The Hastings & Prince Edward Public Health board has approved a budget that shows the agency’s work will be less dominated by the pandemic.
The vote’s passing at a recent board meeting means sixteen positions that were directly related to COVID-19, work related to contract tracing among other areas, will be eliminated at the end of the year.
But Medical Officer of Health Dr. Ethan Toumishey says some health programs which are new or took a back seat during the pandemic, will be given greater focus. That includes school vaccination programs and support for postpartum women.
Toumishey also says the health unit is trying to get back to normal and catch up on programs that took a back seat during the pandemic, such as school-based immunization programs, which are now lagging behind.
The $17.7 million dollar budget asks municipalities that fund the health unit, which includes Bancroft, to increase levies by 1.5 per cent.
Despite the shift, Dr. Toumishey says COVID is still a challenge. The health unit is urging people to get COVID booster and flu shots this winter.