Residents should remain vigilant as Covid-19 continues to spread in our community, says Durham Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Robert Kyle.
“While most public health measures have been lifted and residents are enjoying a return to a new normal, Covid-19 is still very much present and spreading in our community,’ he said in an issued statement. “It is important for residents to keep informed and remain vigilant so you can keep yourself and your loved ones protected.”
As testing is only available for eligible populations, one way to be aware of Covid-19 activity in the community is by monitoring wastewater surveillance trends. Wastewater surveillance trend data is available on the Durham Region Covid-19 Data Tracker and shows that the Covid-19 viral signal is increasing, he pointed out.
Dr. Kyle said the risk of infection and severe disease is more serious for some individuals, especially those with underlying health conditions and older adults. Wearing a mask continues to be an effective public health measure for reducing the spread of Covid-19. “While masking is not required in most settings, I encourage residents to continue to wear a mask in shared indoor spaces with people outside of your immediate household or in places where physical distancing may be difficult. Residents should consider their own personal risk, as well as the risk of vulnerable individuals they may live with, when deciding whether to wear a mask,” he said.
Masks are still required on public transit, in long-term care homes, retirement homes, health care settings, shelters, congregate care and living settings, and for cases, close contacts or household members of cases. Visit durham.ca/masks for more information. Visit durham.ca/Covidinfohub for more information on when to mask if you have tested positive for Covid-19 or if you are a close contact or household member of someone who has tested positive.
The Health Department continues to offer opportunities to get vaccinated at community immunization clinics and it is not too late to be vaccinated. Residents are encouraged to get their first, second and booster doses to protect themselves and others from severe illness. Please visit durham.ca/Covidvaccine for more information.
“As the Health Department is working to restore programs and services that have been suspended during the pandemic, I will be reducing the frequency of my messages to area residents and turning some of my attention to other important public health issues,” said Dr. Kyle.
The Health Department continues to monitor Covid-19 activity, respond to Covid-19, and provide vaccinations. I remain committed to keeping residents informed and will post messages to communicate important information as needed. Please continue to visit durham.ca often to remain informed about Covid-19, he added.