Masks, vaccination strongly recommended as respiratory illnesses surge

Huron Perth, ON – Many respiratory illnesses are circulating; Huron Perth Public Health (HPPH) urges the community to use all layers of protection, especially masking and vaccination, to protect themselves, their families, and the broader community.

HPPH has seen an earlier start to the influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) season this year, and has received several reports of influenza A (flu) in children under the age of five. HPPH does not typically see this number of lab-confirmed cases of influenza in children this young. COVID-19 also continues to circulate widely.   

Across the province, influenza and RSV are causing severe illness in children and strain on the pediatric healthcare system.

“I strongly recommend that Huron Perth residents mask in all indoor public settings, including schools and in childcare settings,” says Dr. Miriam Klassen, Medical Officer of Health. “Wearing a mask in indoor public settings is a simple way to reduce the spread of illness, to protect our community members young and old and to protect our healthcare system. I also encourage everyone to get their flu shot and stay up to date on their COVID-19 vaccinations.”

Until Dec. 1 at HPPH COVID-19 clinics, anyone aged 5 and up who is receiving a COVID-19 vaccination can also receive a flu shot. HPPH is not offering influenza vaccines on their own at these clinics.

Influenza vaccines continue to be available at pharmacies, for those ages 2 and older, and primary care provider (family doctor or nurse practitioner) offices for those ages 6 months and older.

For families with children 6 months to less than 2 years of age who do not have a family doctor or nurse practitioner, HPPH is offering a clinic: 

  • Monday November 21, 2022 3-6pm | HPPH Stratford West Gore site | 653 West Gore Street, Stratford

For more information regarding influenza vaccines, visit For more information regarding COVID-19 vaccination opportunities, visit

Layers of Protection

Residents are encouraged to use layers of protection during this “triple threat” season of COVID, RSV and influenza circulating at the same time. These layers include:

  • Staying home if you are sick
  • Screening for respiratory symptoms daily
  • Wearing a mask in indoor public settings
  • Staying up-to-date with vaccines (including COVID-19 and influenza)
  • Practicing good hand hygiene
  • Regularly cleaning high-touch surfaces

More information on layers of protection can be found at

Changes to COVID data reporting

HPPH is changing how it displays local COVID-19 information for Huron-Perth. Up until this point, we have been updating our own dashboards on COVID-19 testing, cases and vaccination; now, similar weekly information for Huron Perth region is also available through Public Health Ontario’s COVID-19 and Influenza Activity dashboard.  While HPPH prepares a new way to display local information on respiratory illness that will be the most helpful to residents, the previous Tableau dashboards will not be updated.

Public Health Ontario’s dashboard includes a wide range of COVID-19 data about Huron Perth, including case counts by hospitalizations and deaths, vaccine uptake by age, sex and public health unit, outbreaks, and more.

Please visit COVID-19 and Influenza Activity dashboard for weekly COVID data for Huron Perth.


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