October 8th, 2021
As we prepare to set out on a well-deserved holiday long weekend, we wanted to take this opportunity to share some advice from Dr. Kieran Moore, Chief Medical Officer of Health for Ontario. Although this is a time to rest and relax, we must continue our efforts to keep students, families, and staff safe and healthy.
How to stay safe this season
- virtual gatherings or events are the safest way to celebrate, especially if people in the group are unvaccinated or if their vaccination status is unknown
- gatherings or events outdoors are safer than indoors
- the fewer people who gather, the lower the risk of COVID-19 transmission
- it is important to remember that knowing someone does not reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19
- follow public health measures and advice
Hosting indoor and outdoor events
As part of your celebrations, you may have a gathering with people you don’t live with. However, it is important to continue following good public health practices.
If you choose to host an in-person gathering:
- do not exceed the gathering limit of 25 people indoors and 100 people outdoors
- have the fewest number of people possible at your gathering
- use outdoor spaces whenever possible
- provide all the necessary supplies, including hand sanitizer, soap and water
- open windows, if possible
- clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces
- ask guests not to attend if they have symptoms, even if they are mild
- make a list of guests attending in case your local public health unit needs it for contact tracing
- remind people of public health advice to follow during the event
- wash your hands before and frequently when preparing and serving food
- have everyone wash their hands before and after eating
If you choose to attend an in-person gathering:
- you should not attend if you have any symptoms, even if they are mild
- wash your hands or use hand sanitizer regularly throughout the event
- consider participating virtually or not attending the event if you are immunocompromised or at higher risk of severe disease or exposure to COVID-19
When to wear face coverings
Regardless of where you are, you can wear a face covering and physically distance if you feel it is right for you, especially if you or others are immunocompromised or at high-risk of severe disease or exposure to COVID-19.
When gathering indoors:
- with a group of fully vaccinated individuals, you may consider removing your face covering if everyone is comfortable
- with people from multiple households who are unvaccinated, partially vaccinated or status is unknown, you should wear a face covering and physically distance
When gathering outdoors:
- with a group of fully vaccinated individuals, no face covering or physical distancing is necessary
- with people from multiple households who are unvaccinated, partially vaccinated or vaccination status is unknown, you should consider wearing a face covering if physical distancing cannot be maintained
Returning to School and Work
When we return to school and work on Tuesday, October 12, it’s important that students and staff all remember to complete their daily COVID-19 school and child care screening, to determine if they should attend school or work.
If you experience any COVID-19 symptoms, you should immediately self-isolate and seek testing. Anyone who is sick or develops any symptoms of illness, including those not listed in the school and child care screening tool, should stay home and seek an assessment from their health care provider, if needed.
Learn more about celebrating safely during COVID-19.