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SMDHU’s Dr. Gardner’s letter to the community

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Simcoe Muskoka residents are being urged to continue to practice all public health measures to help reverse the surge of COVID-19 cases the area is currently seeing.

Local Medical Officer of Health Dr. Charles Gardner sent a letter to businesses, organizations, residents and CAO’s of surrounding municipalities today saying if our collective efforts are not enough to stabilize or reverse the increasing transmission rate the health unit may consider reinstating capacity limits that were lifted by the province in October.

“We continue to see dramatic increases in the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 throughout Simcoe Muskoka and these letters are a reminder that everyone in the community is required to protect each other from COVID-19, and to maintain and support our scarce health and public health resources,” said Dr. Gardner.

The health unit states collective efforts of the Simcoe and Muskoka community are required to protect each other from COVID-19, and to maintain and support our scarce health and public health resources.

Officials say this is particularly important during the holiday season and in the winter months, which is often a time of indoor gatherings and activities.

Protective measures include:

  • Getting vaccinated for whatever dose you are eligible for (first, second or third/booster). Vaccination is the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community and help us get back to the people and things we love.
  • Wearing a mask or face covering that covers your mouth, nose and chin during any period when they are in the indoor area of the premises, unless exempt under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020 (ROA) and associated regulations. 
  • For individuals who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19, keeping gatherings to only those within their household, unless physical distancing is practised and/or face coverings are worn.
  • For individuals who are fully vaccinated, keeping gatherings to a small number of people outside of their household. For the protection of all, preferably everyone should be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • For businesses that host people for holiday celebrations and activities, minimize capacity within indoor settings and given the higher degree of risk (e.g., removing masks for eating and drinking) recommend limiting capacity to the number of people who can maintain physical distancing of two metres
  • Businesses and organizations should host holiday gatherings remotely to avoid larger groups of individuals congregating, that can assist in spreading the virus.
  • Enabling remote work for employees, where reasonably possible, to reduce the number of workers exposed to the risk of transmission at the workplace.
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