General News

SMDHU launches new COVID-19 risk level update

October 13, 2022   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit has developed a new way to communicate the current risk level of COVID-19 in its coverage communities along with information on how to stay protected.

The information will be available on SMDHU’s website, and is based on five indicators, including percent positivity of PCR tests, local cases, hospitalizations, institutional outbreaks, and wastewater surveillance. The indicators are monitored weekly.

Together, these indicators produce the current overall COVID-19 risk level in communities within the Health District. The risk level will be communicated as lower, moderate, high, or very high.

Each risk level is explained on the website and guidance is provided about risk situations and what individuals can do to protect themselves and others from the virus and getting seriously ill.

“As the virus continues to spread in our communities, we encourage everyone to be aware of the community risk level and to assess their own personal circumstances that could them at higher risk, and to take necessary precautions to protect themselves and others against COVID-19,” said Dr. Charles Gardner, SMDHU’s medical officer of health. “The more layers of protection you take against COVID-19, the more your personal risk can decrease. Individuals may choose to wear a mask, physically distance, socialize outdoors, and limit social contacts based on factors such as their own health status, whether they have received all recommended doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, and the health and vaccine status of close contacts.”

Layers of protection include simple, yet crucial actions, an individual can take to help stop the spread of the virus. These include staying home if you have symptoms, wearing a face mask based on your assessment of risk or when required, and staying up to date with vaccinations.

Currently the risk assessment for Simcoe Muskoka is ‘moderate.’

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