Smaller holiday gatherings urged as local COVID-19 cases still rising

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The COVID-19 pandemic may once again play the role of holiday Grinch.

Rising case counts and the seemingly inevitable arrival of the Omicron variant have the Middlesex-London Health Unit asking people to keep their gatherings small this December.

“There are no further public health restrictions right now,” Acting Medical Officer of Health Dr. Alex Summers told a media briefing. “However, cases are going up (and) it’s the holiday season. It’s time to keep gatherings smaller than you would normally keep them.”

Dr. Summers is watching the effectiveness of recent public health measures enacted in other parts of Ontario including Kingston, Sudbury, and Sault Ste. Marie, and the neighbouring Southwestern Public Health.

“We’ll be monitoring to see which ones are working, and if that will be necessary in our region,” he explains.

Among those smaller group gathering indoors over the holidays, Summers adds that who gets invited may be just as important as how many.

“Please, please, make sure those who you spend time with are fully vaccinated,” said Summers.