We must remain vigilant against COVID-19 over holiday season
By Ahd AlAshry/RESCON
This time last year, no one would have thought we’d still be dealing with yet another wave of COVID-19. The pandemic fatigue is very real, however, and unfortunately many of us have let down our health and safety guard.
This pandemic is alive, and the risk of contracting the virus is much higher today than ever. With the latest Omicron variant, we know that it is highly transmissible and nothing like we’ve seen before. However, studies have found that with a booster dose, we can protect ourselves.
As we begin the holiday season, it is crucial that we heighten our COVID-19 “safety senses,” if you might call them, by continuing to practice physical distancing and proper mask wearing whenever we are around those not part of our immediate household. Being with family over the holidays is vital and cherished by everyone. However, your health and that of your family are paramount now.
In this blog, you’ll find all the COVID-19 holiday resources you’ll need, such as links to vaccine registrations, testing schedules, masking tips, and more.
RESCON Vaccination Cheat Sheet 2.0
We’ve done it again. RESCON has created its second vaccine cheat sheet that includes links to all the different registration systems by region across the GTHA. As we’ve seen throughout the pandemic, regions had different vaccine requirements and systems. This sheet brings them all to one place, highlighting all the various schedules, locations and registration links for hospital clinics, school clinics,
pharmacies, pop-ups, and GO VAXX buses.
Click HERE to access the sheet, and please share it as much as you can.
Holiday Testing Blitz
In efforts to add another layer of protection against this new variant, the government has launched a “Holiday Pop-Up Testing Blitz,” allowing people to get tested more frequently when needed and faster.
Ontario will be hosting several pop-up rapid antigen testing sites progressively over the holidays and will also deploy mobile teams with PCR tests.
The rapid antigen holiday pop-up schedule is linked HERE. New locations are posted on Fridays and on a rolling basis as sites are confirmed. Please do not hoard these tests as that only makes matters worse.
A crucial tool that has continued to protect us throughout this pandemic is our masks. We must always wear our masks around those not living outside our household and wear them properly.
With Omicron now making up 90 per cent of all COVID-19 cases, wearing a piece of cloth on your face will no longer suffice – surgical masks are the way to go. Masks should be tightly fitted and must cover your entire nose, mouth and chin under all circumstances. The Ontario Science Table advises individuals to wear the best mask they own (KN95, N95 or to double mask) and cautioned that face shields no longer provide you with the protection needed from Omicron.
Learn more about Ontario’s masking requirement HERE.
Please continue to follow public health restrictions, including physical distancing and masking. Get your booster shot as soon as you can and encourage those around you to do so too.
I wish you all a Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!
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