bore the brunt of the start of the pandemic. In some provinces, this is still the case.

The pandemic has also brought to light the role of the Public Health Agency of Canada, individual provincial and territorial public health agencies, and even municipal public health agencies. Confused and sometimes contradictory information was provided. But in their defense, these agencies had not had very public profiles (an irony for agencies with “public” in their titles) and there was no clear protocol on the degree of discretion available to agencies in the field. different levels.

Sometimes politicians listened intently to these experts. Other times, politicians have listened to the many and diverse infectious disease specialists, panels and groups for advice. And sometimes it seemed like politicians ignored all of that advice.

Again, there did not appear to be a clear chain of command for decisions related to COVID. Some regions took control very early on, for example, the creation of the bubble in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island and the closure of northern communities to foreigners. Other parts of the country, such as Manitoba and Saskatchewan, have been slow to impose restrictions. Other jurisdictions, such as Alberta, have changed course on several occasions.

And that was before the vaccines were available. Once the injections were approved in Canada, jurisdictions applied different eligibility criteria. When British Columbia announced that it would delay second injections beyond the recommended interval in order to give the first injections to more people, Bonnie Henry, the province’s public health chief, was strongly and severely criticized. A few days later, the rest of the country did an about-face and followed suit. Evidence has since shown that Henry’s decision made a significant positive difference in Canada’s ability to contain the virus.

Now that the third injections are available, there is no doubt that each jurisdiction will once again establish their own eligibility criteria, reflecting local demographics and the incidence and severity of the disease. At this point in the pandemic, provinces and territories are far from consistent in dealing with restrictions and cases. There are also no common guidelines on how and when to lift the remaining public health measures and recommendations.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to COVID-19 in a country as large and diverse as Canada. This may be a wake-up call to better prepare for the next pandemic. There will be another one.

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The N5H postal code in Aylmer, Ontario has the lowest vaccination rate in the province https://tn38.net/the-n5h-postal-code-in-aylmer-ontario-has-the-lowest-vaccination-rate-in-the-province/ Thu, 11 Nov 2021 09:00:00 +0000 https://tn38.net/the-n5h-postal-code-in-aylmer-ontario-has-the-lowest-vaccination-rate-in-the-province/

The postal code with the lowest vaccination rate in the province is N5H, located in the town of Aylmer, Ontario. Just over half of the eligible population received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Residents of the city seem divided on their views, as do other communities across the country. Some residents who spoke to CBC News said language barriers, religious beliefs and lack of education are the biggest challenges in getting the community vaccinated.

“A lot of our newcomers don’t speak English very well and get their information through social media, so they don’t have access to some of the same data as we could,” said Eddy Rempel, Executive Director of Mennonite Community Services. (MSC), which helps integrate newcomers who speak Low German.

Reluctance to vaccinate existed in some communities long before the virus emerged, he said.

Eddy Rempel is the Managing Director of Mennonite Community Services in Aylmer, Ontario. His organization has tried to provide support to the community throughout the pandemic. (MCS website)

John Hueston, president of the Aylmer Express newspaper, agrees that education is a challenge. He said it was difficult for the city to get specific information about the virus and its transmission to the general public.

Hueston is pointing fingers at people in positions of authority who promote misinformation about the severity of the virus and myths about vaccine safety.

“This low vaccination rate is nothing new here. Our schools are notoriously among the worst vaccination rates and that reputation has continued in COVID-19, so it shouldn’t be surprising that we have a bigger problem with it. a whole new disease and vaccines that no one understands or that no one has seen the results of, ”he added.

Disseminate precise information

In order to combat the low immunization rate, health units and community groups are doing everything possible to convey specific messages to residents.

“Our role is to create the conditions and relationships that encourage and support people to get vaccinated,” said Dr. Joyce Lock, Medical Officer of Health for Southwestern Public Health.

“We try to make sure that our information is timely, in plain language and that it is translated into the languages ​​spoken by various members of the community and we work with trustworthy people who these people can turn to,” said she declared.

Resident Allene Scott said those attending the “rallies for freedom” do not represent the views of all city residents. “If you walk through Aylmer, you will see ‘Aylmer cares’ and ‘Wear a mask’ posters on people’s lawns. A lot of people are compliant.

At MCS, Rempel explains that their regional radio show broadcasts regular public health updates, translating them into Low German.

“The reception has been quite varied, in many cases it makes a difference when people hear a different opinion than those around them. But in other cases, he said,” it doesn’t really change. nothing”.

Lock adds that getting rid of hesitation doesn’t happen in days and is a slow process that takes months and years. However, she is encouraged by the slow but increasing number of vaccinations.

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]]> Why does this area of ​​British Columbia have the coarsest postal code in Canada? https://tn38.net/why-does-this-area-of-%e2%80%8b%e2%80%8bbritish-columbia-have-the-coarsest-postal-code-in-canada/ https://tn38.net/why-does-this-area-of-%e2%80%8b%e2%80%8bbritish-columbia-have-the-coarsest-postal-code-in-canada/#respond Tue, 07 Sep 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://tn38.net/why-does-this-area-of-%e2%80%8b%e2%80%8bbritish-columbia-have-the-coarsest-postal-code-in-canada/

Like James Bond, they cross borders with false identities and passports.

They operate in small, isolated teams and have access to the full line of 007 gadgets designed by the Q section of spies.

Its members are notorious for not always looking like soldiers. Some speak different languages ​​and may pose as foreign nationals.

The permanent joke is that they could fit into an embassy party or a brothel in Istanbul.

And just like Bond, they’re all highly trained in gun handling and hand-to-hand combat.

In fact, their training is considered “amazing, even by SAS standards”.

But unlike 007’s fictional character, these assets don’t work for MI6, the notorious British Secret Intelligence Service.

They constitute an elite section of the SAS, known as “The Increment”.

According to a report from the UK The sun, The existence of the secret unit, “E Squadron”, was inadvertently confirmed this week when senior military officials disclosed the personal details of more than 70 Special Forces soldiers.

Buried deep in a spreadsheet of 1,200 names of soldiers, trades and military units was a single reference to “22 SAS E SQN”.

It was the first written proof of the existence of the unit.

E Squadron is the fifth and newest member of 22 SAS, the world’s most famous special forces regiment, whose motto is Who Dares Wins.

But his work is so secret that his troops are kept away from the other four Saber squadrons, A, B, D and G, at their headquarters in Hereford, the Sun report said.

The main task of the squadron is to work with MI6 on high profile missions all over the world.

SAS legend Andy McNab spent three years with the unit from 1991 to 1993, following its patrol in the First Gulf War which he wrote about in his book Bravo Two Zero.

He said the unit – which was handpicked by the SAS – was “the closest to what James Bond does” of any British Secret Service.

But nearly 30 years after he left, he said his work was still too secret to be revealed, the Sun report said.

Another former member, who asked not to be named, said: “We came in and out of countries with different passports. Always in civilian clothes, overseas all the time. It was busy.

“It was the James Bond thing – use your imagination.”

The ex-member added, “You had to be able to blend in. People were chosen for their ability to do undercover work.”

While some MI6 officers are trained in firearms, it is never to the same level as their E Squadron counterparts.

The former soldier said: “MI6 and MI5 always distance themselves from James Bond, saying they’re not really like that. That’s right, spies aren’t like James Bond, they’re egg heads. Give them a gun, they wouldn’t know what to do with it.

“E Squadron fixes that problem, but they’re doing a lot more as well. “

The places where they often have to work, under the guise of civilian identities, do not allow them to be armed, so they are all trained in deadly melee, the Sun report said.

SAS author Chris Ryan served with Andy McNab on the 1991 Bravo Two Zero mission, in which an SAS patrol was deployed to Iraq during the First Gulf War to destabilize Saddam Hussein’s war strategy .

Said Ryan, “To be in the Increment is to be the best of the best.”

According to SOFREP.com, The Increment are strictly covert operations – denied missions that would be disowned by the UK government if compromised.

These could include:

  • Secret military assistance to foreign powers
  • Clandestine insertion and extraction of intelligence agents
  • Secret reconnaissance / intelligence gathering

Today, the members of Squadron E are drawn from the three level 1 special forces units: the SAS, the SBS and the Special Reconnaissance Regiment, the Sun report said.

The SBS provides specialized frogmen and mini-submersibles that can be used to insert undetected teams on foreign shores.

The SRR, whose soldiers specialize in plainclothes surveillance operations around the world, provide a large number of women.

The unit consisted of 14 Intelligence Company, known as Det, and operated under cover in Northern Ireland during the height of the unrest.

A source said: “Women are often the best at this kind of job. If a group of guys shows up, it always looks suspicious.

“We haven’t had a female Bond in the movies, but there are a lot of them in real life already.”

The Increment troops were among the first British soldiers in Afghanistan, before the American invasion in 2001.

They were also involved in the 2011 uprising in Libya that overthrew Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, the Sun noted.

A former E-Squadron soldier said the unit was heavily involved in Iraq as the 2003 invasion approached.

He said: “E Squadron is made up of military personnel. They have rules of engagement.

“Is that a license to kill?” It is certainly not carte blanche. But the nature of the profession of a soldier means that sometimes it is necessary to take life. Everyone is trained in lethal force.

Dave Makichuk is a Western Standard contributor.
He worked in the media for decades, most notably as editor of the Calgary Herald. He is also the military editor of the Asia Times.
makichukd@gmail.com

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What is my postal code? https://tn38.net/what-is-my-postal-code/ https://tn38.net/what-is-my-postal-code/#respond Wed, 30 Jun 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://tn38.net/what-is-my-postal-code/ Source link

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Rocky View County couple slapped with massive bill for zip code change https://tn38.net/rocky-view-county-couple-slapped-with-massive-bill-for-zip-code-change/ https://tn38.net/rocky-view-county-couple-slapped-with-massive-bill-for-zip-code-change/#respond Fri, 11 Jun 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://tn38.net/rocky-view-county-couple-slapped-with-massive-bill-for-zip-code-change/

CALGARY –

A simple zip code change was supposed to be a positive thing for Jim and Dianne Novak, but instead the couple are fighting their insurance company – SGI Canada – for a premium on their bill.

Jim says that after notifying their insurance broker of the change, they received a bill in the mail for $ 625.

“I explained to him that we don’t pay the premium just for a change of address,
he said. “We haven’t moved.

The Novaks have been in the same house for 30 years, using the same PO box.

As part of the civic addressing program, Canada Post changed Novak’s PO Box number to a physical address.

The company says the program has been implemented in many rural areas across the country to improve the delivery system and help 911 responders locate emergencies.

The Novaks were happy to see the change.

“We were pretty excited because a lot of companies don’t deliver mail or packages to a PO box, but will deliver to a street type address,” Jim said.

But then the couple found themselves facing unexpected expenses. Dianne says their broker told them it was because of their new address and zip code, even though they weren’t physically moving.

“We are grouped together with the town of Chestermere,” said Dianne.

“Now we are all lumped into a large area that insurance companies will use to pull their stats to generate their premiums.”

The Novaks say their insurance broker has told them their premium will be waived for this year, but they will have to pay the higher fees in the future.

After CTV News contacted SGI Canada, a representative said they were working on the issue and admitted the additional charges should not have happened, stating, “If there was no change in risk underlying, an increase of this magnitude is not typical. “

In an email, the company said that the first three digits of Novak’s zip code are used in other already existing zip codes and that their system had not automatically flagged it as a newly created zip code, which by default was a high rate.

Further, the company said, “Our process is to implement a temporary fix to adjust the zip code to the original one, so the customer does not have to pay a higher rate.”

Jim says they haven’t heard from the company about the fix yet, but are happy to hear that something is being done.

“SGI has been very good to us overall over the years,” he said.

“Just this surprise bill is not sitting very well.”

SGI Canada says it is working to identify other customers who may be affected by a change in their postal codes.

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Durham Health Declares North Oshawa L1L as Hot Spot Postcode Area https://tn38.net/durham-health-declares-north-oshawa-l1l-as-hot-spot-postcode-area/ https://tn38.net/durham-health-declares-north-oshawa-l1l-as-hot-spot-postcode-area/#respond Mon, 17 May 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://tn38.net/durham-health-declares-north-oshawa-l1l-as-hot-spot-postcode-area/

Durham Health Department includes new postcode in hotspot list.

The North Oshawa area with zip codes beginning with L1L is now a hot spot.

Starting May 17 at 9 p.m., eligible individuals will be able to schedule vaccine appointments for this hotspot at the Ontario Tech Campus Ice Center.

Appointments are open to people who live or work in the L1L zone.

Click here to book at the Oshawa clinic.

Health service declaration:

The Department of Health is continuously reviewing data on COVID transmission and vaccination rates in Durham Region. A recent review found that the L1L North neighborhood of Oshawa has the lowest vaccination rates in Durham Region and a high rate of COVID transmission. By declaring this neighborhood as a hotspot postal code, the Department of Health, in collaboration with Lakeridge Health, will provide additional vaccine to the Ontario Tech Ice Campus clinic to ensure an adequate supply for those who live and work in the L1L area. . The Department of Health continues to monitor other neighborhoods in Durham Region to determine if other areas of concern are identified.

In addition to the new L1L North Oshawa hotspot postcode area, the Department of Health continues to vaccinate residents and workers in Ajax and Pickering hotspot areas L1S, L1T, L1V, L1X and L1Z, offering pop-up clinics and mobile hot spot clinics in these postal code areas.

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Press Release: Adults 40+ in Postal Code Hot Spots Can Now Book COVID-19 Vaccine Appointments https://tn38.net/press-release-adults-40-in-postal-code-hot-spots-can-now-book-covid-19-vaccine-appointments/ https://tn38.net/press-release-adults-40-in-postal-code-hot-spots-can-now-book-covid-19-vaccine-appointments/#respond Tue, 27 Apr 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://tn38.net/press-release-adults-40-in-postal-code-hot-spots-can-now-book-covid-19-vaccine-appointments/

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Tuesday April 27, 2021 | 2pm | Windsor County and Essex


As announced this morning during the YouTube broadcast, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is extending bookings to individuals for COVID-19 vaccination appointments at targeted vaccination clinics:

  • 40 years and over who live in the postal codes “hot spots” of N8X, N8Y, N9A, N9B, N9C, N8H, N9Y;
  • People 40 years of age and over with at-risk medical conditions (see below); and
  • Child care workers in licensed child care centers in Windsor and Essex County.

People 40 years of age and over with “at risk” health conditions must be diagnosed and receive treatment for one of the following health conditions to be eligible for vaccination.

  • Immune deficits / autoimmune disorders
  • Stroke / cerebrovascular disease
  • Dementia
  • Diabetes
  • Liver disease
  • All other cancers
  • Respiratory diseases
  • Spleen problems (for example, asplenia)
  • Heart disease
  • Hypertension with target organ damage
  • Diagnosis of mental disorders
  • Substance use disorders
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Thalassemia
  • Immunocompromised health conditions

Eligible residents can book an appointment online at wevax.ca or by calling the immunization reservations call center at 226-773-2200.

Anyone who makes an appointment will be asked to certify that they are eligible to make an appointment. They will also be asked to bring a health card or any government issued photo ID (if they do not have a health card) to confirm their appointment. Examples of acceptable government-issued photo identification include a driver’s license, passport, status card, or other provincial health card. Certified educators will also need to provide proof of employment.

Public health takes vaccine prioritization seriously. Providing false information may result in the cancellation of your appointment. For more information on COVID-19 vaccines, please visit www.wevax.ca or sign up to receive email updates from Windsor Essex County Health Unit on COVID-19 vaccines.

As more COVID-19 vaccines are provided in our region and more clinics and vaccination sites become operational, we must continue to implement public health measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community:

  • Maintain a distance of 2 meters from others.
  • Limit your contacts to your household only.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly and often with soap and water.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Use a medical or non-medical (for example, cloth) mask in public places.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or use the inside of your elbow when you cough or sneeze.

Stay home and don’t go to work or school if you are sick.

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Etches did not recommend the Kanata area zip code for the “hot spot” list https://tn38.net/etches-did-not-recommend-the-kanata-area-zip-code-for-the-hot-spot-list/ https://tn38.net/etches-did-not-recommend-the-kanata-area-zip-code-for-the-hot-spot-list/#respond Wed, 21 Apr 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://tn38.net/etches-did-not-recommend-the-kanata-area-zip-code-for-the-hot-spot-list/

Content of the article

The Ottawa medical officer of health admitted on Wednesday that she had not recommended that the province include the Kanata K2V area postal code in its list of COVID-19 hot spots.

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Inclusion of the K2V forward sortation area (the first three letters of a postal code) in the province’s 114 hotspot list has been controversial as there are other areas in the city and province. with much higher rates of COVID-19 that were not on the list. In fact, when it comes to COVID-19 positivity rates, K2V is among the lowest in the city. It’s in Long-Term Care Minister Merrilee Fullerton’s riding.

Ontario Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk said this week she will review the provincial government’s selection of postal codes of hot spots to prioritize for COVID-19 vaccines.

Previously, Health Minister Christine Elliott had suggested that K2V be designated as a hotspot based, in part, on Etches’ recommendation. Etches’ confession on Wednesday contradicts this.

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And, while Etches has said it supports the principle of prioritizing vaccinations in high-risk neighborhoods, Ottawa Public Health’s own program suggests that K2V, which straddles Kanata and Stittsville, does not meet that definition.

Since the beginning of March, Ottawa Public Health has been prioritizing vaccinations in 21 high-risk neighborhoods in the city. Several of these are included in the other two designated provincial hot spots in Ottawa. Others are in postal codes that are not on the province’s hot spot lists. But Ottawa Public Health has not identified any high-risk neighborhoods within the K2V postal code.

When asked by a reporter if she had recommended K2V to the province, Etches replied: “Probably not specifically, but in terms of approach in general, it’s something we support.”

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The Ontario Science Advisory Table also did not recommend this or other hotspot postal codes to the province. The advisory table released a document that illustrated the need to target high-risk neighborhoods with vaccines and included a ranking of highest and lowest risk areas.

According to the Toronto Star, K2V was among eight low-risk postal codes, most in PC ridings, included on the province’s final list of COVID-19 hotspots. Others with higher risk scores were left out.

Provincial officials denounced suggestions that the selections were politically motivated.

Even city councilors in the Kanata South and Stittsville areas are wondering why the small K2V forward sorting station, which includes the Canadian Tire Center, a Costco store, and other retail businesses in addition to some single family homes and homes in a row, the list of hot spots is running.

Although Ottawa Public Health has said it will continue to focus on the 21 neighborhoods it has identified, listing it provincially gives residents of those zip codes better access to vaccines.

epayne@postmedia.com

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COVID-19 Pop-up Immunization Clinic Held in the Postal Code of the Ottawa Hotspot https://tn38.net/covid-19-pop-up-immunization-clinic-held-in-the-postal-code-of-the-ottawa-hotspot/ https://tn38.net/covid-19-pop-up-immunization-clinic-held-in-the-postal-code-of-the-ottawa-hotspot/#respond Sat, 17 Apr 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://tn38.net/covid-19-pop-up-immunization-clinic-held-in-the-postal-code-of-the-ottawa-hotspot/

OTTAWA – As the race to get Ottawa residents vaccinated continues over the weekend, a pop-up clinic has opened in the K1V area – one of three Ottawa zip codes identified as hotspots of COVID-19.

Rizwan Baksh, 53, was delighted to be vaccinated at the clinic in the basement of the Mosque of Mercy in Emerald Woods.

After all, it is his mosque.

“I normally come here for Ramadan,” said Baksh, who is currently fasting. “I was going down to the basement where they do the vaccines. We used to come there and break our fast and then we will have dinner after prayer.”

But he has not been at the mosque for more than a year since the start of the pandemic. That is to say until Saturday when he was to receive his COVID-19 vaccine.

“It’s exciting to be there at least to get the vaccine again,” he said.

Because the K1V zip code has been recognized as a COVID-19 hotspot, residents aged 50 and older can register for a vaccine.

“I thought you know, I can wait because I’m in no rush to see anyone,” said Anne Stewart, who received her first injection on Saturday.

“My doctor encouraged me because of my age,” said Stewart, who is in her sixties. “So you know, I’m here.”

As for Baksh, an essential worker unable to work from home, he feels safer now that he has received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“The more people get the vaccine, the better it is for this hotspot to be out of the hotspot,” he said.

And that includes his family, who are also all essential workers.

“My wife works in retail, my daughter is a registered nurse, and my other daughter works in a retail store,” he said. “The whole house is essential, so I’m glad we all have our first injection.”

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No consultation: two public health units respond to Ontario postal code hot spots https://tn38.net/no-consultation-two-public-health-units-respond-to-ontario-postal-code-hot-spots/ https://tn38.net/no-consultation-two-public-health-units-respond-to-ontario-postal-code-hot-spots/#respond Thu, 15 Apr 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://tn38.net/no-consultation-two-public-health-units-respond-to-ontario-postal-code-hot-spots/

HAMILTON – Last week, the province reserved selected areas for priority access to COVID-19 vaccines, saying people who live in postal codes identified as “hot spots” are at above-average risk of COVID- 19.

The movement encountered a largely positive response – but also raised questions. On what basis were these postal codes selected? Why haven’t others with higher case numbers been given priority status? These questions were difficult to answer in Hamilton and Niagara as the local public health units themselves were not consulted.

“I think it would be helpful for us to understand in more detail how they were selected so that we can better explain why these are red light districts. I think that’s the part that’s a little frustrating, ”says Acting Niagara Medical Officer of Health Mustafa Hirji, adding that he has not received any explanation beyond what has been shared with the public. .

When TVO.org asked if Hamilton had been consulted about the zip code prioritization, a spokesperson for the public health unit simply said “no”.

On April 7, the Ontario government announced that people 18 and older in postal code hot spots would be eligible for injections, starting with Toronto and Peel. Reports in the Hamilton Spectator and St. Catharines Standard pointed out that the Hamilton and Niagara hotspots were not the hardest hit in each respective region, according to local data.

According to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office provided to TVO.org by the Ministry of Health, “these hot spots were identified based on an analysis conducted by the COVID-19 Scientific Advisory Table, which relied on data from Public Health Ontario and was confirmed by the non-partisan vaccine working group. Their analysis specifically looked at criteria such as hospitalizations, epidemic data, low testing rates and deaths during the second wave of the pandemic. This work applied an anti-racist lens to ensure Ontario protects vulnerable communities. Regions in the top 20 percent, he says, “were identified as hot spot communities” and “regions in the top 30 percent that faced additional barriers, including socio-demographic, have also been included ”. (The ministry did not respond to a question from TVO.org about whether it had consulted with public health units.)

Hirji said he would classify L2G, the code identified by the province as Niagara, as possibly the third hardest hit. “When you look at critical illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths, it’s a little lower than the top and maybe a little above average.” The CBC reported that, in fact, five postal codes declared as hotspots in Ontario have rates of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and death below provincial averages, while seven postal codes with above-average impacts were not included.

In Hamilton, the province has identified two postal codes – L9C and L8W. On April 9, public health confirmed it was designating three more and expanding eligibility to people aged 50 and over. The city’s medical officer of health, Elizabeth Richardson, had publicly called on the province to add the postal codes, saying his team was basing their call on more up-to-date information.

In the end, the PHU made the trip itself. The City of Hamilton Public Health Departments have identified their hot spots by identifying areas with increased COVID-19 case rates, high test positivity rates, low COVID-19 test rates as well as data on racialized populations, marginalized populations and the fact that these community members continue to be disproportionately affected by the pandemic, ”a spokesperson told TVO.org via email.

The new postal code areas, Richardson said at an April 12 press conference, are “where many of our mobile clinics are going to be targeted over the next few weeks as we move forward. The province has used factors that would tend to identify things that had happened in wave one and wave two, which led to identifying places where there were more older people who would have suffered these consequences of hospitalization and death . ”In Hamilton, she added,“ we already have good vaccination rates in our elderly population that has continuous transmission. [also] is happening among our younger population, and we’re seeing more deaths now as we go along. This is why we wanted these hot spots to be included in our vaccine deployment. “

According to an April 13 update to Ontario’s immunization plan, public health units may determine other hot spots to prioritize “and have the option of setting up mobile / pop-up clinics in those areas.” , as did Hamilton.

On the same day, Health Minister Christine Elliot told media that “sensitive areas were initially identified on the basis of historical data where there had been an acceleration in the number of cases” and that the designations will be reviewed regularly by the chief medical officer. medical officer of health, local medical officers of health and the table of public health measures.

The CBC had reported the day before that four of the below-average postal codes designated by the province as hot spots were represented by Progressive Conservative MPs and that the seven above-average postal codes excluded were represented by opposition MPs. . When asked to comment on the possibility of political motivation for choosing certain zip codes, Elliot said: “Absolutely no political motivation.” A statement from the Prime Minister’s Office provided to TVO.org by the Department of Health states: “Over the past few days, the opposition has spread disinformation and dangerously politicized the province’s efforts to vaccinate 114 neighborhoods at high levels. risk.

Locally identified hotspots, such as those in Hamilton, are not added to the provincial reservation portal, which means the path to book a vaccination differs depending on the organization that identified their area as a hotspot. “Community members 50 and older residing in locally identified hot spots (L8L, L8N, L9K) should make an appointment for a vaccine through the City of Hamilton Public Health telephone reservation line.” , a public health spokesperson told TVO.org via email.

Hirji says his team is considering adding new zip codes but has two reservations. The first is that it is difficult to choose a threshold. “The other part,” he said, “is that we don’t really know what the real practical benefit is in designating an area as a hotspot. While people over 50 can get vaccinated in hot spots, people 55 and over outside hot spots can be vaccinated at pharmacies in the area, Hirji said. Lowering that five-year age threshold in more regions might not be as beneficial as what Niagara is currently focusing on, which is trying to use the risk of an outbreak as “a guide to who should get vaccinated,” says Hirji.

“We decided that people who work in agriculture, people who work in education – these should be other groups that we want to target for vaccination. And then we’ll continue to look at some of the next areas where we see outbreaks and we’ll probably prioritize those groups as well to go sooner. “

Hirji encourages anyone eligible in the L2G zip code to get vaccinated, adding that public health does not plan to hold geographic pop-up clinics like the ones the Toronto and Peel area are running for people 18 and over. more in hot spots.

Regarding the province’s original selection of hotspots, Hirji said, “I think the bottom line is that I just wish there was more clarity on exactly how these were selected, in the absence of consultation. But, he adds, “in different ways we have really seen the sense of the province that we are okay with deviating a bit from strict adherence to provincial priorities to incorporate local risk and local knowledge.” – as long as we are making sure that we get the vaccines into people’s arms as quickly as possible. “

Ontario hubs are made possible by the Barry and Laurie Green Family Charitable Trust and Goldie Feldman.


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