A staff report to the Hamilton Board of Health puts the cost of dealing with COVID in 2022 at over $46 Million, The province has indicated it will reimburse the city for these costs as it has in the two previous years of the pandemic.
Meanwhile the report says the prolonged period of emergency has taken its toll on the mental health and well-bring of public health staff. Public Health intends to develop a comprehensive wellness strategy for PHS staff, The report says the negative mental health impacts can last up to three years after the pandemic has ended.
The report predicts the pandemic will shift to an endemic state in the coming year, “meaning it not be eradicated but will continue to circulate in the population at a predictable and manageable level. That means PHS will move from an emergency footing to a “sustained program.”
The health unit wants to get back to providing the other public health program it normally offers, but has been prevented from doing as a result of shifting resources to deal with COVID. As a result, the report says. “many health and social issues have worsened throughout the pandemic with marginalized populations being disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Some of the neglected issues include child health and development, public health inspections, school immunizations, substance misuse and mental health and well-being.