Statement from Dr. Nicola Mercer: Stopping the spread of COVID-19 is everyone’s responsibility

September 17, 2020

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health is working with health care providers, hospitals, community partners, municipalities and businesses to ensure our communities, schools and home settings are safe as possible during a global pandemic. 
Our region has done well, but as we see rising case numbers and the flu season about to begin, it is important we all take individual responsibility to keep businesses and schools open. 
We know older individuals are most at risk of serious illness or death. Even healthy and younger people can develop serious illness from COVID-19. Here are some things you can do to decrease your own personal likelihood of becoming infected: 

  • Wear a mask or other appropriate face covering when indoors in an airspace shared with a group of other people not from your own household, and wear it properly, over both the nose and mouth. For more information visit our Face Coverings FAQs.
  • Avoid large groups, especially indoors and where there is inadequate physical distancing. Limit the number of people in an indoor gathering you are hosting to no more than 10 people. Consider postponing your social gathering to a future safer date. High levels of virus can build up in air shared by large numbers of people if one or more of those people are infected. Everyone wearing a mask in such situations can decrease the amount of virus in the environment; however, it is better to avoid such gatherings where possible.
  • Meet with friends outdoors (best) or, if an outdoor meeting is not practicable, meet in a well-ventilated indoor room (with windows and doors open if weather allows) in small groups and wear masks.
  • Practise good hand hygiene. 
  • Where possible, restrict close contacts to a small number of family and friends. A social circle can have up to 10 people, but it must always be the same 10 people to remain a safe circle. No one should be part of more than one circle. Social gatherings are meant for larger venues with physical distancing (2m). 

Dr. N. J. Mercer, MD, MBA, MPH, FRCPC C.Dir.

Medical Officer of Health and CEO