As respiratory illness season approaches, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) is resuming the use of its COVID-19 Community Risk Level to provide information to help people in our communities make better-informed decisions about how they can best protect themselves and others from transmission and severe illness due to COVID-19.
As of Sept. 21, the current overall risk for Simcoe Muskoka is moderate.
The COVID-19 Community Risk Level is based on five indicators (percent positivity of PCR tests, local cases, hospitalizations, institutional outbreaks, and wastewater surveillance) that are monitored weekly. Together, these indicators make up the current overall COVID-19 risk level in our community as one of the following levels: lower (caution), moderate, high, or very high. Each risk level is explained, and guidance is provided about assessing personal and situational risks.
The health unit recommends that individuals be aware of the community risk level and to assess their own personal circumstances that could put them at higher risk, and to take necessary precautions to protect themselves and others against COVID-19. Simple, yet crucial actions such as using layers of protection that include staying home if you have symptoms, wearing a face mask based on your assessment of risk or when required, and staying up to date with your COVID-19 vaccinations can help stop the spread of COVID-19.
If you have COVID‑19 symptoms and are at a higher risk of severe illness, you should get tested for COVID‑19 (by molecular or rapid antigen test) and seek care as soon as possible as you may benefit from available COVID‑19 treatment. The oral medication must be taken within the first five days of symptom onset.
Individuals are encouraged to add more protective actions as personal, situational and community risk increases. The COVID-19 community risk level will be updated each Thursday by 2 p.m. and will be available at smdhu.org.
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