December 7, 2020

In Leeds, Grenville and Lanark, a sharp increase has been seen of people infected with COVID-19 over the past week from one or two people infected each day, to up to 8 newly infected individuals each day. This is affecting local business, workplace, and schools in our communities.

When someone tests positive for COVID-19 it affects the health and well-being of the individual. Their close contacts have to self-isolate for 14 days which could mean missing work or school, and it places a tremendous pressure on our healthcare system, economy and public health capacity. Our nurses hear these concerns each day as they do their follow-up calls.

With the holidays quickly approaching, it is an especially important time for residents, services and businesses to ensure they are doing everything they can to reduce further spread of COVID-19. I urge everyone to review all the COVID-SMART precautions to prevent COVID-19. This is not a time for complacency.

With more people infected in our community, the risk is higher that others may become infected. It is essential that everyone stays home and away from others if they have symptoms of COVID-19, even mild ones, and book an appointment for testing. When at home, stay away from others in the household while waiting for results. There are no wait times for appointments and most test results are coming back in one or two days. If it is not possible to go to one of the Assessment Centres, then contact Public Health and we will arrange for the community paramedics to go to your home to do the testing.

Based on our recent experience, it is critical that all businesses have screening in place to ensure that their employees are not experiencing any symptoms at work. The Health Unit Website has the business and workplace precautions that must be in place

I appreciate the strong support of municipalities on our COVID-19 journey. As outbreaks or particular concerns arise in your community, I will continue to keep you updated. Please reach out to me if you have any questions.
Staying safe and protecting yourself means we are protecting our family, friends and co-workers. Together we can limit the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.

• Staying home as much as possible
• Practice physical distancing – stay 2 meters (6 feet) away from people in public areas
• Use a cloth face covering/mask if you cannot stay 6 feet away from people when out in public – and in indoor public spaces as required.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer after being in touch with others or handling anything from outside your home
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
• Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue or into your arm, not your hands
• Do not share personal items that come into contact with saliva such as toothbrushes, eating utensils, drinks, water bottles, and towels
• If you are experiencing any respiratory symptoms (including fever) – please self-isolate immediately and complete the online self-assessment.