Region's top doc echoes provincial call to keep holiday celebrations to immediate family
KITCHENER -- Waterloo Region health officials are echoing calls from the province to celebrate the holidays with only immediate family this year.
Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Premier Doug Ford said he wants all Ontario residents to stay home for the holidays.
Region of Waterloo Medical Officer of Health Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang has the same advice.
"Residents should only celebrate holidays with people in their own households," she said in a statement to CTV News Kitchener.
Waterloo Region is currently in the province's red tier, meaning indoor gatherings are capped at five people.
Brant, Huron Perth and Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph are in the orange tier, meaning they can have private indoor gatherings of up to 10 people.
Dr. Nicola Mercer, medical officer of health for WDG, said that region also supports the advice from the province.
"We know the holiday season will be different this year. Instead of parties and get-togethers, we will spending more time at home," a statement said in part. "We’ve all experienced disruptions to holidays and celebrations this year because of COVID-19 and in previous years because of other reasons like snow and ice. We can get this through because we’ve done it before, so we urge you to find creative alternatives to celebrate or wait until the pandemic is over to gather safely."
No matter the zone, Ford said he wants everyone to stay home.
"The safest way for any of us to enjoy the holidays, no matter where we live in the province, is to celebrate with our own households," Ford said.
The province issued a series of guidelines outlining riskier actives like in-person gatherings where people remove masks to eat or drink and indoor activities like sleepovers.
The guidelines also said children can't sit on Santa's lap for photos this year and they need to be distanced.
People in high-transmission areas are asked to avoid low-transmission areas.
People who live alone are allowed to join one other household.