November 15, 2022
We can all reduce hospital visits and admissions in those most vulnerable (the very young, very old and immunocompromised) if we work together this season to reduce the spread of the triple threat of seasonal respiratory viruses (Covid/Flu/RSV). The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit supports the provincial recommendation of getting back to using the layers of protection we know are effective.
“Our community has been remarkable during the pandemic; we are asking you to take action at this time,” says Dr. Linna Li, Medical Officer of Health for the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit. “It is important now to follow as many of the public health precautions as possible, including wearing masks in public spaces.”
We are urging everyone to do their part in reducing severe illness and hospitalization:
- Stay home when you are sick
- Be honest about your symptoms and if they have the potential to infect others (remember a simple cold to you may be serious to those most vulnerable) – symptoms for all respiratory viruses are similar
- Do a self assessment: Coronavirus (COVID-19) self-assessment (ontario.ca)
- Do not visit hospitalized patients or residents of retirement homes or long-term care homes if you are experiencing any symptoms.
- If your child is sick, contact your health care provider, a local respiratory assessment centre or call Health Connect at 811 (formerly Telehealth). Emergency rooms may be experiencing high volume and have lower capacity but if your child is experiencing serious symptoms, please seek medical attention.
- Get your COVID booster (if it has been 6 months since your last dose you are due for a booster, since immunity wanes)
- You should do this to protect others around you who are at risk because of medical conditions or treatments or are at risk due to age or are unable to be vaccinated. They may be your loved ones, family, friend, neighbour or co-worker.
- A list of upcoming clinics is available on our website. Clinic dates and locations are posted through to December. More appointments will be added as capacity allows.
- We encourage you to continue to check with a participating pharmacy or your health care provider.
- Get your flu shot. Anyone 6 months and over should get a yearly flu shot
- Flu shots are available at local pharmacies to anyone 2 years of age and older
- Check with your health care provider if they provide the flu shot
- If you are a parent of a child under 2 and do not have a health care provider, please contact the Health Unit to get your child vaccinated at one of our regular immunization clinics
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water (rub hands together under water for 15-20 seconds), or use an alcohol based hand sanitizer.
- Wear a well fitted mask when indoors, in crowded public places, and around those most vulnerable (many of them may not be able to wear or tolerate masks). A lot of the spread of respiratory viruses happens in homes when people gather (especially in the season coming up). Consider bringing a mask with you wherever you go!
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
- It is important to clean and disinfect surfaces that are touched a lot, like desks, door handles, toys and computer keyboards.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or sneeze into your arm, not your hand.
Local public health officials will be monitoring a number of factors including watching the overall respiratory transmission and capacity in hospitals.