The Health Unit is encouraging people to resume wearing masks on a more regular basis.
“Due to the high number of circulating respiratory viruses that are threatening our health care facilities’ capacity, the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit recommends that individuals wear a mask in crowded indoor spaces, and in public when experiencing any respiratory symptoms (even if negative for COVID-19),” reads a statement from the Health Unit.
Officials say wearing a mask is particularly important for those who have recently tested positive for COVID-19, are at higher risk of severe illness, or for those spending time with higher-risk individuals.
The Health Unit notes that mask requirements set by individual facilities are reflective of their own organizational assessment of risk.
It also says the decision on broader mask mandates lies with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and the province rather than local Medical Officers of Health.
“Regardless, the public is encouraged to resume wearing masks more regularly to better protect themselves, their loved ones, and health care capacity,” reads the statement.
Officials say other important protective measures include staying up to date with COVID-19 and influenza vaccines, and staying home when experiencing symptoms of viral illness.
***With files from Richard Coffin