Life seems almost back to normal but it’s not quite – Covid is still with us. At a media briefing today, Dr. Natalie Bocking of the HKPR Health Unit provided an update. We are now in a seventh wave or a third Omicron wave – caused by the BA-5 variant. As usually the case with new variants, it’s more infectious and more easily transmissible but does not cause worse symptoms. Cases in our area are not (yet) at previous levels but we need to be cautious – especially if susceptible such as older or with an immune condition. Dr. Bocking recommends vaccination protection, staying home if sick (at all), avoiding large indoor gatherings and use rapid testing to check. However, the Province is not expected to re-impose any limits.
So far not all those eligible have had a second booster – only 59% – and today, the Province announced eligibility will be extended to anyone over the age of 18 who received the first booster 5 months ago (or more). Dr. Bocking said that although infections are still possible, vaccines prevent serious illness and help prevent “long-covid”.
Indicators of the disease are:
- Number of Outbreaks – currently 4 – there were 23 at the peak. List here.
- Sewage testing in Cobourg and Lindsay – currently much lower than at peak. Report here.
Vaccines for children 5 and under are expected to be approved in Canada within the next week – vaccine supplies could take a month after that.
In summary (my words):
- It’s still with us
- Wear a mask at indoor events away from home
- Get vaccinated – including second booster
- If sick, stay home and get tested with a rapid test.
Hopefully Covid-19 will become just like flu – not good but possible to live with it!