EOHU asks residents to not fall victim to pandemic fatigue

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By Nick Seebruch
EOHU asks residents to not fall victim to pandemic fatigue

CORNWALL, Ontario – With a province wide shutdown going into effect today, Dec. 26, and the national vaccination program beginning, the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) is asking residents to stick to pandemic protocols and not fall victim to pandemic fatigue.

“While the arrival of the vaccine in Canada is a promising sign for the future, the reality is that the majority of Canadians will not have received their vaccine until the second half of 2021,” states Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, Medical Officer of Health at the EOHU. “In the meantime, I am urging residents to maintain public health measures like masking, physical distancing and proper hand washing to avoid spikes in our communities, keep our schools open and protect our local businesses.”

The EOHU stated that residents who fall into one of the categories below will be high on the list to receive the vaccine first:

  • Residents, staff, essential caregivers, and other employees of congregate living settings, such as long-term care homes and retirement homes
  • Health care workers, including hospital employees, other staff who work or study in hospitals, and other health care personnel
  • Adults in Indigenous communities, including remote communities where risk of transmission is high
  • Adult recipients of chronic home health care

The Health Unit also reminded residents of new restrictions associated with the provincial shutdown:

  • Restricting indoor organized public events and social gatherings, except with members of the same household (the people you live with). Individuals who live alone may consider having exclusive close contact with one other household.
  • Prohibiting in-person shopping in most retail settings – curbside pickup and delivery can continue. Discount and big box retailers selling groceries will be limited to 25 per cent capacity for in-store shopping. Supermarkets, grocery stores and similar stores that primarily sell food, as well as pharmacies, will continue to operate at 50 per cent capacity for in-store shopping.
  • Restricting indoor access to shopping malls – patrons may only go to a designated indoor pickup area (by appointment only), essential retail stores that are permitted to be open (e.g. pharmacy, grocery store), or, subject to physical distancing and face covering requirements, to the food court for takeout purchases. Shopping malls may also establish outdoor designated pickup areas.
  • Prohibiting indoor and outdoor dining. Restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments will be permitted to operate by take out, drive-through, and delivery only.
  • Closing all facilities for indoor and outdoor sports and recreational fitness activities.  Outdoor sport and recreation fitness amenities (e.g. parks and recreational areas, ice rinks, and snowmobile, cross country, dogsledding, ice-skating and snow-shoe trails) can remain open with certain conditions.  Ski hills are closed.

Elementary school students will only be going back to in-person learning on Jan. 11.

Secondary school students will return to remote learning from Jan. 4 to Jan. 25.

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