’Tis the season to be COVID-safe! Do your part to protect the holidays

As we approach the holiday season, it may be tempting to return to “normal” holiday traditions. Yet the threat of COVID-19 is still ever present. Even as vaccination rates in our community increase, we can’t assume that COVID-19 is behind us. With a growing surge in positive cases, Public Health Sudbury & Districts is reminding everyone about our collective responsibility to be COVID-safe now to protect the holidays with family and friends in the coming weeks. We must all do our part to reduce the risk of getting and spreading COVID-19. Please get vaccinated with two doses and a third if eligible, continue to be diligent in applying public health measures, and assess your risk when shopping and making plans for the holidays.

“As COVID-19 surges locally, we must continue to follow public health measures as we move into the holiday season. This is equally true when considering Black Friday, holiday shopping trips, and gatherings,” said Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, Medical Officer of Health with Public Health Sudbury & Districts. “When shopping in stores, always wear a mask, keep distance from other shoppers, and wash your hands frequently. Do not go out even if you’re feeling just mildly unwell. The Delta variant of COVID is nearly unstoppable and we need to use all the layers of protection we can to slow it down. This includes being fully vaccinated—we can turn things around and get cases down locally in time for the holidays,” said Dr. Sutcliffe.

Owners and operators have had to adapt throughout the pandemic and have been working hard to ensure a safe and pleasant holiday shopping experience for patrons. As the business community works to slow the COVID-19 surge with safe store practices for shoppers, residents have a responsibility to do their part, too.

In addition to following public health measures (for example, masking, distancing, hand washing, and vaccination), consider these COVID safe-shopping tips to curb the COVID spread: avoid shopping at peak times, consider vaccination status when carpooling to stores and wear your mask.

“For many, the holiday season is a time to celebrate with family and friends. While we plan our holiday celebrations it is important that we assess the risk, think things through and plan to be COVID-safe in all scenarios,” said Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, Medical Officer of Health with Public Health Sudbury & Districts. “The sacrifices we make today will have an impact on this upcoming holiday season and a return to the traditions we love. Be patient, be kind, and be COVID-safe. Remember the actions we take as individuals today, impacts our family, friends, and entire community tomorrow,” said Dr. Sutcliffe.

Public Health’s holiday ‘Tis the Season’ campaign will help provide our community with tips and help you assess the risk before you go out. Take steps to stay safe. Assess the situation (Do you need to go? Can your event be virtual instead of in person?). Maintain a physical distance from others, wear a mask, complete your vaccination series, and know when to stay home. If you develop symptoms, even mild ones, do not participate in any activities and make an appointment to get tested for COVID-19 as soon as possible.

For more information on how to celebrate, shop, and gather safely this upcoming Holiday season visit our COVID-safety page. Stay connected with our Facebook and Twitter pages or call Public Health Sudbury & Districts at 705.522.9200 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200).

This item was last modified on November 23, 2021