Halloween warning from head of emergency department at Health Sciences North in Sudbury

·2 min read

Don't let your guard down this coming Halloween weekend, said Dr. Rob Lepage, the medical director at the emergency department at Health Sciences North in Sudbury.

Lepage took the unusual step of posting a warning on the Twitter social media platform Thursday afternoon in light of what he said is an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the city.

“This past Sunday, Ontario reported more than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases. This is the highest number of new cases of COVID-19 reported in a single day in Ontario since the pandemic began," said Lepage.

He said not only is Ontario seeing a steady increase in COVID-19 patients, but there is also an increase in the number of hospitals experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks in the province.

"While a bulk of these cases are in southern Ontario, Sudbury is also seeing an increase in cases recently. We have 12 active cases in the city and an outbreak at Lo-Ellen Park Secondary. Many health experts are attributing these increases to people not following the rules from public health during the Thanksgiving Weekend," said Lepage.

He noted that Halloween is happening this Saturday and given that it is a weekend celebration, he wanted to send a message out of the community.

"That message is simple and clear: Don’t let your guard down."

Lepage said if parents are taking children out for trick-or-treating or handing out treats to children coming to their front doors, be sure to do it safely and follow the guidelines from public health. He added that Halloween is not an excuse to celebrate and possibly expose yourself or others to the virus.

"Maybe you want to go out to a Halloween party with your friends to let loose for a night. Please don’t. Now is not the time to let your guard down, or not follow the advice of public health," said Lepage.

"I know it’s not easy. But please keep following the guidance from public health. Wear a mask. Wash your hands often. Practice physical distancing. Avoid travel unless it’s absolutely necessary."

Len Gillis, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Sudbury.com