This Version Posted: June 17, 2020
Dr. Lynn Noseworthy
Medical Officer of Health
HKPR District Health Unit
After a hiatus due to COVID-19, it’s back to business for many stores and services. For those of us in need of a haircut, a dose of retail therapy, or a longing to enjoy a meal on a restaurant patio, the reopening arrives just in time.
We wouldn’t be at this stage without everyone’s willingness to take precautions – and make sacrifices – during COVID-19. Our continuing efforts to prevent the spread of the virus are paying off and now we can reap the rewards. Thank you!
But like any investment, it’s in our interest to keep an eye on the bottom line. We don’t want to slide back and see a resurgence of COVID-19, which could force us back into lockdown. That’s why as more stores and services reopen, they do so by following strict health and safety guidelines to protect customers and staff from the coronavirus.
It’s back to work, but not business as usual.
The same applies to us. As things restart, we must adjust to the new normal and continue taking precautions during this pandemic. To borrow a phrase from Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, we must go ‘out smart.’
Because COVID-19 is still present in our community, we all need to follow the tried and true public health measures that have gotten us this far. We must continue to:
- Practise physical distancing by maintaining a 2-metre (6 foot) distance from others
- Wash our hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Avoid touching common surfaces and objects that could be contaminated with the virus
- Cover our coughs and sneezes with tissues or your sleeve
- Wear a non-medical mask or face covering if we think it will help in places where maintaining a physical distance of two metres from others is difficult
Going ‘out smart’ also means knowing when to stay in. If we are sick or have symptoms of COVID-19, we must stay home. Using Ontario’s online COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool can help determine what additional care we may need.
As we enjoy new freedoms and access to more services, let’s not be outsmarted. COVID-19 is still with us, so let’s go ‘out smart!’