As local and national ‘End All Mandate” protests continue, our Medical Officer of Health says people have a right to protest respectfully.
But, Dr. Jim Chirico also says the focus should instead be on the vast majority of people who are following safety protocols.
“They are showing respect to one another, they’re going into stores, they’re physically distancing, they’re wearing masks,” he says. “Masking not only helps to protect yourself against COVID-19, it also showcases people’s respect and support to help keep businesses open and workers safe.”
Chirico says most people are doing their part and he doesn’t want a few to take centre stage.
“When people choose not to follow these measures they’re really putting their own beliefs above the health and safety of staff. That can result in a healthcare system under pressure and businesses having to close because of staff shortages and illnesses,” he says.
In terms of the COVID-19 situation in the area, Chirico says we are seeing an increase in hospitalizations and ICU admissions locally.
“By (Wednesday) afternoon there were 10 people in hospital due to COVID-19, the highest number we have had since the start of the pandemic,” he says. “We also know that there are an additional 11 people in hospital with COVID-19 but are not hospitalized due to their COVID-19 infection.”
Chirico says when people are in hospital for another reason, but also have COVID-19 additional staff and infection control measures need to be put in place.
He says it also increases the risk of an outbreak of the virus.