THUNDER BAY – COVID-19 Update – The Thunder Bay District Health Unit reports 225 lab confirmed new cases of COVID-19. There are 341 cases in the district.
58 people are in hospital and 8 of those patients are in the Intensive Care Unit.
Thunder Bay’s Municipal Emergency Control Group (MECG) met on Thursday with community partners as part of its ongoing management of the COVID-19 situation.
Dr. Janet DeMille, Medical Officer of Health says, “The Thunder Bay district has seen a significant increase of Omicron cases in the past month, and that there is broad community spread. She added that the rise in cases has put added pressure on the health care system, particularly in acute care”.
“Everyone has a role in reducing the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. I urge everyone to follow the guidelines. If you or anyone in your household have symptoms, or have been exposed to someone with COVID, or tested positive on either a rapid test or PCR test, you and anyone you live with should self isolate immediately. Being vaccinated, including with the booster dose, will help protect you and your family and help reduce spread in the community.”
Ontario – Next Steps to Opening UP
|Effective January 31, 2022
Testing Positive on a Home Test?
What do we do if we test positive on a home test?
— TBay Public Health (@TBDHealthUnit) January 27, 2022
Thunder Bay Walk-In Clinics
Walk-in clinics are now available at the CLE Coliseum Clinic for anyone 50 years of age and older to receive a booster dose, and first doses for children ages 5 to 11.
Walk-in spots are also available to:
- Individuals aged 12 and over – for first and second doses
- Pregnant people – for first, second and booster doses
- Immunocompromised people – for all doses as eligible
For clinic hours and more information, visit: www.tbdhu.com/covidclinics
Wearing a Mask
Stacey Richardson of 3M says, “With the highly transmissible Omicron variant spreading rapidly in Canada and around the world, health experts, including the Public Health Agency of Canada and Public Health Ontario are recommending people upgrade their face covering to protect themselves and others from spreading the virus”.
“This is good advice given the level of infectiousness we’re seeing with the latest wave of the pandemic”.
As a Senior Health and Safety Application Professional at 3M Canada, I have been encouraging the use of high performance face coverings to all my family and friends. This is a simple thing we can do to help slow the spread of the virus.
“Loose fitting cloth masks allow the air you breathe in and out to enter and escape around the sides of your face, and above your nose. While this will blunt the volume of aerosols from coming in and out, it may not filter the particles like a well-fitted high-performance face covering”.
What is a high-performance face covering?
Many people have been seeking out N95 respirators, which, are designed to help reduce exposure to airborne particulate hazards, including virus and bacteria particles. When fitted and worn properly, N95s help filter particles in the air you breathe.
N95s are NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety) approved, an important safety standard.
We recommend any use of a 3M N95 respirator be accompanied by proper fit testing. N95s are typically used in occupational settings and require fit testing to ensure the make, model and size fits each individual.
The good news is, in the absence of fit testing, wearing an N95 respirator as a high-performance face covering is an excellent upgrade to cloth face coverings most people have been using to protect against COVID-19.
The key is wearing it properly to help ensure the air you’re breathing is being filtered. Here are a few tips to help you optimize your high-performance face covering:
- Seal the deal
The first and most important step in properly using a high-performance face covering is to get as tight of a seal as you can.
First, mold the nose piece around the contours of your nose to create a formable seal around your nose. A good test for air leakage around the nose is to put on a pair of glasses or sunglasses. If they fog up, the best possible seal has not been made. Reducing foggy glasses is an added side benefit to upping your face covering game.
- Shear the beard
Next, ensure you have a tight fit below your chin and around the sides of your jaw. For those with luscious beards, I’m sorry, you will not be able to achieve a proper seal over facial hair. It’s simply not possible. So, if you are serious about achieving a proper seal, a clean shave is the way to go.
- Wear both straps properly
High performance face coverings include two straps. Make sure to use both straps, one positioned on the crown of the head; the lower strap should be positioned below the ears. Ensure the straps aren’t twisted.
- Comfort is king
Another important factor in achieving the best protection possible is to ensure the face covering is comfortable. If it’s not comfortable, you will have the urge to adjust and fidget with it. Touching your face covering while wearing it could affect the seal.
Before you venture into a public space, be sure to put your face covering on ahead of time, get your seal tight and resist the urge to touch your face.
- Feel the filtration
When you have achieved a proper fit with a high-performance face covering you will notice the difference. It will feel different to breathe than when wearing a medical or cloth mask. This means your air is being pulled through the filter instead of entering and escaping through all the gaps when the face covering does not have a proper seal around your face.