Health Unit recommends local extension of health measures

By Merna Emara
Staff Writer
memara@fortfrances.com

The Northwestern Health Unit (NWHU) strongly advises residents and businesses to continue to practice enhanced Covid safety measures, in light of the local positivity rate.

Dr. Kit Young Hoon, medical officer of health at the NWHU, said although COVID-19 restrictions at the provincial level have been lifted yesterday, the local positivity rate remains highest in the province.

The local per cent positivity rate remains high at 26.1 per cent, with an increase in the hospital occupancy rates.

“As a reminder, keep social gatherings limited to a maximum of 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors,” Young Hoon said. “All indoor public settings should be limited to the number of people who are able to maintain a physical distance but these two meters from every other person at a maximum capacity of 50 per cent.”

Young Hoon added that residents should screen themselves daily and stay home if they are not feeling well. She also advises residents who are eligible for a booster dose to get one because it significantly reduces the risk.

Young Hoon said residents should be aware that the risk of contracting COVID-19 is higher in the northwestern region, adding that we have not seen the respite other parts of the province are seeing.

“Everyone has a different risk tolerance and you should assess your personal risk before deciding to attend a gathering or an event,” she said. “Things to consider include vaccination status, underlying health condition, gathering size, and prevention measures in place like whether masking will be followed or physical distancing is possible.”

Young Hoon said outdoor gatherings remain safer than indoor ones and with the weather improving this may now be more of a possibility.

Although the proof of vaccination requirement at indoor non-essential settings has been removed, as well as capacity limits in all other indoor public settings, Young Hoon said businesses and organizations in our area may decide to continue with some of the public health measures that they’ve had in place for much of the past few years.

Individuals may also continue to err on the side of caution and continue to practice prevention measures that may no longer be mandatory, she added.

“We must show kindness and respect other’s personal decisions as we adjust to this new phase of reopening,” Young Hoon said. “People need to act accordingly and make extra effort with respect to all the ongoing public health measures.”

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