COVID-19 numbers are surging. Are you part of the problem? Here’s what you need to stop — or start — doing now
2020-09-15 from thestar.com
With the number of Ontario COVID-19 spiking to the most reported in a single day since early June, the question now is what the public should do (or not do) to in order to keep transmission rates low.
Dr. Barry Pakes, a public health and preventive medicine doctor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, said we don’t quite need to revert back to living in Stage 1 just yet. He says a range of reported infections between 200 to 400 isn’t surprising since restrictions were lifted in Stage 3 and there’s usually a lag of a few weeks for the virus to incubate.
But, he said, we do need to take count of everything we’ve learned in the past seven months about how the virus spreads — and that means those big social gatherings have to go.
“What’s popped up more recently are the congregations such as parties, weddings and funerals. Those have been restricted in April to June and are increasing again. If public health has to dial back on something, those are probably the first things to restrict. If that works, we can keep schools open and workplaces going,” he said.
The reason is that in those settings, people tend to forget about physical distancing or wearing masks. It’s why bars have been in such a hot-button issue since they were allowed to reopen. Conversely, in a retail store for example, enforced mask-wearing policies and distance markers are implemented help maintain some sort of structure in place, which is why there haven’t been as many cases reported in the retail sector.
Aside from the parties, it’s still best to stay home whenever possible and be prepared to be extra cautious when visiting family and friends, Pakes said.
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