It’s been just under one week since Ontario officially entered its first stage of their reopening framework, as healthcare leaders continue the fight against COVID-19.

Acting Medical Officer of Health for the Northwestern Health Unit, Dr. Ian Gemmill, offered his thoughts on the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

“Well, we have to reopen things because we can’t leave things locked down forever. We haven’t done this before, we’re still learning. I think we’re going to have to look at the various measures in various communities, to see what is actually the right way to do this.”

“Remember, we’re not trying to prevent individual infections. They are going to happen with this virus. What we’re trying to do, is open things up so we can keep things under control, and that we can make sure that our health services are there to treat them for this and other conditions.”

Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health will closely monitor the reopening situation to advise when certain public health restrictions, including adjustments to social gatherings, can be gradually loosened or tightened if need be.

Gemmill says that the businesses that have been allowed to reopen at this point are mostly outdoors, like golf courses, marinas, boat launches and retail services with storefront entrances, which is a good sign.

“We know that the chances of people being infected on an indoor basis, especially when there’s crowding and face-to-face interactions, these are the situations in which transmission is more likely.”

“The businesses that will probably have to wait, I hope, are things in which people are inside in close quarters, and places where individuals have to speak loudly, which allows the virus to be transmitted.”

Gemmill is reminding the public to always follow social and physical distancing measures, to always practice proper hand hygiene, and that travel within the northwestern Ontario is restricted to only essential purposes.

For more information:
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Ontario announces additional workplaces that can reopen