Colby urges caution for Canada Day celebrations

·2 min read

As Ontario will move into Step 2 of the Reopening Roadmap just in time for Canada Day, caution is being urged regarding celebrations and moving into Step 3.

On June 30, Ontario will officially move into Step 2 of the Reopening Roadmap a few days earlier than anticipated.

While Chatham-Kent’s Medical Officer of Health supports the decision to move into Step 2, saying the higher COVID-19 vaccination rates and lower case numbers justify the move, he is still urging the population to be cautious for the holidays.

But Colby said despite agreeing with the decision to move to Step 2 he’s not alone when believing caution is key before moving into Step 3. He noted all of the provincial Medical Officers of Health are also advising the province to proceed with caution when it comes to the eventual move to Step 3, which would be tentatively set for 21 days after the move to Step 2.

Chatham-Kent alone has already met the province’s vaccination requirement previously set to move into Step 3 as 72 percent of the Chatham-kent adult population (18+) have received at least one dose, and 30 percent have received at least two doses. Additionally, 42 percent of youth aged 12-17 have received at least one dose.

“We’re a cautious bunch. Our job is to keep the people of Ontario safe. We really just want to take a pause for a second and not move too quickly,” said Colby.

According to Chatham-Kent Communication Director Jim Blake, there are no municipally-sponsored Canada Day events this year. However, he added there might be some smaller private and personal events and fireworks displays.

Colby said it’s important to be cautious regarding Canada Day celebrations as we are not out of the woods yet.

“We still have significant gathering limits in Ontario, and outdoor gatherings are loosening up nicely that I think will allow a relatively normal summer with regards to outdoor activities,” said Colby. “Until we’re really out of the woods, we’re not out of the woods.

As of June 25, Chatham-Kent Public Health reported the active case count is down to three, an eight-month low. The number of outbreaks remains at zero. One resident remains in the hospital with the virus.

Bird Bouchard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Ridgetown Independent News

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