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Local health units want communities to celebrate Remembrance Day safely

DAN CEARNS, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, for The Standard

NORTH DURHAM/ KAWARTHA: Durham Region and Kawartha Lakes’ health units have some safety tips regarding observing Remembrance Day this year. For those people who plan to attend in person events, the Durham Region Health Department states “It’s safer to attend outdoor events rather than indoor events.” While in attendance, people are encouraged by Durham Health to follow all COVID related guidelines, including maintaining two metres of distance from other attendees, wearing a non-medical mask indoors or if there is no way to distance outdoors, and regularly washing your hands. “Consider participating virtually or not attending the event if you are at a higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19, including if you are 70 years or older, are immunocompromised or have underlying medical conditions,” read a Durham Region health press release.

People selling poppies are asked to regularly use hand sanitizer, wash their hands when handling cash and to wear a mask or face covering. The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPR) has similar advice. “Many of the usual Remembrance Day services and events in this area are being cancelled, reduced in size or [are] limiting participants to only those invited, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19,” read a post on the health unit’s website. The health unit has some ideas on how people can mark the day at home. These include taking time to reflect and holding a two minute moment of silence at 11 a.m., watching a service on television or online, or learning more about Canada’s war heroes online, at www.veterans. HKPR is discouraging people from attending ceremonies if they “have not been invited.” HKPR also has tips for those who want to organize a ceremony. These include encouraging the public to participate virtually, inviting only specific people to attend the event in person, asking attendees to wear masks or face coverings, arranging seating two metres apart, roping off the area to only allow invited guests in, asking people who are sick to stay home, and keeping a list of guests and their contact info for possible contact tracing. HKPR asks anyone, who wants more information, to call them at 1-866-888-4577, extension 5020.

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