The Medical Officer of Health has written us all a letter

October 19th, 2020

Dr Meghani at news conference Hamilton

Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region Medical Officer of Health

To the Halton community:
Cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in Halton and without a doubt we are firmly in a second wave of the pandemic. I know that we have asked a lot of you over the past several months and COVID-19 fatigue is very real.

We cannot let our guards down. The time to take collective action is now in order to prevent a much worse scenario and stricter measures in the future. COVID-19 has no borders and we need to work together to stop the spread. It is out of concern for our community that I am strongly recommending that all residents take the following steps immediately:

Limit close contact to people within your household. This means minimizing interactions with people who don’t live in your house, including dining at restaurants and other social gatherings.

Limit non-essential activities. This means trying to stick to essential activities as much as possible such as going to school or work (if you work outside of your home) and using online delivery services for errands when possible.

As always, when you are in public keep a physical distance of two metres (six feet) from those outside of your household, wear a mask when physical distancing is a challenge or when required, wash and sanitize your hands frequently and please stay home if you are sick, even if you have mild cold-like symptoms.

We have learned that many cases are linked to private social gatherings and group activities. We know there is a greater risk of transmitting COVID-19 in particular situations and settings where individuals have close contact with one another, often without a mask and for prolonged periods of time. While Public Health values physical activity and participation in sport, we must take a balanced approach to reduce transmission. To control the spread of the virus, I am also recommending:

Limit all team sports to training only, with proper physical distancing between players and no scrimmages or games. 

Suspend all indoor fitness classes.I know this may be difficult to adjust to as fitness and sports are an important part of our routines and help us stay positive through these challenging times.

Please consider other ways to stay active such as online fitness classes for all ages, runs, walks or hikes, or play an outdoor game with people in your household.

Dine at restaurants with people in your household only. I also encourage residents to order take-out or use meal delivery services to continue to support local businesses.

These recommendations are not provincial orders and will not be enforced. While I am strongly recommending residents take these steps, I understand that these may take time to adopt and may not happen overnight. It is my hope that everyone follows these recommendations to the extent possible to protect one another and stop cases from rising in our community. We all have a choice to make right now –between what we want to do and what we need to do.

We still have time to reduce the severity of this second wave, but we need your help to achieve this. We did it before and we can do it again. Thank you to everyone for staying in this together, taking this seriously and above all for being kind to one another. Please continue to visit the latest information on cases and public health guidance.

Yours in health,
Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region Medical Officer of Health

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3 comments to The Medical Officer of Health has written us all a letter

  • Don Fletcher

    I have not been a fan of public heath’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic, which I nave viewed as far too broad & restrictive to compensate for their being late. Dr. Meghani previously issued a very detailed legal document threatening $5k fines for any of those who had not complied with quarantening rules, which was really “over the top” officious. This letter on the other hand seems to me to be a genuine attempt by Dr. Meghani to reason with the people of Halton to be overly cautious now to avoid greater restrictions later, and what is so wrong with that?

  • Maggie Steiss

    Who is paying the MOH to write this fear mongering, inaccurate drivel.

    Editor’s note: Actually Ms Steiss – you are.

  • Greg

    I don’t feel like the Region’s Medical Officer of Health (or our Mayor) have credibility with the public on COVID-19. The City to cues from the MOH in the early days which was just to do nothing. Our City has cut every service they possibly could and spent more than the they planned. The absence of leadership should have the people of Burlington really upset. Writing a letter at this point is silly.

    Just put out a very detailed list of restrictions with a good frequently asked question section.