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Holiday health means planning ahead

Holiday health means planning ahead


‘We’re already seeing our local flu and COVID-19 cases increase, including some with severe disease’

The holidays are prime time for respiratory viruses like COVID-19, flu and respiratory syncytial says the Health Unit and you should be on guard when attending Christmas events.

“We typically see an increase in respiratory illnesses leading up to, and following the winter holidays,” explains Dr. Carol Zimbalatti, Medical Officer of Health. “Some simple preventative steps before and during the festive season can keep the holidays healthier for everyone.”

Zimbalatti gives some tips to help stay healthy during the holidays:

  • If you’re six months and older, and haven’t already, get your flu or COVID-19 vaccines. The vaccines are safe and an easy way to help keep yourself and those around you healthy.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or sanitize often with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Consider wearing a mask in public, such as in grocery stores, at large gatherings, and in crowded settings like public transit and planes and congregate care settings.
  • When you do cough or sneeze, do so into a tissue or your elbow and then wash or sanitize your hands.
  • Whether or not you test positive for COVID-19, if you’re feeling sick, and you’re able to do so, stay home. If you must go in public for essential reasons, wear a mask.

To not spoil holiday fun, have a backup plan in the event someone is sick. By going virtual, postponing, wearing a mask, or, taking the party outside, you help decrease the spread of viruses, keeping yourself and your family and friends healthy.

“We’re already seeing our local flu and COVID-19 cases increase, including some with severe disease,” explains Dr. Zimbalatti. “We hope that by planning ahead, the holidays can be full of cheer, not illness.”

If you are sick, and are able to, stay home to help prevent the spread of illness and follow the provincial guidelines. To get your COVID-19 or flu vaccine, visit at a participating pharmacy, or one of the Health Unit’s upcoming clinics:




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