Can a mother’s day parade in a car spread COVID-19?
How many more cases will arise after the province has relaxed the rules limiting gatherings?
Evaluating the risk of transmitting the virus versus economic or mental well-being for anything from a birthday parade in a car to a provincial decision to release controls is part of life for the next two years, said Wednesday the medical officer of health of the region.
Dr. Charles Gardner said there are both pros and cons to the parade trend which sees groups of people in their cars passing in front of someone’s house for a birthday surprise or party. hospital to say thank you to frontline workers.
“I can certainly see that people are looking for ways to socialize and connect and meet our basic need to be in touch with those we love,” said Gardner. “I can see why people want to do this. “
However, he says there may be problems beyond the traffic it would create.
“People cannot assemble outside their vehicles or within two meters of other people or in crowds of more than five people,” said Gardner. “Getting out of the vehicle before and after could be a problem.”
If infection control measures are observed, Gardner said it is possible that a car parade is a safe activity, and that would likely go a long way for the mental health of the person receiving the parade and the people who parade it. give.
Gardner recently discussed the impact of restraint and isolation on people’s mental health and well-being. He says he cares not only for people living in retirement homes, but also for those who live alone.
He encouraged exercise and the outdoors as long as people maintained adequate physical distance and handwashing.
“I think it is inevitable that we need to relax (the controls) because there is a cost to all of us to have these controls in place,” said Gardner. “There are economic costs and costs to our mental health, well-being and quality of life.”
Yet in the Simcoe-Muskoka region today, 16 new cases have been reported by the health unit, five of which were linked to an outbreak of long-term care. Two deaths were also reported today, the two residents of Simcoe-Muskoka long-term care homes.
Three new cases have been reported in Collingwood, although no new cases have been confirmed since April 29.
Ontario today reported 412 new laboratory-confirmed cases and 68 deaths.
“The curve doesn’t go up, but it doesn’t go down steadily either, so we have to continue with the checks,” said Gardner.
The Province of Ontario has released a framework, but not a timeline, to relax existing public health measures. When it will be safe to do so, said Gardner without a vaccine or mass vaccination, is never completely safe.
“Relaxing these controls is not without risk,” he said. “We continue to have community transmission … (the province) will have to be careful what it relaxes and how it does it.”
Gardner added that there should be surveillance to detect “failures” in infection control, and a mechanism in place to reapply controls in the event of a large increase.