Take Easter celebrations outside, Ottawa's medical officer of health urges
Dr. Vera Etches is also urging people to assess their individual risk and the risk of those around them
As high levels of COVID-19 continue in the capital, Ottawa's medical officer of health is recommending that residents take any Easter celebrations outdoors, wear masks and open windows when indoors, and consider keeping gatherings small.
The message comes as Ottawa's coronavirus wastewater signal sits about three times higher than it did during the previous record-setting Omicron peak in January.
Dr. Vera Etches is also urging people to assess their individual risk and the risk of those around them when deciding to socialize, she wrote in an open letter Wednesday.
And people who are sick should not rely on COVID rapid tests to determine whether they can go out or not, because a negative rapid test result doesn't guarantee someone doesn't have COVID.
Anyone experiencing any symptoms of illness should stay home, even if the symptoms are more consistent with other viruses currently circulating in the community, such as gastrointestinal illness.
'In the middle of a significant wave'
"We are still in the middle of a significant wave and taking these precautions will help slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community," Etches wrote.
"Such measures will not always be needed, but are useful to go back to in times of high levels of COVID-19 in the community."
Etches also continues to call on residents to get every vaccine dose they're eligible for, as boosters "significantly reduce the risk of severe illness and lower the risk of transmission."
In a joint message Wednesday, the southeast region's hospital chiefs of staff and medical officers of health also recommended taking holiday celebrations outdoors or opening windows while indoors, among other measures.
The region includes Hastings County, Prince Edward County, Kingston, Brockville, Quinte, Leeds and Grenville, Perth, Smiths Falls, Lanark County, Frontenac County, and Lennox and Addington County.