This Thanksgiving, spread kindness, not COVIDIssued: Friday, October 8, 2021
Public Health Sudbury & Districts is reminding everyone of the need to continue to be COVID-safe this upcoming holiday weekend and to take simple but effective actions to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus including more transmissible variants of concern.
“This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for the ongoing efforts and sacrifices everyone has made over the last year and a half to keep our communities safe,” said Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, Medical Officer of Health with Public Health Sudbury & Districts. “Doing your part by wearing a mask, practising physical distancing, staying home when you are sick, and washing your hands frequently is critical. The COVID-19 vaccine is another safe and effective way to protect yourself and your loved ones from severe illness and hospitalization. It is more important than ever to take the additional step and get vaccinated if you haven’t done so already”.
This year, with the added layer of protection from the COVID-19 vaccine, people can gather provided precautions are followed. Public Health Sudbury & Districts is reminding everyone to keep gathering sizes small, consider the vaccination status of guests, consider celebrating outdoors or going virtual. If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, stay home, isolate from others, and get tested.
“Connecting with friends and loved ones is important and I thank everyone for finding new and creative ways to do so COVID-safely this weekend,” said Dr. Sutcliffe. “With a fourth wave currently underway, we cannot let our guard down. Remember, the fewer the people that gather, the lower the risk of transmission. We will all be thankful for our ongoing precautions in the weeks and months ahead” added Dr. Sutcliffe.
Anyone who is planning to travel for Thanksgiving should be aware that COVID-19 and the variants of concern continue to circulate locally and around the province and country. Think about how you can celebrate in a way that protects everyone. Do not travel if you are sick and get tested if you have COVID-19 symptoms.
Gatherings and physical distancing
Gathering virtually still remains the safest option. However, if you do choose to gather with others, remember the following to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19:
- Limit the size of your gathering. The fewer people who gather, the lower the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
- Consider the vaccination status of everyone attending the gathering.
- Connect virtually with friends and family. Virtual events are safer if people in the group are unvaccinated or if their vaccination status is unknown.
- Keep 2 metres distance between people and wear a mask if distancing is not possible.
- Being outdoors is safer than being indoors. When outdoor gatherings are not possible, ensure proper ventilation indoors. If you do not have a ventilation system, open windows to increase air flow.
- Avoid crowded places, where physical distancing may be a challenge.
As you make your plans for this holiday weekend, remember that even if you only plan to gather with people you know well, there is still a risk of spreading COVID-19. Assess the risk, incorporate COVID-safe behaviours, and ensure steps are in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Learn about how to celebrate safely (Government of Ontario).
For more information or if you have questions, please visit www.phsd.ca/COVID-19. Keep connected with our Facebook and Twitter pages or call Public Health Sudbury & Districts at 705.522.9200 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200).