By Pam Wright
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Don’t want another provincial lockdown?
Then roll up your sleeve and encourage others to do the same.
That’s the message from Chatham-Kent’s top officials as a fourth COVID-19 wave loom on the horizon and cases of the virus begin to inch up.
“Our fate is in our hands,” Mayor Darrin Canniff told a municipal press conference last week, adding about 30 per cent of the local population remains unvaccinated.
Canniff said the solution is simple, adding more people need to step up to get the shot.
He said he can’t imagine going through another lockdown.
“When the solution’s in our hands, it really hurts to even think about having to do that again.”
Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Colby said vaccination remains the way out of the pandemic, but he admits he sounds like a broken record by harping on the subject.
Colby said it will take 90 to 92 per cent of the population to be resistant to the disease, which includes people who have immunity from a previous infection as well as those who are vaccinated.
However, he said no health unit in Ontario can claim those kinds of numbers.
As well, anger against the unvaccinated is brewing. In order to move on from Step Three of the province’s Roadmap to Reopen, no public health unit can have less that 70 per cent of their eligible population vaccinated.
Hospital capacity and case counts must also remain stable.
Colby said he is very worried about increasing case counts, as the recent rise in provincial cases is a harbinger of what’s to come.
Within the municipality, as of Tuesday morning, 76 per cent of people aged 12 and up had received at least one dose, with 69 per cent having received two doses, according to CK Public Health figures.
As well, we had 29 active cases of COVID-19, up two more from Monday.
Colby said the health unit will do whatever it takes to get the public vaccinated.
He said health care officials are continuing to take the show on the road by hosting popup clinics; adding workers will come and vaccinate people wherever they can.
“Let us know and we will come,” he said. “We want to reach every corner of Chatham-Kent.”