MHC asks Island community to adhere to COVID protocols

Manitoulin Health Centre

Medical community expecting a surge on Manitoulin

LITTLE CURRENT – With the recent increase in confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Manitoulin, and one person having been admitted to the Manitoulin Health Centre (MHC), the staff, management and board of directors of MHC would like to remind the community to continue its diligence in terms of protocols, and being mindful of COVID-19 within the region. MHC is also preparing for a surge of cases with seven active cases on Manitoulin as of press time Monday.

“Unfortunately, we recently have had more COVID-19 cases at one time on Manitoulin Island than we had throughout the first three waves of the pandemic,” said Tim Vine, co-chief executive officer (CEO) of the MHC. “These active cases are in various locations on Manitoulin, and we expect more positives in the coming days.”

Based on the public’s health warning of the ‘fourth wave’ and on the current status of COVID-19 on Manitoulin, MHC has moved into a time of surge preparedness. This includes moving patients from one facility to the other to co-ordinate COVID/non-COVID sites. If there is a surge of COVID positive patients, further activation of the surge plan includes designating the Little Current site as the COVID-19 site. Under the surge plan, most non-COVID patients will be transferred to the Mindemoya site.

Mr. Vine explained this past Monday, “we have one patient with COVID-19 in the hospital, and we are expecting another patient to be transferred from Health Sciences North (HSN) here. Originally, this person (who is from Manitoulin) was a patient of ours and had been transferred to HSN, but no longer needs the services provided there. So, basically we are now taking one of our patients back.” 

Paula Fields, co-CEO of MHC said in an August 10 release, “we have also been made aware that the Delta variant has been identified on Manitoulin. The Center for Disease Control has stated that the Delta variant is more infectious and is leading to increased transmissibility when compared to other variants, even in vaccinated individuals.” 

Mr. Vine told The Expositor, “With a lot of people having been tested in the past few days we anticipate more positive confirmations. It is spreading into communities, the confirmed cases are not isolated to one community or First Nations, this is an Island-wide issue.”

“We want to stress that everyone needs to be vigilant in following the guidelines, like hand washing, distancing and wearing masks,” said Mr. Vine.  

“We would like to remind you to continue to be diligent about wearing your mask, maintaining social distancing where possible, frequent hand washing and taking extra precautions. We know it’s been a long haul but now is not the time to let our guard down,” the MHC release said. 

“If you are not yet vaccinated, we strongly urge you to get vaccinated. Should you choose not to, we remind you to take extra precautions, particularly when social distancing cannot be accommodated. Should you be experiencing any of the following symptoms we recommend you isolate immediately and contact a COVID-19 Assessment Centre to have a COVID-19 test performed immediately,” continued the MHC release. These symptoms include fever, dry cough, tiredness, aches and pains, sore throat, diarrhea, conjunctivitis (pink eye), headache, loss of taste or smell, a rash on skin, or discolouration of fingers or toes, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.

To book your COVID-19 vaccination go online at covid-19.ontario.ca/book-vaccine or call 1-800-708-2505 between 8 am and 8 pm seven days a week.

The public is reminded that emergency departments at both sites remain open for emergencies. If you require medical attention, please contact 911. 

If you are concerned you have been exposed or are at risk of exposure to COVID-19 and are looking to receive a COVID-19 rapid test, please contact the COVID Assessment Centre at 705-368-2300 or 705-377-5311 to book an appointment. All testing is done at the Little Current COVID-19 Assessment Centre (located in the white house beside the Little Current Emergency Department). The hours of the assessment centre have been increased as follows: Monday, 8:30 am to 1 pm; Tuesday, 8:30 am to 7:30 pm; and Thursday, 8:30 am to 7:30 pm.

Please remember, there are no walk-ins at the assessment centre. You must book an appointment.