This stage of the pandemic requires understanding: York Region MOH


Proof of vaccination and capacity limits for most businesses are now a thing of the past, with York Region’s medical officer of health stresses the need for understanding in this next phase of the pandemic.

Dr. Barry Pakes said that even though the changes come with excitement and an urgency to get back to normal for many people, others may be slower to adjust.

“My key message is, and hope people take it to heart, is to be understanding for each other. People have had different experiences of the pandemic.”

As the province moves into this next stage, Dr. Pakes said caution is key.

“The main concerns that I have are those that everyone does have in the population, and it’s, are we doing the right thing? And I think overall the indicators are looking favourably.”

HOSPITALIZATIONS

Since early February, hospitalizations in York Region have dropped significantly, based on data.

Dr. Pakes explained that in late 2021 and into the new year, COVID-19 transmission was surging, and the virus found vulnerable people and those unvaccinated leading to an increase in hospitalizations.

“Those hospitalizations continue to decrease, and part of that is decreased transmission, thanks to vaccination and continued measures and the fact that many people have been infected.”

He noted that there’s no way to be sure if there will be another spike in hospitalizations, so he encourages people to get their booster shots to help prevent it.

LIVING WITH COVID-19

Several doctors, and the province, have used the phrase “learn to live with COVID” as we move forward.

Dr. Pakes said to live safely in a world with COVID-19 means to be vigilant and noted that the phrase refers to an endemic disease that’s not coming and going regularly.

“COVID is not over but learning to live with it, meaning not being fearful about daily interactions while still being careful, particularly for those most at risk,” he said.

“The main concerns that I have are those that everyone does have in the population, and it’s, are we doing the right thing? And I think overall the indicators are looking favourably,” said Dr. Pakes.


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