The North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit (Health Unit) is reminding the public to plan for the holiday season because it’s going to look different this year.
The Health Unit says the safest way to celebrate during the pandemic is by enjoying the holidays with only the people you live with and keeping it virtual with everyone else.
“We’ve all made a lot of sacrifices this year and it is understandable the people will want to spend time with their loved ones, but we ask that this be done at a safe distance,” says Medical Officer of Health Dr. Jim Chirico. “We have seen an increase in the number of individuals testing positive for COVID-19 locally and throughout the province. Making the sacrifice to celebrate differently this year can help to slow the spread of COVID-19 and save lives,”
The Health Unit is echoing the Ontario government, which also says to stick to your households.
“To keep your loved ones safe, traditions will have to be adjusted,” said Premier Ford in late November. “We’re asking everyone to please stick to your own household when celebrating. Avoid big holiday parties or large family dinners to help us stop the spread of this deadly virus. By following this public health advice, we can all have a safe and fun holiday season.”
The Health Unit is recommending that the public practice the following:
- Do not travel out of the district unless for urgent or medical reasons.
- If you choose to travel, isolate for 14 days prior to leaving the district and isolate for 14 days upon return.
- Only celebrate in-person with individuals you live with. If you live alone, you may consider joining one other home.
- Celebrate virtually with individuals outside your home.
- Support local businesses and opt for curbside pickup when available rather than shopping in-store or outside the district.
- If you feel unwell, stay home and arrange to be tested for COVID-19.
- Keep your plans flexible. As the situation changes your plans might need to change too.