The Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) is urging the public to take precautions to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 during gatherings this Thanksgiving long weekend. The region has seen a spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations over the past few weeks, and the EOHU area currently has the second highest COVID-19 positivity rate in the province. The numbers are largely fueled by cases in the areas of Cornwall and Hawkesbury.
The best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from COVID-19 is to get vaccinated. Gatherings between vaccinated and partially vaccinated or unvaccinated individuals have the potential to infect several family members, including children under 12 who can’t currently get vaccinated against COVID-19. This could lead to outbreaks in schools in the weeks following the Thanksgiving long weekend.
Guidelines for Safe Gatherings this Thanksgiving
To avoid a further increase in COVID-19 cases after the long weekend, the EOHU is recommending that residents take the following measures during Thanksgiving gatherings:
- Gatherings must respect the current limits (no more than 25 people indoors or 100 people outdoors)
- If gathering with individuals who are unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, or whose vaccination status is unknown, you must wear a face covering and maintain physical distancing
- Try to keep gatherings small, and to hold them outdoors
- If you have COVID-19 symptoms (even mild ones), stay home
- Virtual gatherings remain the safest option, especially if there are unvaccinated people or persons whose vaccination status is unknown
“While I understand that we all want to see our families after staying apart for so long, I am urging the public to take precautions to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19 to their loved ones,” says Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, Medical Officer of Health at the EOHU. “Given that children under 12 can’t get vaccinated against COVID-19 at the moment, the rest of us must take measures to keep them safe and prevent outbreaks in schools in the weeks following the long weekend.”
For more information about how to keep your family safe this Thanksgiving long weekend, visit www.EOHU.ca.