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Durham Health Department and Lakeridge Health urging residents to step up efforts to fight COVID-19

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On Monday, the Durham Region Medical Officer of Health and Lakeridge Health Chief of Staff issued a joint statement.

Given the current state of COVID-19 in Ontario, they’re asking all residents to step up their efforts in the fight against COVID-19.

They are also promoting a Community Telephone Town Hall that is happening on Thursday.

The joint statement is posted below.

Health Department and Lakeridge Health urge Durham Region residents to mobilize all efforts against COVID-19

Joint statement from Durham Region Medical Officer of Health and Lakeridge Health Chief of Staff

Whitby, Ontario, April 19, 2021 – Durham Region Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Robert Kyle, and Lakeridge Health Chief of Staff, Dr. Tony Stone, are urging all area residents to step up efforts to ensure that Durham Region’s citizens and health care resources are protected in the fight against COVID-19.

Both Drs. Kyle and Stone stress that the health and safety of all Durham residents and the protection of our health care system are crucial as COVID-19 cases continue to surge across the region and throughout the province.

“The situation across the province is extremely troubling – this is the most serious public health emergency we have faced in our history. The number of new daily COVID-19 cases have broken records not only at the provincial level, but also we have seen record highs in Durham Region,” explained Dr. Robert Kyle, Durham Region Medical Officer of Health. “The variants of concern are spreading at an alarming rate, affecting populations across all age groups and causing more serious illness. The health and safety of Durham Region residents continues to be our highest priority.”

“Everyone in health care is working very hard to manage the spread of illness in our community and we continue to work on vaccinating priority group residents according to vaccine availability and provincial guidance. While we have administered over 155,000 vaccine doses, now is not the time to let our guard down,” continued Dr. Kyle. We’re at a very critical time in this pandemic and we need support from all community members. I urge everyone to continue to do the right thing – follow all public health measures, adhere to the local and provincial restrictions that have been implemented to help curb the spread of COVID-19, and stay home as much as possible.”

According to Dr. Tony Stone, Chief of Staff at Lakeridge Health, “Our hospitals are experiencing extreme pressure on critical care capacity. We are witnessing a dramatic rise in COVID-19 cases here in Durham Region, and this has translated into more intensive care unit (ICU) and medical admissions than at any point during the pandemic.”

“We are looking at every option possible to address capacity and staffing pressures. We are redeploying staff to work in areas of our hospitals with the greatest need. Ontario hospitals are mobilizing to share resources and transfer patients between facilities, when required. Additionally, together with our local health partners, we are vaccinating Durham Region residents as quickly as possible,” said Dr. Stone.

Dr. Stone added, “Our health care workers are working around the clock to save lives, offer comfort, and protect the health of our communities. Now, more than ever, we depend on a shared commitment to the provincial directives to get control of this virus. Please support us by doing your part.”