The Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) announced Monday that as COVID-19 cases continue to rise throughout the region, it is requesting the community do their part in reducing the spread.
Since April 4, the MLHU has reported 768 COVID-19 cases and three additional COVID-19-related deaths.
According to the MLHU, the current level of COVID-19 activity in the region is as high as it’s been during the pandemic, excluding January’s Omicron surge. Wastewater analysis shows an increase in COVID-19 viral load, and the MLHU adds that as the public returns to pre-pandemic activities, plus the loosening of masking requirements, the current risk of contracting COVID-19 remains “very high.”
During a press conference Monday afternoon, MLHU Medical Officer of Health Dr. Alex Summers said that the province has challenging decisions to make, but added that the MLHU does not have the authority to enact Section 22 powers (which refers to authorizing health orders like masking or capacity limits), and that the province has made their decision based on available information.
“What I can comment on though is that certainly masking will reduce transmission, and therefore in order to protect yourself and those around you, I strongly recommend the use of masks at this time in indoor publicly accessible environments,” he says.
When regarding mandatory masking at school boards, Summers said, “school boards will have a better understanding of their ability to institute mandatory masking relative to the decisions of the ministry education and I would defer questions about that to them.”
The MLHU recommends the public do the following in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19:
- Wear a mask in enclosed public spaces.
- Ensure you are up to date on all recommended doses of COVID-19 vaccine, including a booster dose for those 12 and older and a second booster (fourth dose) for those who are 60 and older.
- Stay home if you feel unwell or develop any COVID-19 symptoms.
- If you test positive for COVID-19, self-isolate and stay at home for at least five days after the positive test.
- Consider your risk and the risk of others when you make plans to gather, and consider having smaller gatherings or holding events outside.
Meanwhile, the Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance announced today that it has updated their COVID-19 protections as cases continue to rise.
South West hospitals will maintain current masking requirements indefinitely for all individuals entering their facilities and the screening of all individuals entering hospital facilities will continue. COVID-19 immunization policies that require that all new midwives, physicians, staff, volunteers and contractors to be vaccinated to continue.
— With files from CTV London’s Marek Sutherland.