Going to New Year’s gatherings when sick ‘puts everyone at risk’, warns Ottawa Public Health

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Avoid the holidays this weekend if you are sick, Ottawa Public Health warned alongside an update indicating “high levels” of influenza, COVID-19 and respiratory syncytial virus circulating in the capital.

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« Many of you will have gatherings planned in the coming days, including New Year’s Eve celebrations, » the health unit said Thursday with its weekly « snapshot » of respiratory virus activity.

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“We know you look forward to these events (and) that it can be difficult for your friends (and) family to cancel.

« But if you’re sick, attending a rally puts everyone at risk. »

People should also wear a mask and screen themselves for symptoms “every time” if they visit an elderly person or a long-term care or retirement home, OPH said. The health unit recommends wearing a properly fitted mask in crowded indoor settings like malls and theaters, a flu shot and stay up to date on COVID-19 vaccines.

Overall, influenza activity was down in Thursday’s update based on sewage monitoring, percentage of positive lab tests and outbreaks in health care facilities, while the Both COVID-19 and other respiratory virus activity were similar to the previous week, OPH said.

The latest statistics from Ottawa Public Health on the virus situation in the city. Photo by OPS /.jpg

There were 1,174 respiratory-related trips to hospital emergency departments among 6,516 total visits during the week beginning Dec. 18, OPH reported. Visits for respiratory illnesses included 391 from children aged three and under and 205 from children aged four to 11.

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