le Lundi 5 Décembre 2022
le Mercredi 5 octobre 2022 17:32 Reflet-News (Russell-Embrun-Casselman)

Dr Roumeliotis pens letter to public about state of COVID

Dr Roumeliotis released a letter to the public, reminding them about the new provincial guidelines and congratulating them on their efforts thus far.  — file photo
Dr Roumeliotis released a letter to the public, reminding them about the new provincial guidelines and congratulating them on their efforts thus far.
file photo
Dr. Paul Roumeliotis reminded the public about the new provincial guidelines and expressed his heartfelt thanks to the community.

In a letter to the general public, Dr. Paul Roumeliotis of the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) urged members of the public to continue taking precautions against COVID-19, as they will not only help guard against the spread of COVID, but other respiratory illnesses as well. He also reminded everyone that the Ministry of Health recently updated its guidelines for those who test positive or develop symptoms.

The province is instructing those with COVID-19 symptoms to stay home while sick, regardless of test results. Respiratory symptoms must be improving for at least 24 hours, and gastro-intestinal symptoms must be improving for at least 48 hours, before they can go out again. Individuals must continue masking for 10 days from the time they got sick, and they must also avoid non-essential visits to high-risk settings and individuals for 10 days.

Those who test positive for COVID-19 but don’t have any symptoms should wear a mask in public and avoid high-risk settings and individuals for 10 days from the time they test positive. They aren’t required to isolate themselves, however.

Those who have been in close contact from confirmed COVID-19 cases don’t need to isolate anymore, regardless of their vaccination status. They do need to mask and avoid high-risk settings and individuals for 10 days from last exposure, and if symptoms develop they must immediately isolate.

“Staying up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines remains the best way to protect yourself and others from serious illness caused by COVID-19,” Roumeliotis said in his letter. “The greater the number of people who stay up to date, the more we can prevent the transmission of COVID-19 in our communities and protect the most vulnerable, such as individuals in long-term care homes and retirement homes.”

He also reminded everyone that the bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccine is now available for all Ontarians aged 18 and up. It protects against the original strain and the Omicron BA.1 variant of COVID, and preliminary studies suggest it may also protect against the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants.

Finally, he reminded parents that getting their children vaccinated can help prevent serious illness and long COVID. The first two doses are available to children between the ages of 6 months to 4 years old, and children ages 5 to 11 can get their third dose as well.

“I want to thank all of you for doing your part to keep your loved ones and our communities safe throughout the pandemic. Without a doubt, it has been a challenging time. However, the situation today is much different than it was in early 2020,” he said. “As a result of the vaccines and natural infections, we now have greater community immunity. We also have access to antiviral treatments to prevent severe illness in vulnerable individuals who contract COVID-19. Although the pandemic is not yet over, I am glad to say that with these layers of protection and the precautionary measures mentioned above, we are well equipped to continue on our path towards a more normal life.”