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Residents must continue prevention methods, despite 'COVID fatigue' : Eastern Ontario Health Unit

EOHU's Chief Medical Officer of Health says the best defensive from the virus is staying safe.
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The Chief Medical Officer of Health for the Eastern Ontario Unit is urging residents to continue to follow the COVID-19 prevention habits that initially helped flatten the curve, despite "COVID fatigue."

Dr. Paul Roumeliotis says he isn't concerned over the recent spike of cases in Ottawa, calling it a "blip of the curve," as the initial peak was much more significant.

However, he is urging residents not to get complacent and continue to wash hands, wear a mask and physically distance from others.

"Look what's happening worldwide," Dr. Roumeliotis said. "Just because we're going into Stage 3 [of the provincial economic re-opening plan], does not mean there's no pandemic happening. Just look south of the border."

He adds he understands people are tired and "fed up" with regulations and restrictions put in place due to COVID-19 in March, but if residents let their guards down, it could lead to more trouble.

Meanwhile, Dr. Raywat Deonandan, an epidemiologist at the University of Ottawa, believes this upcoming flu season will be one of the most mild in years, due to those very prevention measures.

"People will be distancing, washing their hands, not shaking hands, not seeing each other and wearing masks, Dr. Deonandan explains, "That's going to diminish our flu experience substantially."

He adds the number of those seeking annual flu vaccinations is likely to go up.

In the meantime, Dr. Deonandan does expect to see issues related to Influenza. Due to symptoms similar to COVID-19, he says it may make measuring the disease more difficult.

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