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Health unit’s top doctor aware “pandemic fatigue” is real as long weekend approaches

The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPR) is recommending residents be cautious during the long weekend.

“COVID-19 doesn’t take a holiday, so neither should we in trying to stop transmission at a time when we are in the midst of a sixth wave of the virus,” says Dr. Natalie Boking, HKPR’s Medical Officer of Health. “As many of us gather with family and friends this weekend to mark spring festivities, like Easter, Passover and Ramadan, let’s be sure to celebrate safely and, most importantly, stay home if you’re sick.”

Officials with HKPR say their surveillance team has identified a “significant rise” in viral signal from municipal wastewater monitoring sites in Cobourg and Lindsay. There has also been a spike in new cases and outbreaks in high-risk settings, according to health officials.

Over the long weekend, they suggest wearing a proper-fitting, three-layer mask if getting together with people indoors.

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“Avoiding the three C’s this holiday weekend makes extra sense when COVID-19 cases are surging,” Boking notes. The “three C’s” are closed spaces, crowded places, and close faces. “For instance, indoor spaces that aren’t well ventilated can increase the risk of COVID-19 spreading, so open a window if indoors or take the celebration outdoors if the weather permits,” Boking continues. “Reduce the risk further by sticking with smaller gatherings, not large ones. In addition, wear a tight-fitting mask if visiting indoors, especially if someone in attendance is at higher risk of severe COVID-19 due to age or medical reasons.”

Boking says she’s aware “pandemic fatigue” is real, but adds that is no reason to not be sure to celebrate safely.

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