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Monday, November 16, 2020 | 4:30 p.m. | Windsor-Essex County

ProtectAs we continue to progress through the COVID-19 pandemic, we have and will continue to experience fluctuations in the number of cases in our community. The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) is reminding all residents of Windsor and Essex County (WEC) to do their part to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by following these public health measures:

  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Maintain a physical distance of 2 metres from others
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol based hand sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Use a non-medical face mask when physical distancing is not possible
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or use the inside of your elbow when you cough or sneeze

The WEC region has seen cases of COVID acquired in our community. The WECHU is recommending that you limit your close contacts to household members whenever possible and avoid attending gatherings. Attending gatherings with people you do not live with increases your risk of acquiring COVID-19.

Gatherings are currently restricted regardless of stage and enforceable by law under the Reopening Ontario Act (ROA).

Currently, our region remains in Stage 3 and has moved to the “Yellow-Protect” level of the province’s graduated system of restrictions. This means that unorganized public events and gatherings, including social events, barbecues, or private parties, are limited to 10 people indoors, or 25 people outdoors. For those organized public events or gatherings such as meetings, conventions, or other events which may take place within a convention centre, hotel, or banquet hall attendance would be limited to 50 people indoors, and 100 people outdoors, with appropriate public health measures in place. Capacity limits are also in place for smaller spaces or venues to ensure the amount of people is restricted to the amount which can safely maintain two metres of physical distancing between all attendees at a given time.

For months, the WECHU has recommended face coverings in those situations where people cannot maintain 2 metres of physical distancing between themselves and others. This is especially important in large crowds and public settings wherein multiple attendees are not wearing face coverings.

The WECHU recognizes individuals’ right to protest. Protests and demonstrations should be conducted in a manner that complies with the Reopening Ontario Act, and the recommendations of the local Medical Officer of Health to ensure everyone’s safety and limit the potential transmission of COVID-19 in our community. These recommendations include:

  • Limiting the size of public demonstrations to align with gathering limits under the ROA. For organized public events this is no more than 100 people outdoors;
  • Ensure that individuals maintain 2 metres physical distancing at all times;
  • Wear a face covering if 2 metre physical distancing is not possible;
  • Cough or sneeze into your sleeve or tissue;
  • Wash hands regularly with soap and water or alcohol based hand sanitizer; and
  • Stay home if you are ill.

The WECHU, police services and local bylaw work together to provide an enforcement approach which prioritizes the safety of those in the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizers of high-risk activities must do their part to ensure all safety precautions and requirements are followed.

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