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Health Unit: limit gatherings of over 50 people

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Limiting gatherings of over 50 people is one of the new measures the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit is introducing to try and combat COVID-19.

The Health Unit says it aligns itself with the guidance of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and the declaration of a state of emergency for Ontario. Through the declaration, it is strongly recommended that bars, theatres, libraries, recreational programs, daycare centres and places of worship close. Restaurants may remain open for delivery and pick-up only.

“It is important that we look at the bigger picture and work together as a community to help slow down the spread of COVID-19,” said Dr. Jim Chirico, Medical Officer of Health. “The risk to Canadians and those within our district still remains low. Within the Health Unit district, there are no positive COVID-19 cases and no known community spread. By taking such measures we are helping to ensure that we protect ourselves and the ones we love from COVID-19.”

Social distancing has been recommended as well in the area, as it will help prevent and slow the spread of COVID-19. The Health Unit says social distancing doesn’t mean you need to remain at home, but it means:

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  • Talk to your supervisor, manager, or employer about the possibility of working from home where possible.
  • If you have meetings planned, consider doing them virtually instead of in person.
  • Whenever possible, spend time outside and in settings where people can maintain a 1-2 meter(3-6 feet) distance from each other.
  • Change how you greet one another – greet with a friendly wave or an elbow bump.
  • If possible, limit or consider cancelling group gatherings especially those larger than 50 people or in places that you cannot distance yourself (1-2 meters, 3-6 feet).
  • Avoid non-essential trips in the community.
  • If you have to go into the community for an essential trip via taxi or rideshare, be sure to keep the windows down.
  • Avoid visits to Long-Term Care Homes, Retirement Homes, Supportive Housing, Hospices and other care settings unless the visit is essential. Older adults and those with underlying health problems are most at risk of becoming ill with COVID-19.

“The best way for the public to protect themselves is through simple hygiene practices such as, regular handwashing or using alcohol-based sanitizers, not touching your face, and covering your cough or sneeze,” the Health Unit said in a release. “If you are sick, stay home. Four out of five people who become ill with COVID-19 will have no symptoms or mild symptoms and recover within a week or two.”

The Health Unit adds employers are encouraged to support employees who work from home and to visit their website for information on how to prepare and respond to the risk of COVID-19 in the workplace.

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