This time of year, we typically look to celebrate with friends and family. However, with COVID-19, we urge everyone to celebrate differently – stay within the guidelines and limit engagement with others outside your immediate family.
With schools and businesses open, you might ask why you should not have friends over to your house. The difference lies in the rules and guidelines around schools and shopping that do not apply in the home. Schools and businesses require you wear face coverings, practice personal distancing, and use hand sanitizer. These protective measures are working – we have not seen any COVID-19 transmission in these settings in Grey Bruce!
Of the cases of COVID-19 transmission in Grey Bruce to date, the vast majority take place in homes, at more familiar events like family gatherings, dinners, and celebrations. These are when we tend to let down our guard.
Know that every contact from outside our households increase our risk. Consider virtual visits and other ways to share in celebrations this year.
As a reminder in Grey and Bruce, personal events are limited to 10 people inside, 25 people outside. In many places in Ontario, in the Orange, Red and Grey stages, these rules are much more stringent.
We need to continue to follow the three Ws: Wash your hands frequently; Watch your distance; and Wear your face covering correctly. While we recognize there is fatigue with this message, it is a proven way to break the chain of transition. Staying with these actions will save lives.
We are confident there is a lot to look forward to in 2021. The significant progress being made towards a vaccine provides a light at the end of the tunnel. That said we still have several critical months ahead of us where we need to double down to save lives and livelihoods.
“As we approach the holiday season, a time we traditionally spend with friends and family, I urge you to limit your contact with those outside of your immediate household. By sacrificing this year to stop the spread, we will ensure we are able to celebrate the holidays next year and years to come”. Says Grey Bruce Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Ian Arra. “Please enjoy a safe seasonal celebration this year, and make next year the best it can be”.
If you have any questions about how to celebrate this year, or to learn more, please review COVID-19 Considerations for Celebrations.