Ottawa scientist encouraging vaccinated residents to get out, see vaccinated friends, family this fall

By Mike Vlasveld

It's time for residents vaccinated against COVID-19 to spend quality in-person time with other vaccinated friends and family members before colder weather sets in and transmission of the virus potentially gets worse in the community.

Senior Scientist at the Ottawa Hospital and member of Ontario's COVID-19 Science Advisory Table Dr. Doug Manuel describes the current COVID-19 situation across eastern Ontario as a “fragile plateau.”

The capital region is doing better than expected, the doctor tells CityNews' The Rob Snow Show on Friday, October 1. He says, if daily new case numbers stay between 50 and 70 in Ottawa, we shouldn't see hospitalizations go up much further from where they are (there are currently 17 COVID-19 patients in local hospitals — 10 in ICUs).

Most projections suggest case numbers will climb as we get deeper into the fall and eventually winter, although Dr. Manuel says Ottawa's indicators of COVID-19 spread have dropped slightly in recent weeks.

He thinks now is the time to get more face-to-face interactions with friends and family.

“If you're vaccinated, I want to see you out and about. Do it in a safe way, but this is a great fall,” says Dr. Manuel. “Do most of your activities outside if you can. [My family has] people over and we sit on the porch and do a lot of outdoor activities. We do have people inside as well, but if you're not vaccinated, you're not coming in.”

The doctor says it's okay for people vaccinated against COVID-19 to be living somewhat of a normal life again, as the pandemic continues.

“If you're unvaccinated, please be careful. Especially if you're in larger groups that are unvaccinated.”

Dr. Manuel says he's also recently been answering a lot of questions from parents who want to know if they should get their child vaccinated against COVID-19 when they become eligible.

He says it's perfectly safe and even though there are not many severe infections among kids, parents should think about long-term affects. Also, if case numbers go down in schools, there will be less anxiety about school closures and it creates more safety for older, more vulnerable members of the family.

“The more we get vaccinated as a community, the more we're all going to be living a more normal life in the future.”

The doctor adds, kids get vaccinated for so many things in the first few years of their life,and this is just another one.

Listen to the full interview with Dr. Doug Manuel:

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