Town of Gananoque asks residents to remain vigilant in face of Omicron variant

The Town of Gananoque is reminding local residents and businesses to follow COVID-19 public health measures, after the Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit issued an urgent call-out to residents within the County, due to the Omicron variant being confirmed in this region.

In a media release, the Town of Gananoque explained that the Kingston Health Sciences Centre is experiencing the highest number of pandemic cases since 2020 when COVID was initially confirmed in local communities. Over the last 18 months, the health units in Kingston Frontenac Lennox and Addington, Leeds Grenville & Lanark and Hastings, Prince Edward have been in a fairly stable case count in comparison to other areas of Ontario, the town said.

According to the release, in the last month, the neighbouring regions have seen numbers far exceeding the first and second waves. It is challenging the health care system at the Kingston Health Sciences Centre including patients in hospital at Kingston General and Hotel Dieu Hospitals, the town stated.

“I realize that many people may have relaxed their health protocols such as hand washing, avoiding crowds and social gathering,” stated Mayor Ted Lojko “but to prevent the Town of Gananoque and Ontario from being shut down again, I think it is incumbent on all of us to be vigilant.”

The Town of Gananoque is reminding all residents and businesses of the health protocol issues particularly with the significant spike in case numbers. “We are approaching the Christmas and New Year holiday season which generally brings about social gatherings and social activities. Try to avoid large crowds when shopping and getting together with family or friends,” the Town said

The Leeds Grenville and District Health Unit is urgently asking for help, according to the release. Although area residents may be fully vaccinated, the town said that it is still important to maintain strong public health measures to prevent COVID-19 transmission. Screening, physical distancing, being fully vaccinated and masking are the most effective barriers to prevent the spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccination often prevents severe symptoms; however, a vaccinated person can still pass COVID-19 onto others, according to the release.

Municipally, the Town said that they have reached out to Santa and asked if he can wait till December 24, 2021, to visit with our children and families. According to the release, Santa had planned on stopping in at Maverick’s/Pistachio Café on December 18, 2021. Santa is disappointed with the request, the Town said, but understands that we all need to take care of our friends and families and it is the right thing to do. He additionally wants to let the children know that he is still watching to ensure we are all doing our part and being nice.

Further, Town Hall administration buildings will be closed to the public effective December 16, 2021. Municipal staff will remain available and staff can be reached for our day-to-day services via email or telephone.

Residents are reminded to refer to the Town of Gananoque COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information webpage (https://www.gananoque.ca/covid-19-coronavirus-information) for further information and updates as they become available. This page includes municipal changes, press releases from the Leeds Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit and links to government websites.

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