Vaccinations will help ease restrictions says Dr. Colby

·2 min read

Needles in people’s arms are one of the best ways to help ease restrictions in Chatham-Kent.

That was the message from Dr. David Colby, Chatham-Kent’s Medical officer of Health.

The region’s top doctor said this helps provide an incentive to the community to roll up their sleeves as soon as possible to help get out of the stay-at-home order.

“I do know that one of the parameters that will be considered is the number of people that have been vaccinated,” said Colby. “I think that’s a very important thing going forward.”

Premier Doug Ford announced Thursday, May 13, the stay-at-home order will remain in place until at least June 2.

Before the latest lockdown, the province used a colour-coded set of restrictions for each public health unit. Although there was a lot of good sense in the design, Colby said he does not believe the experiment went particularly well.

“I think they’re going to redesign that from the ground up, perhaps looking at this regionally rather than health unit by health unit,” added Colby.

There were 2,759 new cases reported on May 13 in Ontario. However, Dr. David Williams, the province’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, wants to see “well below” 1,000 new daily cases in Ontario before the stay-at-home order ends.

Meanwhile, the number of active cases in Chatham-Kent sits at 36 as of May 13.

The vaccine rollout in Chatham-Kent has gone quite smoothly thus far. To date, 40,321 doses of vaccine have been administered through the Chatham-Kent public health unit. More than 38,636 people received at least one dose. According to Colby, there have also been 350 temporary foreign workers at 10 farms who were vaccinated on May 14.

“We’ll be out at farms every day next week vaccinating and plan to offer every temporary foreign worker a vaccine before the end of the month,” added Colby.

Additionally, more than 42 percent of Chatham-Kent residents older than 16 have received at least one dose.

“The more people we can get vaccinated, the quicker these restrictions will fall away,” said Colby.

Those eligible and looking to book a vaccine are encouraged to log onto or call 519-351-1010.

Bird Bouchard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Ridgetown Independent News