Small Outbreaks Expected as Part of Stage 3

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The Vice President of Clinical Care at Windsor Regional Hospital is giving us an idea of what to expect when Windsor-Essex is able to move to Stage 3 of the province's reopening framework.

Stage 3 includes the reopening of gyms and movie theatres, as well as dining inside restaurants and bars and because of that, Karen Riddell says don't be alarmed if the number of cases of COVID-19 increases slightly.

"All of those activities are increasing the risk of potential exposure," she says. "So, I think we can expect to see clusters of hopefully small outbreaks."

Speaking on AM800’s The Morning Drive, Riddell says if and when small outbreaks occur, there are important steps to take.

"Get early identification of those clusters, rapid contact tracing and isolation of cases so that we keep them small,” she says. “We want to keep little small fires and not have a wildfire breakout like we've seen in the United States."

When the provincial government announces that Windsor-Essex can advance to Stage 3, Riddell says it will be important to take things slowly and maintain public health measures.

"Wearing masks when we're not able to socially distance when we're out and shopping and doing those other activities where we're not socially distanced. If you are high risk, you should still be taking additional precautions, so anybody over the age of 65 and if you have underlying medical conditions."

Only Windsor-Essex, the Greater Toronto and Hamilton areas and the Niagara Region are barred from entering Stage 3.

The province's top doctor, Dr. David Williams says he's hoping another week of data will clear the way for excluded regions to open up soon, saying he hopes Stage 3 will be in place province-wide by the end of July.