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Halton Medical Officer of Health Issues Community Letter Responding to Rising Cases of COVID-19

Letter to Halton_Dr. Meghani_strong COVID guidelines for the community

*Please see a media release below issued by the Region of Halton.

The Regional Municipality of Halton
For Immediate Release
October 19, 2020

Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region’s Medical Officer of Health, has released a letter to the community urging residents to limit close contact to people within their households and limit non-essential activities.

The letter also includes new recommendations for higher risk situations and settings such as sports, indoor fitness facilities, restaurants and bars.

Please read the attached letter read the attached letter (or scroll down further).

October 19, 2020

To the Halton community,

Cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in Halton and without a doubt we are firmly in a second wave of the pandemic. I know that we have asked a lot of you over the past several months and COVID-19 fatigue is very real. We cannot let our guards down. The time to take collective action is now in order to prevent a much worse scenario and stricter measures in the future. COVID-19 has no borders and we need to work together to stop the spread.

It is out of concern for our community that I am strongly recommending that all residents take the following steps immediately:

  • Limit close contact to people within your household. This means minimizing interactions with people who don’t live in your house, including dining at restaurants and other social gatherings.
  • Limit non-essential activities. This means trying to stick to essential activities as much as possible such as going to school or work (if you work outside of your home) and using online delivery services for errands when possible.

As always, when you are in public keep a physical distance of two metres (six feet) from those outside of your household, wear a mask when physical distancing is a challenge or when required, wash and sanitize your hands frequently and please stay home if you are sick, even if you have mild cold-like symptoms.

We have learned that many cases are linked to private social gatherings and group activities. We know there is a greater risk of transmitting COVID-19 in particular situations and settings where individuals have close contact with one another, often without a mask and for prolonged periods of time. While Public Health values physical activity and participation in sport, we must take a balanced approach to reduce transmission.

To control the spread of the virus, I am also recommending:

  • Limit all team sports to training only, with proper physical distancing between players and no scrimmages or games.
  • Suspend all indoor fitness classes. I know this may be difficult to adjust to as fitness and sports are an important part of our routines and help us stay positive through these challenging times. Please consider other ways to stay active such as, online fitness classes for all ages, runs, walks or hikes, or play an outdoor game with people in your household. Click here for more detailed guidance or here for more ways to stay active.
  • Dine at restaurants with people in your household only. I also encourage residents to order take-out or use meal delivery services to continue to support local businesses. Click here for more detailed guidance.

These recommendations are not provincial orders and will not be enforced. While I am strongly recommending residents take these steps, I understand that these may take time to adopt and  may not happen overnight. It is my hope that everyone follows these recommendations to the extent possible to protect one another and stop cases from rising in our community.

We all have a choice to make right now – between what we want to do and what we need to do. We still have time to reduce the severity of this second wave, but we need your help to achieve this. We did it before and we can do it again. Thank you to everyone for staying in this together, taking this seriously and above all for being kind to one another.

Please continue to visit halton.ca/COVID19 for the latest information on cases and public health guidance.

Yours in health,

Dr. Hamidah Meghani,
Halton Region Medical Officer of Health

 

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Region of Halton Media Contact:

John Winkels
Communications Advisor
Communications & Customer Service
Halton Region
905-825-6000, ext. 7490
1-866-442-5866
john.winkels@halton.ca

PLEASE NOTE: To stay updated on what the City of Burlington is doing regarding COVID-19, please visit the dedicated pages burlington.ca/coronavirus (and subscribe) and bit.ly/mayormeedwardCOVID19updates, and our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page — bit.ly/COVID19BurlingtonFAQ that are updated as new information becomes available.

A Burlington COVID-19 Task Force has been created to help support our community through this unprecedented emergency — updates will be provided at burlington.ca/COVID19taskforce.

To report an incident of non-compliance with provincial emergency orders, please contact the Halton Regional Police Service COVID-19 Hotline: 905-825-4722.

We’ve also created a dedicated page to feature the local organizations and businesses that have inspired us during the COVID-19 pandemic by taking action to support our community in new and creative ways — head to bit.ly/covidwallofinspiration.

HELPFUL RESOURCES & RELATED LINKS:

*Posted by John Bkila, Mayor’s Media and Digital Communications Specialist

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1 thought on “Halton Medical Officer of Health Issues Community Letter Responding to Rising Cases of COVID-19”

  1. Although our number of cases have increased slightly, the hospitalization numbers are minimal from what I have heard on the news. There is therefore no reason to invoke any further changes to our protocols. We will not eliminate the virus, but we can keep its impact minimal by following the rules we have in place now. I am going to my gym and they are limited to 50 members at a time in a large two-storey building with everyone needing to wear a mask and everyone getting a bottle of sanitizer to clean the equipment. I have also been in several restaurants in Burlington and every one is going out of their way to keep customers safe. If you feel the need to impose more restrictions, do it to those establishments who are not following the rules rather than using a sledgehammer to kill a fly.

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