The Northwestern Health Unit says it was able to do more public health work last year with a reduction in it's COVID-19 response.

The Health Unit has released it's annual report for 2022.

Executive Director Marilyn Herbacz says they were able to free up employees for other things.

"Some of the successes were in our dental team," points out Herbacz.

"They were able to get out and start doing a lot of community work.  They've done a lot of work on catching up in schools for immunizations that we weren't able to do during the pandemic."

But the pandemic wasn't over last year and Herbacz adds that they did monitor hospitalization rates in the region, and there was a 730 percent increase, mostly due to COVID-19 infections.

"The hospitalization results were primarily because of people still fighting COVID.  So I think that's something our team always monitors to find out what kind of infections are happening in the hospitals.  So its just a part of our work."

The Health Unit's annual report by the numbers:

  • 2,816 naloxone kits distributed to prevent opioid overdose deaths
  • 406 local children accessed dental services through the Healthy Smiles Ontario program
  • 131 seniors received 728 dental procedures through the Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program
  • NWHU website had 192,349 page views in 2022.