Use personal discretion on mask-wearing when mandates are gone, says Windsor-Essex top doc


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Mask mandates are set to be lifted provincewide on March 21, save for certain settings — but that doesn’t prevent you from wearing a mask if you feel it’s appropriate, says the Windsor-Essex region’s Acting Medical Officer of Health.

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“From my perspective, just because something is not required doesn’t mean that one cannot do it. Especially if it benefits other people in the community,” said Dr. Shanker Nesathurai of the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit during a media briefing on Thursday.

While acknowledging that the pandemic is in a “quiescent” phase, locally and provincially, Nesathurai reiterated that masks help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“People have the right to assert their autonomy — and asserting their autonomy also includes the consideration of the health of other people,” Nesathurai said.

Nesathurai reminded the public that as the region moves forward and requirements change, people have the option of “using their discretion and acting in ways that can reduce the burden of disease on other members of the community.”

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DUPUIS AND NESATHURAI’S ADVICE CAME ON THE SAME DAY THAT TWO New Local Covid-19 Deaths Were Reported by The Health Unit.

The Recently Deceased Were described as a Man In His 50S and A Man In His 90s, Both of Whom Resided in the Community.

Their deaths bring the Windsor-Essex region’s overall COVID-19 death count to 585.

As of Thursday, the health unit counted 249 active “high risk” cases in Windsor-Essex, with 26 of those cases hospitalized and six under intensive care.

The health unit is monitoring 10 outbreak situations, five of them in long-term care facilities or retirement homes.

The region’s COVID-19 vaccination rate remains relatively unchanged: 82.9 per cent of all local residents ages five and older have received at least two doses.

Some 53.7 per cent of residents ages 18 and older have received a third dose/booster shot.

According to the health unit’s March 10 epidemiological summary, adolescents and teens (ages 12 to 17 years old) are the region’s lowest represented age category for third doses, with only 7.4 per cent coverage.

Dupuis said “it has never been easier” to obtain COVID-19 vaccination in Windsor, as the mass vaccination site at the Devonshire Mall is now operating on a walk-in basis.


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