“Since march of this year, we focused the laser on the virus to ensure we have an effective response to the pandemic,” said the medical officer of health, Dr. Penny Sutcliffe.
“We have a large part of our public health programs Board of health in our response to the pandemic, and we deployed, during this period, at least half of our staff to do so. Of course, with this, we have not done a lot of our regular programming. There are certainly risks in regards to the postponement of programs when you think of a work of public health that has not occurred. ”
Since the first case local COVID-19 in Sudbury has been confirmed on 10 march, the bureau of health has delayed programs such as smoking cessation, and certain vaccination programs.
“There are also risks that have occurred because of the response to the pandemic itself. Think, for example, the risk of mental health and isolation. We have heard concerns about domestic violence in the homes, and, of course, with the reopening, we now see an additional risk in relation to the potential spread of COVID-19. ”
The office of health has drawn up a list of priorities based on a number of factors classified by risk.
The very top of the list is the continued plan of preparedness and response to public Health emergencies, the fight against infectious diseases, management of outbreaks, clinical services and immunization programs.
It was also announced that the health office would take over the inspection services to monitor the food safety, small systems of drinking water and blue-green algae, and will continue to implement programs like the needle exchange.
Resources for families, which have been subjected to a considerable stress during the pandemic COVID-19, will also be a high priority, as are the services of mental health and addictions.
During the meeting, the board of directors also took the decision to transfer funds to the operating budget to help offset the costs related to the projects of modernization of the infrastructure.
“The Board of Health has been informed during its meeting of 12 February of the various assessments conducted to inform the need for the agency to modernize the physical and technological infrastructure,” said a note written by Sutcliffe.
“The modernization is based on the need to ensure efficient operations and to maintain alignment with changing legislative requirements and service needs.”
The building of the health unit on 1300 Paris street, is in need of renovations and the cost of the project has been estimated to be between 3 and 5.5 million. The final costs for the higher would result in a complete renovation of the HVAC system if it was deemed necessary.
Public health Sudbury and district has submitted a request for capital funding for the dental clinic and, if successful, the agency will use this funding to offset the costs of changes to the physical infrastructure at the office in the Rainbow Centre.
The initial estimate of the dental clinic is of $ 1.6 million. The cost of the Services component of health and treatment clinic of the Rainbow project’s Center is estimated to be $ 1.4 million (funded by reserves).
The board has chosen to allow the medical officer of health / chief executive officer to transfer up to $ 6.5 million of the reserve fund for equipment and repairs and maintenance, and public health initiatives in the operating budget to offset the cost of these projects.
Looking to the future, Sutcliffe has stressed the importance of remaining flexible and able to adapt quickly to changing circumstances.
“There will be expectations really unpredictable placed on us as a public health agency, and not just for a few weeks or a few months, but for a long period of time,” she said.
“We need to be agile, which means that we need to be able to act quickly, and we need to be agile, which means that we need to be able to react to the current situation. We also need to be able to do so in a transparent manner to be able to plan with clear criteria so that we can both increase and reduce our response to what we need to do. ”
The office of health reminds Sudbury and surrounding districts that, even if businesses begin to reopen, we are not yet immune to the virus.
The risk of infection is always present and the public is encouraged to follow public health recommendations to control the spread of COVID-19.
The Initiative of journalism-local is made possible thanks to funding from the federal government.