Respiratory viruses in Ontario and Quebec are sending young children to emergency rooms at double or triple the usual rate due to a combination of the highly contagious RSV, COVID-19, and influenza. It is a situation that calls for a response by all who care for the vulnerable in our midst. Throughout the pandemic, our response to the reality of public health concerns has been science-based, and this latest challenge must be met the same way.
Last month we implemented the requirement of masks for those in liturgical leadership. Masks are an effective tool for combating respiratory viruses as well as the flu.
Keeping that in mind, we ask each congregation to:
- ask people to stay home when they are symptomatic
- strongly encourage mask-wearing
- have masks available for those who forgot theirs
- encourage people to wear masks during coffee time
- encourage COVID boosters and flu shots
- consider posting one of these signs:
Clergy who preside at public worship or provide in-person pastoral care are required to get a bivalent vaccination by Thursday, December 1 (or as soon thereafter as eligible). Send proof of vaccination, or the date of eligibility, to Executive Archdeacon Linda Hill by Thursday, December 1. Thank you to those who have already done so.
We are continuing to monitor the situation in case additional protocols are required. If you have any questions, contact C19helpdesk@ottawa.anglican.ca.