Timmins, Ontario - Tuesday, October 6, 2020
This fall, in order to slow the spread of COVID-19 and the threat of a second wave of COVID-19 infections through our area, the Porcupine Health Unit (PHU) is reminding residents that being thankful this year should look different. According to Dr. Lianne Catton, Medical Officer of Health for the health unit, “We understand the challenges this brings for our communities which have been fortunate to not see dramatic increases in cases – so far – but we all must continue to work together to prevent similar surges from occurring here. The next few months are marked with special occasions such as Thanksgiving that traditionally bring large groups together; not spending them in-person with extended family may be the best option this year.”
Dr. Catton offers a number of suggestions for ways to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 during Thanksgiving celebrations. They include:
“More than ever before, we must slow the spread of COVID-19 by following public health recommendations to protect one another,” says Dr. Catton. “Mark these special occasions with happy memories and not illness. No one wants to be the person who gives their loved ones COVID-19. We ask that you think carefully about where you go and what you do to protect the ones you love, especially those who are at greater risk.”
The health unit is also updating travel recommendations for the fall. According to Dr. Catton, “With increases in cases seen across the province, and in recognition that we are doing well with respect to COVID-19, the Porcupine Health Unit recommends residents avoid non-essential travel outside of Northern Ontario. Many parts of the province are seeing surges in cases, and are even in the second wave, and there have been cases related to travel within Ontario.”
The revised recommendations include:
“We are grateful for the tremendous work of PHU community members who continue to take the steps necessary to reduce the risk of COVID-19. Our numbers reflect this commitment,” said Dr. Catton. “The challenge now is maintaining this — protecting our most vulnerableand remaining vigilant — to keep our numbers down. Northerners are adaptable people, we can work together and stay positive, as challenging as it may be. Let’s focus on spreading kindness, not COVID-19 this fall. Thank you for all the efforts you’re making to keep our communities healthy and safe.”
The Porcupine Health Unit is located in Northeastern Ontario, serving the entire Cochrane District and Hornepayne, in Algoma District. The main office is located in Timmins, Ontario, with branch offices in Cochrane, Hearst, Hornepayne, Iroquois Falls, Kapuskasing, Matheson, Moosonee and Smooth Rock Falls.