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Avoid holiday travel, NWHU recommends

Northwestern Health Unit urges residents to stay within Northwestern Ontario over holiday season, citing Omicron variant.
Dr. Kit Young Hoon Northwestern Health Unit
NWHU medical officer of health Dr. Kit Young Hoon urged residents to rethink plans to travel outside of Northwestern Ontario. (Submitted Photo)

Residents of the Northwestern Health Unit should stay close to home this holiday season to reduce the growing risk catching and spreading COVID-19, the health unit has recommended.

“I ask that anyone who was planning to travel rethinks their plans,” said NWHU medical officer of health Dr. Kit Young Hoon in a statement issued Tuesday. “The Omicron variant is extremely transmissible and now is an opportunity to slow down the introduction of this variant into our region.”

Anyone who does travel outside of the region should consider limiting non-essential contact with others for 10 days after returning home, she added.

Young Hoon also urged eligible residents to book booster shot appointments, including anyone 50 or older (must be 24 weeks since full vaccination).

Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Kieran Moore, has suggested he’ll recommend tightening public health measures in face of the Omicron variant and rising daily case counts. Ontario reported 1,429 new cases Tuesday.

Young Hoon previously issued a statement warning residents against travel to Minnesota, in late November

Meanwhile, the Thunder Bay District Health Unit has recommended residents avoid non-essential travel to Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. It also states the safest option is to remain in one’s own home community or region.

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