With the return of the colder weather and the recent rise in flu and other respiratory illnesses, the South Georgian Bay Ontario Health Team (SGB OHT), has put together some tips for keeping healthy now and through the upcoming holiday season. These tips will help keep you and those around you healthy and avoid further strain on our hospital resources.
“To the South Georgian Bay community, we need your help. I highly encourage you to get a new and improved Bivalent COVID-19 booster, especially those 60 and over with underlying medical problems. Getting one of the new Bivalent boosters will make a COVID infection much milder and keep you out of the ER or the hospital. I also strongly encourage you to get your influenza shot,” says Dr. Mark Quigg, Family Physician. “We need your help again to get through what is going to be a very difficult winter. It truly is “your best shot” for a healthy winter.”
Watch this video from Dr. Quigg where he shares more tips for keeping healthy this winter: https://youtu.be/ZYuoPFViO1k
Many clinics are offering both flu shots and COVID-19 vaccine and booster doses and you can often get them both at the same time. Flu shots are availablethrough your family doctor. If you do not have a doctor, you can dial 2-1-1 or book an appointment at a pharmacy. To book your flu shot or learn more visit: www.southgeorgianbayoht.ca/flu-shot-clinics. COVID-19 vaccines and vaccine booster doses are available through community clinics, pop-up and GO-VAXX bus clinics and through pharmacy vaccine locations. You can ask your family doctor about getting your COVID-19 vaccine or vaccine booster dose or visit the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit vaccination webpage to find out where to get yours: www.simcoemuskokahealth.org//Topics/COVID-19/GettingVaccinated.
In addition to getting your COVID-19 vaccine, including vaccine booster doses, and flu shot, simple measures such as staying at home when you feel sick, washing your hands frequently, using hand sanitizer when hand washing isn’t possible, coughing or sneezing into your elbow, and avoiding touching your face can help keep you healthy.
When gathering indoors, it’s important to ensure proper ventilation like opening a window to improve airflow or using an air purifier with a HEPA filter to decrease the risk of virus transmission. Additional measures such as ensuring you are getting enough sleep, exercising as well as eating well are other ways that can help you stay healthy.
Continuing to take precautions such as masking and social distancing when in crowded public places and when COVID cases are high in the community will also help keep you and those around you safe. The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit has developed a Community Risk Level to help determine the best ways to protect yourself and others from infection and illness. As the risk-level increases, adding more layers of protection will help decrease your chance of respiratory infections. A COVID-19, Cold, Flu and Respiratory Care Clinic is also available by appointment, for people experiencing COVID-19, cold, flu or other respiratory symptoms who would like to see a doctor or nurse practitioner. Learn more: www.southgeorgianbayoht.ca