In a joint statement issued on Sunday, December 20, Ontario’s top doctors issued a clear message to residents: It’s not the time for social gatherings.
While acknowledging that the recent approval and first administration of a COVID-19 vaccine may look like a light at the end of the tunnel, they asked residents not to let their guards down just yet.
“We want to be clear. No matter where you live the upcoming holidays are not the time to hold social gatherings in person, inside or outside, with anyone outside your household,” they said.
The statement was signed by Peel’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Lawrence Loh, Toronto’s Dr. Eileen de Villa, Hamilton’s Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, Halton’s Dr. Hamidah Meghani, as well as the medical officers of health for Niagara, Waterloo, and Windsor-Essex.
Residents have been asked to continue following the guidance of public health, which includes avoiding any and all social gatherings, wearing a mask, maintaining a two metre (six foot) distance from anyone who does not live with you, and staying home except for essential purposes (such as going to school, work, the grocery store, or a medical appointment).
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“Our collective actions will make a difference in what we experience in January and into the New Year. Together, we can minimize the transmission of COVID-19 in our communities, protect our healthcare system, and save lives,” the statement continued.
“We know it has been a stressful and difficult year with the COVID-19 pandemic causing uncertainty and losses in our communities and in all aspects of our lives. We thank you for your resilience and support for each other during these difficult times.”