Northwestern Health Unit Urges Vaccinations and Safety Measures to Prevent Hospital Visits This Holiday Season

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COVID Update

Acting Manager of Infectious Diseases Highlights Importance of Flu and COVID-19 Vaccinations and Safety Protocols

KENORA – COVID-19 Update – The Northwestern Health Unit is issuing a crucial reminder this holiday season: stay vigilant to prevent respiratory infections and unnecessary hospital visits. Sandra Krikke, the Acting Manager of Infectious Diseases at Northwestern Health Unit, emphasizes the importance of getting vaccinated. “It’s not too late to protect your families and communities. Enjoy a safe and happy holiday with flu and COVID-19 vaccinations readily available at pharmacies, healthcare providers, and NWHU clinics,” Krikke states.

To further ensure your and others’ health, the Northwestern Health Unit recommends the following measures:

  1. Wear Masks in Public Indoor Settings: Choose tight-fitting, well-constructed masks, especially in healthcare settings or places with mask mandates, and if you or your companions are at higher risk of severe infection.
  2. Daily Health Screenings: Monitor for signs of illness and stay home if sick.
  3. Regular Hand Hygiene: Wash or sanitize hands frequently.
  4. Cough and Sneeze Etiquette: Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing.
  5. Clean Surfaces: Regularly disinfect frequently touched surfaces.

If you develop symptoms, isolate immediately, particularly from vulnerable groups like newborns, the elderly, and the immunocompromised. Only resume normal activities when:

  • Symptoms have improved for at least 24 hours (or 48 hours for gastrointestinal symptoms)
  • You are fever-free
  • No new symptoms develop.

For 10 days post-symptom onset, continue wearing masks in public, avoid visits to high-risk individuals and settings, and refrain from activities where mask removal is necessary, such as dining out.

Additional Information: For comprehensive details on COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses, visit Protection from COVID‑19 and other respiratory illnesses – Ontario.ca. To get vaccinated, contact your local pharmacy or healthcare provider, or book an appointment through the Northwestern Health Unit’s COVID-19 or Flu Vaccine Appointment Booking page.

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