Don’t let your guard down: Doc

 In News

Don’t let your guard down over Easter, says Simcoe Muskoka Medical Officer of Heath Dr. Charles Gardner.
He is asking people to stick to the program and not gather over the holiday weekend to help slow the spread of COVID-19 now that we are in the third wave. The plea comes as vaccines are ramping up but not fast enough to guarantee there won’t be another province wide shutdown or to ensure there will be an ‘April Break’ for students and teachers.
Premier Doug Ford was hinting this week that another shutdown could be coming as variants of concern now account for almost 70 per cent of all new cases in Ontario. 
Gardner said while the number of cases in the province are on the rise, Simcoe Muskoka has been experiencing its ups and downs. He said cases are now up slightly, and a recent dip could be attributed to the last shutdown.
Noting that a school break could cause a surge in cases, Gardner said he would support a further postponement of the March Break in order to keep the third wave under control, although he remains in favour of keeping schools open, if feasible.
The health unit is now revving up its preparations for the second phase of the vaccine rollout working down from age 70 in five-year age increments. In Phase 2, the vaccine will also be made available to essential frontline workers who cannot work from home including elementary and secondary school staff, police, firefighters, funeral operators, childcare providers, food manufacturing workers, agriculture and farm workers, high-risk and critical retail workers in grocery stores and pharmacies, and many others.
Gardner said the the health unit has been informed by the province that three pharmacies in each region will eventually offer the vaccine but they do not yet know which ones.

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