Actions you can take during the "New Normal"

Huron Perth Public Heath has received many questions and concerns from people and organizations about how to stay safe, and keep others safe, during this time of loosening COVID-19 restrictions.

“Even as services and businesses re-open, and as we form social circles, it’s important to remember that things will not go back to how they were before COVID-19,” says Medical Officer of Health Dr. Miriam Klassen. “We are in a new normal. Kindness and understanding will be vital to moving safely into our new normal. We must work together to stay healthy while resuming our businesses, services and activities in a new way. Huron Perth residents have done a great job so far of helping reduce the spread of COVID-19.”

There are many public health measures every individual can continue to do to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19.

  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water.
  • Keep your physical distance from people outside of your household/social circle and do not share food or drinks.
  • Wear a cloth mask if you are not able to physically distance

Huron Perth Public Health strongly recommends that residents use a face covering (non-medical mask such as a cloth mask) when it is not possible to keep two-metres’ distance from those not in your social circle. 

“Wearing a face covering when physical distancing is a challenge, is a way to protect others,” says Dr. Klassen. “For those of us who can wear a mask, it’s a way to be kind and protect your community. We want to see as many people as possible wearing masks in situations where physical distancing is a challenge, such as public indoor spaces.”

Some services and retail establishments currently require you to wear a mask in order to receive services or shop in their stores. Please follow these requirements.

 “We also recognize that it’s not possible for some people to wear masks for a variety of reasons, or it’s a challenge for families to afford masks,” she adds. “I encourage everyone to focus on what part we as individuals can play in following public health measures and reducing the risk of COVID-19.”

Huron Perth Public Health would also like to recognize the hard work of individuals and community groups in Huron-Perth who have been making non-medical face coverings.  Wearing masks will likely become part of our “new normal”, and the efforts of these individuals and groups is greatly appreciated.

“Because we are strongly recommending masks, some people ask why Huron Perth Public Health is currently not making it mandatory to wear masks,” says Dr. Klassen. Here are some important things to know:

  • Masks can provide protection to others when physical distancing is not possible. However, masks do not replace other important public health measures. In order to stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community, everyone must continue to maintain physical distancing, wash your hands frequently and stay home if you are sick.
  • To be effective, masks also require proper use: you must put the mask on properly, take it off properly, not contaminate the mask while wearing it, and then clean it properly.
  • “I believe that the current evidence on the use of masks does not allow us to meet the criteria to issue an order mandating people to wear masks in Huron Perth,” says Dr. Klassen. “The number of cases in Huron Perth have been low and sporadic and it has been our experience that people, for the most part, have been adhering to public health advice. However, we are constantly monitoring the research on masks and transmission of COVID-19, and are always prepared to respond as necessary.”

Dr. Klassen says adjusting to our “new normal” will require politeness, kindness and patience from everyone. We must work together to stay healthy while resuming our businesses, services and activities in a new way. Please do as much as you can in following public health measures, including wearing a mask when physical distancing is not possible.

 

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