Slow opening of economy doesn't mean relaxing health recommendations, officials say
WINDSOR, ONT. -- As the promise of returning to a ‘new normal’ grows across the county, health officials remind residents now is not the time to start easing up on current social restrictions.
The Ontario Medical Association issued a release Friday recommending that public health measures continue to ensure the safe reopening of the province, and avoid a second wave of COVID-19.
“You get cooped up in the home it gets frustrating,” resident Peter Froese said.
Residents are taking the slow reopening of the economy as a sign of hope, and many are looking forward to soothing that cabin fever.
“If everything else is normal and nobody displaying any symptoms, heck, I'd like to see my grandchildren once in a while,” said Gene Dennis.
With grocery stores having proven social distancing models work, residents feel that model could be applied, to a certain extent, elsewhere.
“I don't think there should a relaxation of the social distancing rules but I think they should relax in terms of the ability for family members to not be able to enjoy each other’s company,” Dennis said.
Not everyone agrees.
"When they open it up it's just going to get worse so I would like to see it stay as it is for at least another couple of months,” Mary Hawker said.
The numbers of new cases have slowly decreased since the beginning of the month. In the last week there have been 68 new cases and three deaths locally.
The week before that there were 81 positive cases and five deaths. Nevertheless, some feel the status quo should continue when it comes to seeing family and friends.
“You don't know if somebody goes to see someone and goes to see someone else and then they all get together,” Hawker said. “All it takes is one person.”
While Chief Medical Officer Dr. Wajid Ahmed says it’s important for people to go out - congregating, especially in large gatherings, is “still a no.”
He says there are ongoing discussions about easing social restrictions at some point.
“The expectation is, as we are gradually opening the businesses, there'd definitely be considerations on making some of these flexibilities to allow people to meet their families first and then friends,” Ahmed said.
It all comes down to timing, and Ahmed says right now is not the time to be lax on the social policy.
He urges residents to continue practicing the current health recommendations and avoid risky situations where possible.