As COVID-19 restrictions loosen in the province, positive COVID-19 cases in Thompson have increased slowly but steadily since the winter holidays. begging the question: where is the transmission within our community taking place?
Last week, the City of Thompson sat down with NRHA officials and northern leaders to discuss where our current cases are coming from.
Although several cases have been reported among students of local schools, the NRHA has noted that all of these cases have been acquired outside of the classroom. Currently public health officials have seen no evidence of transmission within schools.
Transmission downtown, including among Thompson’s homeless residents, has also remained low.
Rather, contact tracing by the NRHA has determined that the largest source of infections so far is visitation against public health orders: people visiting each other in homes that they are not supposed to.
Home visitation carries a number of risk factors: close quarters in smaller rooms, poor ventilation, common surfaces and sustained contact all contribute to the high likelihood of spread due to residential visits, compounded by the likelihood that people remove their masks at home.
WE have the power to turn the tide.
Whether we’re placed on lockdown or free to roam our gyms and stores, the fundamental guidelines haven’t changed since the fall.
- Wear your mask properly indoors. Make sure it covers *all* of your face holes.
- Give your peers space and limit close contact to what is absolutely necessary.
- Send only *one* household member shopping. Plan your grocery trips so you need them less often.
- Wash your hands properly, for 20 full seconds, or use hand sanitizer if you can’t.
- Limit your contacts. Don’t throw parties. Meet your friends outside if you have to.
Restrictions are loosening. Now what?
It’s important to remember that just because restrictions are loosening does not mean that we can abuse them without consequences. If we do abuse them, they will be tightened back up in short order.
Though we have more freedom to take part in the activities we love, it’s important enjoy them responsibly. This means making decisions like:
- Eating at home today, so you can eat out when you have that really, really bad day;
- Doing body weight and free weight exercises for simple muscle groups at home, and saving the gym for more specialized exercises;
- Meeting your friends outside for a walk, so you can visit them at home sooner.
- Plan an outdoor photo shoot, instead of in a studio.
Enjoying public life in moderation will allow Manitoba to control the pandemic, and keep restrictions to a minimum. Most importantly though, enjoying public life in moderation helps prevent us from getting COVID-19, and passing it on to someone else.