Board of Health Meeting Summary – November 19, 2020
2021 Public Health Budget
The 2021 Public Health Budget was approved with no change in the municipal levy for obligated municipalities for 2021. The budget shortfall will be managed by Voluntary Leaves of Absence without Pay as requested by employees, savings in salaries and benefits due to delays in recruitment (intentional where needed), and the associated salary differentials between the permanent job owner and the term replacement.
The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit region has been identified as being in the Green/Prevent level in the provincial COVID-19 Response Framework because of the recent low number of active people infected with COVID-19 in our region. This means there are no added restrictions to our region because of this announcement.
The Health Unit is working with the Ministry of Health on planning for a potential COVID-19 vaccine that might become available, once approved by Health Canada, for priority groups early in 2021. Additional planning is underway for a broader public immunization campaign later in the year.
Programs and Services
The School Immunization Program for grade 7 and 8 has a new face with clinics being held in schools on Saturdays for publicly funded meningococcal, HPV and hepatitis B immunization. This new approach has been well received by parents, students and the schools.
November is Radon Action Month and the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit (LGLDHU) is encouraging homeowners to test their homes for radon. https://healthunit.org/radon/ We have been promoting this through regular and social media, and were able to provide free radon test kits to many community members. Radon is a colourless, odourless, tasteless radioactive gas that occurs naturally in the environment. It comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soils and rocks. When radon is released from the ground into the outdoor air, it is diluted and is not a concern. When radon enters the house, it can accumulate to high levels and can cause a health risk with long-term exposure. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, after smoking. Measures can be implemented to lower elevated levels effectively.