“In recent days, that decline has ended and hospitalizations have increased again. More generally, COVID-19 continues to circulate widely and there is still substantial risk.” – Public Health, Niagara, Ontario
A Message from Niagara Region’s Public Health Department
Posted March 22nd, 2022 on Niagara At Large
Niagara, Ontario – Thanks largely to our community’s hard work around limiting social interactions and getting vaccinated, we’ve seen COVID-19 hospitalizations decline in our community, allowing the reopening that we are now enjoying.
However, in recent days, that decline has ended and hospitalizations have increased again. More generally, COVID-19 continues to circulate widely and there is still substantial risk at this time. Even with limitations on testing, we are seeing large numbers of cases every day; the true number of infections is likely still higher than in any previous wave.
While wearing masks is no longer mandatory in many settings starting today, Public Health strongly recommends everyone who can to continue wearing masks for the next few weeks while COVID-19 infections remain high.
While masks protect our self from infection, even more importantly they protect everyone around us, especially those who are more vulnerable. Masks work best at keeping us safe when everyone is wearing them, not just those who are at greater risk. By continuing to wear masks over the next several weeks, even if we ourselves are not at great risk, we will protect our friends, family, loved ones and fellow citizens who are at much more risk.
Everyone is also reminded that while most mask mandates in the province are ending, masks are still required by the province in –
* Public transit
* Health care settings
* Long-term care and retirement homes
* Congregate care settings
Masks are also still required if
* You are infected with COVID-19 but are on day 6-10 of your infection and have been released from self-isolation
* You are a contact of a confirmed case but are not required to isolate
We also strongly support any organization that continues masking policies. Such policies will protect employees and clients, and allow our organizations to operate without interruption.
For businesses and organizations who still wish to continue with masking in indoor spaces Public Health has updated signage available that can be printed and used <https://niagararegion.ca/health/covid-19/resources.aspx>.
After vaccination, masks are the best protection we still have against COVID-19.
Science overwhelmingly shows it reduces our risk by more than half; and even greater protection if we wear higher quality medical masks, with the best protection from N95 or similar respirators.
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