Dear Community Members,
COVID-19 cases are rapidly increasing in our community and we are seeing people admitted to hospital at younger ages than in the spring. This is very concerning as the virus is spreading widely beyond long-term care homes and senior’s residences. COVID-19 can now show up in anyone’s home.
If you want to stay well and keep your family and friends safe, do not go into any home that is not your own and do not have anyone in your home who does not already live there.
It is now clear that people acquire COVID-19 from their friends and family in a home setting. They then take it into schools, workplaces, places of worship and long-term care homes or hospitals. The reality of this disease is then seen in classroom closures, loss of income for many and, sadly, death for some.
Birthday parties, sleepovers, playdates, coffee dates, game nights and dinner parties are spreading the virus. Your friends, children’s friends and family you do not live with can bring the virus into your home.
I know it will be difficult for everyone. But to be safe, everyone should comply as fully as possible to stop the spread of this disease. If someone you love has to come into your home for mental or physical health reasons, wear masks at all times and keep apart as much as possible, wash hands and get tested if symptoms develop.
If someone needs to enter your home for paid services such as repairs, maintenance or personal support, everyone must wear a mask, keep six feet apart or stay in separate rooms if possible.
You can still go to work or school, volunteer, get groceries and essentials, walk your pets and be outside with a friend. Continue taking the precautions of keeping six feet apart from someone you do not live with, wear a mask and wash your hands as often as possible.
I am so impressed by how Wellington, Dufferin and Guelph residents have acted responsibly during these difficult times. You were the first to wear masks and it did make a difference. Now, not allowing people into your home will help stop the spread of COVID-19.
This will not last forever. We are hearing good news about vaccines. However, until everyone is safe from COVID-19, we all need to avoid the number one cause of its spread. You have done so much already. But this is what is required now, so we have all our friends and family with us when this is over.
Dr. N. J. Mercer, MD, MBA, MPH, FRCPC C.Dir.
Medical Officer of Health and CEO
Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health