Protect yourself and loved ones as re-opening continues

As summer continues, and re-openings progress, Huron Perth Public Health (HPPH) asks residents of Huron and Perth to keep making decisions that will protect themselves, their loved ones and their community.

“We appreciate that the Stage 3 re-openings and my Instructions to operators regarding face coverings created a fair bit of change for all of us to adjust to,” says Dr. Miriam Klassen, Medical Officer of Health.

With the new government legislation, there are some large events that may legally operate. In these cases, while it is not up to HPPH to approve or deny the holding of events, HPPH does work with the event operator, before and during the event, to ensure that proper public health measures are being followed.

Dr. Klassen says it’s difficult for legislation to account for every possible situation. “We also know there are still many questions about what is expected in various settings, especially for group events that may not be specifically mentioned in the government’s legislation about Stage 3 openings. It’s important to think about what public health measures you can take to protect others and reduce the risk of COVID-19. If your particular situation isn’t clearly described in legislation, ask yourself, ‘What can I do to reduce the risk of COVID-19 and protect my family, friends and community?’”

Remember these public health measures:

  • People who feel ill should stay home.
  • Hand hygiene is important. Have adequate handwashing facilities or sanitizer available.
  • People in a social circle should keep their distance from those not in their social circle. How can you help people maintain physical distancing? Remember that some activities are higher-risk for COVID transmission, such as singing.
  • Wear a cloth mask if you are not able to physically distance. This is an added layer of protection, so if you have addressed the fundamental measures of asking people to stay home if ill, ensuring hand hygiene and distance then also think about where face coverings might be helpful.

Dr. Klassen says, “By following public health measures, whether required by legislation or not, we will reduce the spread of COVID-19 and help protect our community. This is very important as Huron-Perth continues into Stage 3, and hopefully stays there, including the possible return of students to school. There continues to be an ongoing need to protect our vulnerable populations in long-term care homes and group settings, as well as to preserve the capacity of our healthcare system.

“Recently, when we’ve been conducting contact tracing, whether for cases here or connected to cases from neighbouring health units, we are starting to see that people are naming more contacts,” says Dr. Klassen. “This tells us that people are expanding their interactions with others and this is where we must remain vigilant in using the public health measures I’ve described.”

Information on putting public health measures in place is available on the HPPH website at www.hpph.ca/coronavirus or the Ministry’s website at Ontario.ca/coronavirus.

 “The residents of Huron-Perth should be proud of the work they have done over the last several months, so let’s continue to work together kindly and safely into Stage 3,” says Dr. Klassen. “I said back in March that we are in this together and we are in for a marathon, and this remains true. It is our collective responsibility to manage this pandemic. Each day, by following the recommended public health measures, you and I could be saving a life!”