Thinking about throwing off the face mask after that second dose? Here’s what Simcoe Muskoka needs to know – .

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Thinking about throwing off the face mask after that second dose? Here’s what Simcoe Muskoka needs to know – .


BARRIE, ONT. – Almost 22% of residents of Simcoe Muskoka have received both COVID-19 vaccines, and as of Monday, every adult 18 years and older who has received a first dose of mRNA is eligible to be fully vaccinated.

So, once residents are fully immunized, can face masks finally be a thing of the past?

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, fully immunized residents will be able to leave the face mask at home more often.

The agency said that while all residents must continue to follow public health guidelines, restrictions may ease for those who have both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.

WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

In an information board, the agency says vaccination status does not matter when a person encounters fully vaccinated people in a small group outdoors; therefore, no face mask for physical distancing is required.

For small indoor groups where everyone present is fully immunized, there is no need to wear a mask or keep your distance.

A fully vaccinated person may ditch the face shield when attending a large outdoor gathering where vaccination status is unknown among those present. But anyone who hasn’t had both doses should mask themselves.

Face masks are suggested for concert-like environments, regardless of vaccination status.

Additionally, the agency noted that anyone who may have added health risks should maintain personal safety measures.

Currently, 64% of residents of Simcoe Muskoka have received their first injection.

CONCERNS OF THE FOURTH WAVE OF THE DELTA VARIANT

The Simcoe Muskoka medical officer of health said he expected the Delta variant to dominate COVID-19 cases in the region and even in the province.

“It’s important to assume that the shift to Delta’s dominance among COVID-19 cases is happening all over our district,” Gardner said earlier this week. “Because it is more transmissible, it will become more dominant throughout the province,” he noted.

New federal COVID-19 modeling released on Friday indicates that the Delta variant poses a real risk of a winter resurgence.

Despite information released by the Public Health Agency of Canada days before the province enters Stage 2 of its reopening plans, Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam recommends maintain individual protection measures, such as wearing masks, regardless of vaccination status.

With files from The Canadian Press

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