Cough, cold and flu season has arrived.
Respiratory viruses such as Influenza, RSV and COVID are on the rise, with the peak season for these illnesses generally between November and April.
The Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit (HNHU) is recommending the following for residents to protect themselves, and prevent the spread of infection:
- Get Vaccinated
- Practice effective hand hygiene and follow respiratory etiquette
- Stay home if you are sick
- Know your risk and get assessed
While COVID-19 is no longer in a pandemic phase, communities are continuing to experience illness due to COVID-19, and influenza cases have also continued to rise as COVID-19-related public health measures were further relaxed for our communities.
Individuals considered at high risk for severe outcomes from COVID-19 should have access to COVID-19 tests at home. These individuals should also speak with their healthcare provider and pharmacist in advance about treatment options and develop a treatment plan, in advance.
High-risk individuals include:
- People who identify as First Nations, Inuit, and Metis
- International Agricultural Workers
- People in congregate living settings, like long-term care and retirement homes
- Adults 60 years of age and older
- Immunocompromised adults 18 years of age and older Adults 18-59 years old with:
- One or more underlying medical conditions (such as diabetes, heart or lung disease)
- Inadequate immunity against COVID-19 from:
- Not receiving a full primary series of COVID-19 vaccine
- Having received a full primary series but no COVID-19 vaccine or COVID-19 infection within the past six months
HNHU is distributing Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) kits at the Health Unit office locations during office hours Monday – Friday 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM:
- Simcoe: 12 Gilbertson Drive, Simcoe, N3Y 4N5
- Caledonia: 100 Haddington Street, Caledonia, N3W 2N4
- Dunnville: 117 Forest Street East, Dunnville, N1A 1B9
Both the bivalent booster and yearly flu shot can be administered through the Health Unit, your local pharmacist as well as your family physician.
More information on these topics – including vaccination clinic schedules – can be found online at hnhu.org. Residents can also stay informed by following the Health Unit on Facebook and X (formerly Twitter).