Peterborough, Ontario is telling people to stay masked and avoid indoor social gatherings this Thanksgiving, citing a “very high” Covid risk.

Peterborough Public Health  issued an advisory warning Wednesday upgrading its Covid-19 Risk Index. 

“Our region is experiencing some of the highest COVID-19 case rates in the province. Ahead of the holiday weekend, we strongly encourage everyone to be mindful of our most vulnerable residents through their own protections,” the statement reads. 

“Older adults, those who are immunocompromised, and those who have not received a COVID-19 vaccine are at high risk for severe outcomes due to a COVID-19 infection. If you choose to gather this weekend, try to gather outdoors or in a well-ventilated area opening windows/doors/running HVAC furnace fan running on high),” the health unit continued. 

“If you feel even slightly unwell, please stay home. Staying up to date with vaccination and continuing to mask in indoor settings remain some of our best prevention tools.”

True North reached out to Peterborough Public Health for further comment but did not receive a response by the time this article was published. 

Among the guidance issued by Peterborough’s health unit is a strong recommendation for masking when with people from another household,  And avoiding “high-risk settings.”

As of Thursday, Peterborough Public Health’s Covid tracking portal states there are 493 active cases with a seven-day rolling average of 84 cases. In comparison, in January there was a seven-day rolling average of 197 cases. 

A total of 29 people are hospitalized with the virus in the area. 

According to reports, the risk was elevated by Peterborough Public Health after four new deaths were reported, primarily in people over the age of 80. 

“After the summer, where we experienced steady rates of transmission, we are now seeing Covid-19 transmission increase in our community,” said medical officer of health Dr. Thomas Piggott.

“We are cautioning the community to prepare for continued increase in transmission and cases as we move through the fall.”

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