We are approaching 3 months of COVID induced restrictions. Parts of Ontario are gradually opening to Stage 2 and Toronto remains at Stage 1 restrictions for a few more weeks.
As we look forward to creating a less restrictive social interaction, I look at what we have learned to date, what ideas have changed, and what are some of the concerns for the future.
The basic recommendation to maintain social distance even as the social restrictions are eased remains the most effective behavior for reducing the spread of COVID. A close second is the continued emphasis on washing hands frequently and for a minimum of 20 seconds with soap and water, or rubbing hands with alcohol preparations for the same time.
Initially, the use of masks was restricted to healthcare providers, and general use was felt to be unnecessary. I echoed the recommendations at that time. This has changed.
In the past week, the OMA has updated their information on Coronavirus and release a key recommendation that states “everyone should wear some kind of face covering whenever you come into contact with someone else, including indoors.” Read more about their updates here.
Wearing a mask reduces the risk that you infect others from the droplets from your nose and mouth. It DOES NOT change the rules on physical distancing of 6ft. Wash hands before and after taking off the mask.
The province of Ontario is not mandating the wearing of masks in public, but recommends their use, and has left it to businesses to decide their policies on this.
With the opening of social restrictions, suggestions on how to safely build your social circle are included here.
With more social contact, we need to be vigilant about our expanded contacts, and our exposure to others outside of the 10 person bubble. Read more about this here.
As our communities reopen, continue to practice safe and healthy behaviours; social distancing, hand washing, and wearing masks.
Enjoy the upcoming lovely weekend.
Stay safe, stay healthy.