The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit has seen a significant increase in COVID-19 positive cases in the region with over 100 new cases since December 1st, and 81 active cases reported today. We have also been notified that the new COVID-19 variant may be present in some of the cases – we are waiting for whole-genome sequencing to confirm it. Given this, it is important to carefully follow public health precautions to protect ourselves, our family and friends, our community, and keep our schools and workplaces safe and open, and prevent further impact on our healthcare resources.
We strongly encourage anyone who is unvaccinated or partially vaccinated to get fully vaccinated when eligible, to protect themselves and those who are more vulnerable to serious illness. Also those over 70 now, and the 50 to 69 as of Monday Dec. 13, are encouraged to make an appointment for a third dose to increase protection now and in the future.
Under the advice of Dr. Stewart, Medical Officer of Health, all residents are encouraged to:
- Keep to small social gatherings with vaccinated people. If there are unvaccinated people, then they should wear a mask and keep 2 m distance from others, as much as possible.
- Wear a mask when in public places and keep a 2 m distance from others.
- Stay home if sick (even with mild symptoms), and get a PCR test if COVID-19 symptoms develop at a local assessment centre or participating pharmacy, regardless of your vaccination status. Any unvaccinated household members must also stay home until the person with symptoms gets a negative COVID-19 PCR test result.
- If there is possible exposure to someone with COVID-19, isolate and get a PCR test. People who are vaccinated should isolate until they get a negative PCR test. People who are unvaccinated should isolate for 10 days after their exposure to the individual.
On the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, employers in all industries should make every effort to allow employees to work from home.
The work associated with the increase in cases and contacts combined with the COVID-19 vaccine program means the Health Unit has to put some non-COVID services on hold from now till January 3rd.
For more information about COVID-19, visit www.healthunit.org/coronavirus or call 1-800-660-5853 x2499. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter @LGLHealthunit or Instagram at lglhealthunit.z.