Local News

WDG chief nursing officer speaks out over latest COVID-19 advisory

Story by: Kayla Kreutzberg

Photo by: Pxhere

Dr. Nicola Mercer, medical officer of health for Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph (WDG) Public Health is advising the community to not go into any home that is not your own. 

In her latest letter to the community, Dr. Mercer says it is now clear that people acquire COVID-19 from their friends and family in a home setting. They then take it into schools, workplaces, places of worship and long-term care homes or hospitals.

Rita Isley, chief nursing officer with WDG Public Health tells 88.7 The River if she thinks people have become more laidback across the province, in regards to the virus. 

“No, I think it’s a bit of a combination of we are still doing our day-to-day things like going to work, going shopping, moving about, back in the spring when we had fewer cases in our area it’s because everything was shut down,” Isley said. 

Isley says the virus was easier to contain when everything was shut down.  

She says that being in a lockdown has “negative drawbacks” to our economy and to people’s mental health and well-being.

Dr. Mercer’s goes on to say in her letter to community residents that birthday parties, sleepovers, playdates, coffee dates, game nights and dinner parties are spreading the virus. 

“Your friends, children’s friends and family you do not live with can bring the virus into your home,” Dr. Mercer said. 

Isley says another lockdown would help with rising case numbers.  

“The problem is, is that doing that kind of a lockdown had a lot of negative impacts as well, and so we’re trying to find that healthy balance between allowing people to live their lives, because we do have to live with COVID-19,” Isley said. 

Isley says WDG Public Health are seeing an increase in cases in the region, more so than they have seen in the past little while. 

“Trying to avoid a lockdown is really important, but the other part of it is, is the health and well-being of our community and if we’re not able to gain control of the cases, we may have to do that. So, that’s the plea we are putting out in our community right now. 

Isley stresses for people to not go out and about unless it’s regarding essential needs.

“But also, not having people in their homes and having gatherings, or get togethers in their homes, so we can really contain the virus as much as possible. 

She adds that this is the second wave of the virus, and there will be more waves after this.