This holiday season, Public Health Sudbury & Districts is reminding everyone to reduce the risk of getting or spreading COVID-19. Celebrate the holidays a little differently this year and do your part to keep our communities safe!
“For many, the holiday season is a time to celebrate with family and friends. While it’s important stay connected, this year is unlike any other. Show your holiday spirit by taking steps to keep your loved ones and our communities safe,” said Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, Medical Officer of Health with Public Health Sudbury & Districts. “The sacrifices we make today mean a healthier tomorrow and a return to the traditions we love. This season, be kind, be patient, and remember, this pandemic is not a forever-thing.”
Many traditional holiday celebrations put us at a higher risk of getting or spreading the COVID-19 virus. We encourage everyone to find ways to apply public health measures and still have a happy holiday season. Follow provincial recommendations (Government of Ontario) and local recommendations to celebrate safely.
Limiting contacts and in-person interactions reduces the risk of spreading COVID-19. Keep close contact for the people you live with and limit non-essential gatherings.
Consider the following ideas to celebrate this year:
- Be active outdoors! Instead of gathering indoors, take advantage of the season and enjoy hiking, skating, skiing, or snowshoeing with loved ones. Go for a walk with your household members and admire holiday decorations at a distance.
- Host a virtual party. Set up video chats with friends and family members who can’t celebrate in-person. Host a virtual holiday greeting, concert, or an ornament decorating contest.
- Share a meal remotely. You can compare culinary creations and swap recipes.
- Have fun with decorations or create fun crafts for the holidays.
- If you have a tradition of playing games or participating in gift exchanges, remember you can still do these activities at a distance. Send cards or gifts ahead of time and open them at the same time virtually.
- If you must gather, remember to be COVID-safe. Practise physical distancing and wear a mask if you’re with anyone you do not live with. This is critical to protecting your family, friends, and community.
Avoid non-essential holiday travel
The holidays often bring people together but this year, try to keep it virtual. COVID-19 is still circulating at different levels around the province and country. Ontarians are strongly encouraged to limit all non-essential travel and consider non-travel related celebrations.
For those who need, or choose, to travel:
- practise physical distancing
- wear a mask when distancing isn’t possible
- wash your hands frequently
- do not travel if you are sick and get tested if you have symptoms of COVID-19
- monitor yourself for symptoms when you travel and when you return
- self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival in Canada if you have travelled internationally
For anyone travelling this holiday season, talk with your family about what you have been doing in the 14 days before travelling. Try to reduce your number of close contacts for the two weeks before you go and after you return. Please postpone your trip if you feel unwell. Think about how you can celebrate with loved ones in a way that protects everyone.
This year, get creative and consider alternatives to traditional celebrations. Ask yourself how you can make your activity fun and COVID-safe. Our choices this holiday season are critical to keeping our schools, workplaces, and communities open and safe. We all have a role to play.
For more information or if you have questions, please visit www.phsd.ca/COVID-19. Stay connected with our Facebook and Twitter pages or call Public Health Sudbury & Districts at 705.522.9200 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200).