The detection of COVID-19 in Ontario-wide wastewater levels are high. There is some regional variation, in that tests reveal increases in the south of the province and decreases in the north. Regardless of trending directions, levels are still high everywhere that reports results. Wastewater is a leading indicator for the spread COVID-19, so this lets us know that COVID-19 is in our communities.
Percent positivity is also high at just over 19% positivity. That means that of those who qualify for a Covid test, 19% are positive for Covid. Again, regardless of trending levels, this is a high percent positivity. There is concern that upcoming holiday gatherings may encourage spread if not done safely.
And it isn’t just Covid that’s circulating: influenza and RSV are both in the community & increasing, too. Covid may be (on average) the most severe respiratory disease of the three, but influenza and RSV can be severe, too. Please utilize OHCOW’s resources to plan safer gatherings if you are getting together indoors!
OHCOW's Covid & Infectious disease Reference Team (CIRT) recommends the following to ensure safer holiday gatherings.
- Stay home if you’re sick.
- For those gathering, check out OHCOW’s Practical Solutions to reduce your risk by: masking in public (of course respirators are best); and cleaning the air by opening windows, using HEPA purifiers, or using a DIY air cleaner (OHCOW instructions are found here).
- While the free rapid test program has ended, many pharmacies still have free rapid test kits available in their stock. Guidelines on when, how, and how many times to test are found here. Yes, you may need to test twice to be certain.
- If you have Covid, talk to a healthcare provider to see if an antiviral is right for you.
- And don’t hesitate to seek medical attention if you have any symptoms that worry/concern you.