From Lockdown to Vaccine Rollout: COVID and the Road Ahead for Kingston in 2021
We are now nearly halfway through the 28 day lockdown that the province imposed across Southern Ontario to try to bring down COVID-19 case numbers. During the lockdown we’ve had to close City recreation facilities and reduce transit service, but we’ve also added many online services so you can get City services and info remotely. We’re continuing to closely monitor cases here in the Kingston area, but thanks to the great work from our local public health team and hard work from our community, our numbers are far lower than many other areas in Ontario. Lockdowns are very hard on our local businesses, so if our number continue to trend in the right direction, my hope is we can transition out of lockdown on January 23. Over the last number of months we’ve done a good job balancing public health guidelines while keeping businesses open, and I know we can do so again.
We’re also preparing for the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines here in Kingston. Our first shipment should arrive shortly, and over the next 3 months the priority will be to vaccinate residents and staff at our long term care homes, health care workers and other members of our most vulnerable populations. By April, the goal is to move to mass vaccinations using a range of both public health clinics and pharmacies, in a similar fashion to how the flu vaccine was rolled out last fall. We’ve got a great team of local health care experts working on the details, and we’ll be ready to hit the ground running once vaccine supply arrives here in Kingston.