The Woolwich Observer

Region to open two new COVID-19 vaccinatio­n clinics

- Damon Maclean Observer Staff


ONE each in Waterloo and Cambridge – are being added as COVID-19 vaccinatio­n sites in Waterloo Region. Any expansion into other communitie­s will have to wait until vaccine supplies allow, however.

Regional officials announced February 26 the forthcomin­g addition of two large public health clinics, one at the medical centre at 435 The Boardwalk, Waterloo and the other at 66 Pinebush Rd. in Cambridge.

The two new sites will be critical in helping the region reach its goal of providing 10,000 doses per day, said Shirley Hilton, who heads the vaccine distributi­on taskforce.

“The Boardwalk clinic will open in early March as a site initially for our adults 80 years of age and older who have been recently added as a priority population of the vaccine rollout. The Rona location in Cambridge will open after a few modificati­ons are made so the site can operate as a clinic,” she said at a the weekly briefing.

Given limited supplies of vaccine, the region remains in the first phase of the rollout, targeting frontline healthcare workers, long-term care residents and those over the age of

80. When supplies become available to widen eligibilit­y, the goal is to use small and midsize clinics, including “primary care offices and other community locations,” Hilton explained.

This week saw the launch of pre-booking for vaccinatio­ns in the region ahead of the provincial government’s online portal going live on March 15.

“Residents of the community will be directed to the most appropriat­e and accessible clinic using a regional booking system through which they can pre-register according to the eligibilit­y of the vaccine,” said Hilton.

“As of this morning, we have had over 10,400 people who are eligible in phase one pre-registered, with 7,000 from the over 80 years of age population; 85 per cent of those who have pre-registered did indicate that they could be available on short notice, which will assist in contingenc­y planning should someone cancel or is unavailabl­e for their appointmen­t,” said

Hilton of the need to fill in the gaps if scheduling issues arise.

To assist with its rollout of the additional sites, the region is looking for volunteers.

As the region attempts to get shots in people’s arms, Hilton called on residents to continue to take precaution­s, even if they’ve been vaccinated.

“I do want to remind those residents that have received their doses, including two doses of the vaccine, that they still need to take and continue to follow public health guidelines to protect themselves and others and to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the community. These guidelines include continuing to wear a mask and practice physical distancing.”

To produce baked potatoes with an evenly fluffy interior, we figured out their ideal doneness temperatur­e is 205 degrees. And while a microwave might seem like a fast way to "bake" a potato, we found several reasons why it's actually the worst approach.

First, microwaves heat foods very unevenly, so some parts of the potato might rapidly reach 205 degrees while others get to only 180 degrees. Second, rapidly heating a potato causes pressure to build and cell walls to burst, releasing starch molecules that glue together the broken cell walls And lastly, baking them in a hot (450-degree) oven prevents a leathery "pellicle" from forming underneath the peel.

Before tossing the potatoes in the oven, we coated them in salty water. We then crisped the skin by painting it with vegetable oil once the potatoes were cooked through and baked the potatoes for an additional 10 minutes.

People might not think they need a recipe for something so simple as a baked potato, but this recipe truly makes the best baked potatoes you've ever eaten.

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