As the COVID-19 restrictions are relaxed and more businesses reopen, Ottawa’s associate medical officer of health warns COVID is still in the community and you need to follow “basic principles” to limit the spread of the virus.
This was the first weekend of Stage 2 of the COVID-19 reopening, with restaurant and bar patios opening for customers, along with malls, barber shops, salons and tattoo studios.
“It almost comes down to principles in order to protect yourself and your family,” said Dr. Brent Moloughney, during an interview on CTV News at Six with anchor Christina Succi.
“So, you want to not be going out if you’re feeling ill or sick. You want to be maintaining physical distancing as much as possible, If you can’t maintain physical distancing you’re wearing a mask. Certainly, hand-hygiene is still very important.”
Ottawa Public Health reported 12 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, the highest one day total in June. On Sunday, eight new cases of COVID-19 were reported.
Dr. Moloughney said Ottawa Public Health will be monitoring the number of new cases in the days and weeks ahead to see if there is a spike as the COVID-19 restrictions are relaxed.
“The reality is that COVID is with us. COVID is still in our city. There’s still a risk of being exposed,” said Dr. Moloughney.
“So as people go back to do more things, which is really important for a whole bunch of good reasons, we don’t want to give the virus an opportunity for spread.”
Several people complained on social media of people not wearing face masks while on restaurant and bar patios or in malls over the weekend. Dr. Moloughney says if you are out, you should be wearing a mask to help protect others from COVID-19.
“There’s some settings, whether you’re out shopping for groceries or in public transit, where you may not be able to maintain distancing and therefore it’s very important to wear a mask. The more people that wear masks, the more that we’re collectively protected,” said Dr. Moloughney Sunday evening.
“I think as some of the venues open up, both indoors and outdoors, I think there’s more opportunities to be wearing masks as we have a greater chance to be around other people.”
Ottawa Public Health is encouraging people to be “COVID wise” as more businesses reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic:
W – Wear a cloth mask when you cannot maintain a physical distance of two metres
I – Isolate yourself from others when you are sick (and get tested promptly if you have COVID-like symptoms)
S – Stay two metres apart from those outside your household
E – Exercise proper hand hygiene; wash your hands regularly or use sanitizer especially before touching your face