Barrie-area residents list wait times, seniors’ issues among top health-care concerns

More doctors. Reduced wait times. Improved care for seniors. These are the issues identified by Barrie-area residents as the most pressing in the local health-care sector right now, preliminary results from an ongoing public survey being conducted by the show. The survey is being conducted in more than 600 communities across the province, and 7,400 Ontarians have responded so far. Locally, 387 Barrie and Muskoka District-area residents have participated. Twenty-five per cent identified seniors’ health, including home and long-term care, as the top priority for the sector. Another 25 per cent listed reduced wait times as being of the highest urgency, while 20 per cent relayed the need for more doctors as the greatest need. Residents were also asked for input on the “single most important thing that can be done to improve health-care services in your community today,” to which 41 per cent mentioned investment to improve access to hospitals, clinics and medical facilities. Twenty-seven per cent want easier access to doctors’ appointments, Dr. Sohal Goyal, chair of the association’s local district, said. “These findings are incredibly important in helping us develop a plan to improve health care and create a more integrated and sustainable system for all Ontarians,” Goyal said. “This is a huge province, and health-care priorities here can be very different from those in other regions like Toronto. By completing this public surv […]

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Ontario to rollout COVID-19 vaccine clinics in schools

With a fourth pandemic wave underway in Ontario — on the heels of schools reopening for a new academic year — the province has announced it will host COVID-19 vaccine clinics at or near schools this September.  The Government of Ontario said it will work with public health units and school boards to rollout vaccine clinics in the days leading up to the start of the school year, continuing for the first few weeks of school. The clinics will operate either at schools or at off-site locations nearby, and may operate before, during, or after school hours.  Clinics will target youth over age 12, their families, and education staff who have not received a first or second dose.  “As part of the last mile campaign to reach as many students and staff as possible and to keep schools as safe as possible, we are requiring school boards and public health units to roll out clinics in or close to schools,” Minister of Education Stephen Lecce said in a media release announcing the rollout. “By making vaccines more accessible, and with a cautious reopening in September following the expert advice of the chief medical officer of health, we will further bolster our fight against COVID-19 and variants.” As of Aug. 15, more than 69 per cent of youth ages 12 to 17 have received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 56 per cent have received a second dose. On Aug. 16, the province reported 526 new COVID-19 cases, 67 per cent of which were in unvac […]

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Midland resident charged with child-pornography offences

An 18-year-old Midland resident has been charged with child-pornography offences. The charges were laid following an online investigation by the OPP child sexual exploitation unit. On Aug. 12, police executed a search warrant at a Midland home and seized several electronic devices for further examination. Stephen Flood was arrested and charged with two counts of possession of child pornography and one count of making available child pornography. He was released from custody following a bail hearing and is slated to appear in the Ontario Court of Justice in Midland on Sept. 2. This is the second Midland resident to be charged with child-pornography offences this month. Police are asking anyone who may have information regarding this investigation, or other information regarding internet child exploitation, to contact the OPP at or Crime Stoppers at , or .

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Police investigating after Barrie Tim Hortons employee assaulted

A Tim Hortons employee was assaulted and Barrie police are asking the public for help to identify the suspects. According to police, on Feb. 23, just after 8:30 p.m., three young women — believed to be under the age of 18 — entered the Tim Hortons at 353 Duckworth St., Barrie. One of the young women allegedly went into the washroom, despite a sign advising that washrooms were closed. When she came out of the washroom, an employee told her that washrooms were closed and that she should not have gone past the sign. Police say a verbal argument quickly escalated and the employee was allegedly attacked by the young woman. One of the other young women filmed the incident, police said. The young woman was on top of the victim when another Tim Hortons employee intervened, police said.  The employee who was attacked suffered non-life threatening injuries.  One of the young women involved allegedly grabbed a drive-through headset as she was leaving and smashed it against an outside wall. It is believed the headset could still be in her possession.  Police say the suspects left the scene in what is believed to be a dark coloured Mazda 6. Barrie Police cannot release surveillance footage or still pictures as it appears suspects are under 18.  Police say the young woman who attacked the employee may have a bite injury on one of her hands. This injury may be visible or may have been bandaged in the days after the incident, police said. Anyone with informati […]

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Ontario reporting 340 new COVID cases and two new deaths

Ontario is reporting another 340 cases and two new deaths. There are an additional 16 deaths being reported as part of a data cleanup that occurred more than six weeks ago for a total of 18, released Friday morning. Ontario has administered 53,975 , with 19,764,199 vaccines given in total as of 8 p.m. the previous night. According to the , 10,532,434 people in Ontario have received at least one shot. That works out to approximately 80.8 per cent of the eligible population 12 years and older, and the equivalent of 71.5 per cent of the total population, including those not yet eligible for the vaccine. The province says 9,231,765 people have completed their vaccinations, which means they’ve had both doses. That works out to approximately 70.8 per cent of the eligible population 12 years and older, and the equivalent of 62.7 per cent of the total population, including those not yet eligible for the vaccine. The province says 23,448 tests were completed the previous day, and a 1.4 per cent positivity rate. There are 114 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in the province, including 110 patients in intensive care. There are 76 people on ventilators. The ICU and ventilator numbers include those who currently test positive for COVID-19 as well as those who no longer test positive. Locally, Health Minister Christine Elliott says there are 80 new cases in Toronto, 41 in York Region, 36 in Peel Region, 23 in Windsor-Essex and 22 in Region of Waterloo. Meanwhile, the provi […]

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