The North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit held its weekly media availability Thursday morning and the local medical officer of health made clear he supports the extension of the stay-at-home order past its scheduled lifting on May 20.
"Until we are able to get everyone vaccinated, our only way to decrease the provincial and local numbers is for everyone to follow public health measures," said Dr. Jim Chirico.
"This is why I support the continued shutdown, as the quickest path for long-term reopening is not reopening too soon," he added.
In his address, Chirico advised there have been decreases in COVID-19 hospitalizations and ICU admissions, as well as a drop in the number of people testing positive for the virus daily on a provincial level. The seven-day average has also dropped below 3,000 new cases per day for the first time in five weeks.
However, Chirico noted, although our health unit's case numbers remain low in comparison to other districts, "our trend continues upward while the provincial average decreases. As of May 11, our seven-day rolling average was at 17.7 cases per 100,000 — the highest case rate we've had since late February."
Dr. Chirico advised the quickest way to have students return to in-class learning is to continue following the public health measures so that the provincial numbers continue to drop.
"Let's do what we all know needs to be done," continued Chirico. "Hang in there a little longer, make this our last shutdown."