Staying Healthy Among High Rate of Respiratory lllness

With the cooler weather upon us, we are seeing an increase in a variety of respiratory illnesses, such as COVID-19, Influenza (Flu), and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). Ontario is facing the “triple threat” of higher and earlier than normal rates of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and influenza as well as the ongoing risk of COVID-19. Children under 5 years, the elderly, and those with underlying medical conditions are at increased risk of serious illness.

To protect against this triple threat of infection and severe illness, it is strongly recommended that everyone in our community use multiple layers of protection against these viruses. Protective measures include the following:

Wear a Mask

The health unit recommends that all individuals wear a well-fitted three-layer mask or medical mask when in close contact with others. This recommendation includes children two to five years of age if they can tolerate a mask. Dr. Charles Gardner recommends that you encourage and support your staff and customers/clients to wear a mask inside your office/organization space. In addition, masking at home is strongly recommended if you have symptoms and have at-risk people in your household, including children under five years of age, older adults, or those with medical conditions.

Screen Daily and Stay Home if Feeling Unwell

Self-screen for symptoms daily using this Screening Tool and follow the instructions. If you are sick with any symptom(s) of COVID-19, cold, or flu, you should stay home.

Get Vaccinated

Getting the flu shot and staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations is the best way to prevent serious illness. Visit the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit website to find out what options are available in your community.

Wash Your Hands and Clean High Touch Surfaces

It is encouraged to wash your hands often using proper hand hygiene and to disinfect high-touch surfaces often and as part of regular infection prevention control processes.

When we use many layers of protection, we lower the risk of illness for ourselves and those around us, especially the most vulnerable. Contact Health Connection at 1-877-721-7520 for more information or visit their website.