HAMILTON, ON – With cases of COVID-19 on the rise in Hamilton and across Ontario, Hamilton’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, is echoing the announcement made by Premier Doug Ford earlier today and is recommending that residents move away from the concept of the “social circle” and limit close interactions to those within their households.

Trends in COVID-19 cases in Hamilton are showing that the virus is most commonly being transmitted at private social gatherings, in situations where people are not practicing appropriate physical distancing, and when people are not wearing masks indoors or in other settings where physical distancing is a challenge.

With businesses and schools reopening, and many residents returning to work, the concept of a social circle no longer reflects the reality of our daily lives, and are hard for individuals and families to stick to.

It’s important for people to carefully consider what kind of activities they are engaging in right now. Limiting your close social interactions to those who are within your household is the best way to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Gathering restrictions set by the province remain unchanged. However, it’s important to remember that guests at social gatherings should physically distance and remain two metres/six feet from all other guests outside their household.

Private unstaffed/unsupervised events or gatherings continue to have a limit of 10 people or less for indoor gatherings, and 25 people or less for outdoor gatherings. While holding gatherings of this size is legal, maintaining two metres (six feet) of physical distance from other guests is paramount.

As we enter the second wave of COVID-19 in Ontario, it is up to all of us to help prevent the spread of the disease. Residents can help reduce the transmission of COVID-19 in our community by:
• Washing hands frequently with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds
• Staying home if sick, self-isolating from others and getting tested;
• Keeping a physical distance of at least two metres from others in your group, unless they are household members
• Wearing a mask or face covering in an enclosed space, especially in settings where it is difficult to maintain a physical distance from others
• Meeting up outside and keeping gathering times short
• Taking extra precautions if people are elderly or have chronic health conditions.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
• www.hamilton.ca/coronavirus
• covid-19.ontario.ca
• Public Health Services’ COVID-19 Hotline: 905-974-9848 or phscovid19@hamilton.ca

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