GUELPH – While COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are down, the World Health Organization has not declared the pandemic over, and local residents should use caution this summer, says the local medical officer of health.
“COVID is still with us,” said Dr. Nicola Mercer, CEO of Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health, in an interview on June 9.
“At best it can be an inconvenience. Or you get sick, or worse. But now we all have a bit of control on how it will impact us.”
Vaccine mandates are now lifted, and provincial mask mandates will lift this weekend, though some settings, like local hospitals and the province’s long-term care and retirement homes, still require masks.
But for the most part, people can go about their lives, see family and friends, take vacations and all the things they’ve missed these past two years.
Still, many people assume they’ll get COVID-19 despite their best efforts, and that’s just the new reality.
“I hear it too, but do you want to get it a day or two before your daughter’s wedding? Your graduation? Your new job or your vacation? It can be quite impactful in a negative way,” Mercer said.
“You probably don’t want to miss your daughter’s wedding. So control that piece.
“Keep up to date with your vaccine. Wear a mask for the two weeks leading up to your event. Do what you can to mitigate the virus.”
While the virus is still circulating, it’s circulating at low levels.
That’s largely the result of warm weather and more outdoor living and that’s typical of respiratory illnesses, Mercer said.
For the same reasons, Mercer expects to see a seventh wave in the fall as we all move indoors again.
Unless there’s a more powerful and deadly strain, Mercer said she expects there will be clinics for COVID-19 booster shots as there are for influenza.
Mercer said right now, anyone 60 and older is eligible for two shots and two booster shots. Those aged 12 and up can have their two shots plus a booster. Appointments can be booked at public health or through family doctors.
Health Canada is expected to approve the vaccine for children aged six months to age five by the end of June and there will be more about that once it’s available.
“We’ve already had communication with the Family Health Teams,” Mercer said.
“We will need family doctors to administer the vaccine to the little ones.”
Masks are optional in most settings and that’s fine, Mercer said. Wear a mask or don’t wear a mask, according to your own comfort level.
But masks do offer protection and are a good idea pre-vacation or other important events.
So don’t judge those who are wearing a mask, or those who aren’t, Mercer said.
“I know many people are ready to move on, but my best advice is to keep up-to-date with the vaccine,” she said.
“That’s the best way to be the least impacted by COVID-19.”
Toronto Public Health hosting pop-up COVID-19 vaccination clinics throughout Canada Day weekend – Toronto.com
Toronto Public Health continues to host summer pop-up vaccination clinics across the city in partnership with Toronto’s Canada Day festivals and special events. This is part of Team Toronto’s continued efforts to bring COVID-19 vaccination opportunities to places residents live, work and play.
“As people gather to celebrate Canada Day across the city, Team Toronto will be out helping residents get vaccinated against COVID-19 and keep their vaccinations up to date,” said Mayor John Tory. “We have made such progress thanks to our world-leading vaccination efforts, and that’s why we’re continuing to work throughout this holiday and into the summer to help deliver vaccine doses.”
TPH will host the following vaccination clinics in early July:
• High Park Canada Day Festival at High Park, 1873 Bloor St. W., Friday, July 1, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
• East York Canada Day Festival at Stan Wadlow Park. 373 Cedarvale Ave., Friday, July 1, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
• Canada Day event at Mel Lastman Square, 5100 Yonge St. Friday, July 1, 2 to 7 p.m.
• CIMA Mayor’s Cricket Trophy event at Sunnybrook Park, 1132 Leslie St. Saturday, July 2, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
• Lakeshore Ribfest at 1 Colonel Samuel Smith Park Dr. Saturday July 2 and Sunday, July 3, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
• Afrofest at Woodbine Park, 1695 Queen St. E. Saturday, July 9 and Sunday, July 10, 1 to 7:30 p.m.
• Dragon Boat Challenge (GWN Sport Regatta) at Marilyn Bell Park, 1095 Lakeshore Blvd. W. Saturday July 9, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
These family-friendly and youth-friendly clinics will provide first, second, third, fourth and children’s COVID-19 doses to eligible residents age five and up on a walk-in basis, with no appointment or health card required. Pfizer and Moderna vaccines will be offered by TPH nurses, who will also answer COVID-19 and vaccine-related questions.
Residents can continue to get vaccinated at city-run immunization clinics, primary care offices and more than 525 pharmacies. A full list of clinic locations and hours is available on the City’s COVID-19: Where to Get Vaccinated webpage.
As of Monday, July 4, the city-run immunization clinic at Metro Hall will operate Monday to Friday noon to 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Residents can find a pharmacy offering COVID-19 vaccination by using the Government of Ontario’s COVID-19 pharmacy vaccine locations webpage.
All eligible residents are encouraged to get their third and fourth dose as soon as possible. As with vaccines for other diseases, people are protected best when they stay up to date. COVID-19 vaccines have been scientifically proven to lower the risk of illness, hospitalization and death while protecting oneself, loved ones and the community, and residents with three doses had the lowest rates of hospitalization, ICU and death over any other level of vaccination.
Style File: Smart sunscreens – Montreal Gazette
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Sunscreen is always a good idea.
Skin cancers are the most common forms of cancer in Canada, according to Statistics Canada. And severe sunburns are noted as “an important risk factor for melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers,” according to the agency.
With this in mind, it’s important to slather, smooth, spray — or whatever your chosen format of sun protection may be — this summer.
Here are four smart sunscreen options to consider adding to your daily sun-protection plan:
From the French brand La Roche-Posay, this “ultralight” sunscreen formula features a universal tint to match most skin tones. See you later, face makeup. The Anthelios Mineral Tinted Ultra Fluid boasts a sun protection factor (that’s the SPF) of 50, thanks to 100 per cent mineral filters. Suitable for sensitive skin, the broad-spectrum sunscreen — it blocks both UVA and UVB rays, is sweat resistant and water resistant for up to 40 minutes.
$35.95 | Shoppers Drug Mart, Laroche-posay.ca
This advanced sunscreen formula from Shiseido acts as a moisturizer, sunscreen and face primer all-in-one formula. The Urban Environment Oil-Free Sunscreen has an SPF of 42 and features skin-loving ingredients such as spirulina and hyaluronic acid to hydrate and smooth skin while broad-spectrum UV filters protect against ultraviolet rays.
$45 | Sephora, Shiseido.com
Perfect for those who struggle with acne, this Clear as Day SPF 46 from the brand Starface is vegan and cruelty-free, while also being oil-free and non-comedogenic. The fragrance-free formula features a unique gel texture and is completely clear so there’s no fear of a white cast on skin. Water resistant for up to 80 minutes, so you can spend a little extra time splish-splashing about.
$32 | Starfaceworld.ca
Sun protection doesn’t stop at the face, neck and décolletage. Introduce head-to-toe coverage to your summer routine with the Garnier Ombrelle Sensitive Expert Body Lotion SPF 60. The hypoallergenic sunscreen formula features broad-spectrum coverage, is fragrance-free, dermatologist-tested, non-comedogenic and water resistant for up to 80 minutes. Plus, the lotion formula is easy to apply, and absorbs quickly.
$24.99 | London Drugs, Londondrugs.com
Mysterious staggering disease in cats down to previously unknown virus – New Scientist
A previously unknown rustrela virus might be the cause of a staggering disease that affects cats in some parts of Europe
1 July 2022
The cause of a brain disease in cats that makes them develop symptoms such as staggering is a previously unknown virus, a study suggests. The pathogen is a rustrela virus and is probably carried by wood mice.
The findings show that rustrela viruses are more diverse and widespread than previously thought, according to Kaspar Matiasek at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and his colleagues. They write that the viruses might cause neurological diseases in other mammals …
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