MEMO: Covid 19 variant Omicron Surge

December 17, 2021

To Employees, Parents, Families, Caregivers and Directors of the Board

As you have seen in Public Health reports, Covid cases are surging due to the new variant, Omicron. As we enter the Holiday Season, this becomes very troubling. The contagious factor of this new variant, and the main variant in Simcoe Muskoka, appears to be an aerosol type virus.

Public Health and this leadership team are urging you to continue focusing on reducing the risk of COVID-19 virus by:

  • Physically distancing from others
  • Limiting contacts outside our household members
  • Wearing a well fitted mask, covering nose, mouth and chin
  • Washing hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based sanitizer
  • Keep windows open for fresh air when indoors
  • Avoid poorly ventilated spaces or crowded spaces
  • Cough or sneeze into a bent elbow or a tissue
  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Get tested if you have Covid-19 symptoms
    • Fever
    • New cough or worsening cough
    • Shortness of breath
    • Temp temperature equal to or more than 38°C
    • feeling feverish
    • chills
    • fatigue or weakness
    • muscle or body aches
    • new loss of smell or taste
    • headache
    • abdominal pain, diarrhea and vomiting
    • feeling very unwell

The protection through double vaccination is not enough against this variant that is now affecting vaccinated people.  We encourage the booster vaccination for its additional protection and are offering a clinic on January 12 to ensure that everyone has access. Should you have access to it before, we encourage you to get it.

Families will want to get together for this holiday season. Indoor gathering limits are now limited to 10 people while outdoor gatherings are 25 people. In effect December 19, 2021.

Family visits for dinner or overnight:

  • we are working on having rapid antigen testing available for all people who go home and for their families if they have not done so before. Testing will be done prior to return for the people returning to homes.
  • masking at all times is required for all who visit together for the protection of all people, employees and those who receive our support. This applies to visits with family in their own homes. Family members should wear masks
  • Ventilation when indoors: run exhaust fans from kitchen and bathroom when spending time indoors
  • Ventilation when indoors: open windows for fresh air and exchange
  • Limiting the number of people in the room to 5 if possible, keeping in mind their circle of connection
  • Cleaning protocols that reflect enhanced measures.

We want wish to have people feeling safe during this fourth wave. We all need to do our part to help curb this pandemic.

Our sources:

Your Steering Committee:

Christine Vallis-Page

Scott Kelly

Peter Doner

Tracy Nancekivell

Patricia Green

Lori McKean

Heather Grasman

Deborah Sauvé (JH&SC)

Irene Currie(JH&SC)

Salvina Lutz (JH&SC)

Kim Saunders

Nancy MacDonald

Cindy Boyce

Robin Galati

Melanie Cathcart

Shannon Mathieson

Rachel Leferink

Meghan Harwood

Justin Cragg

Gail Lalonde


Keep in mind that directions will change rapidly and will require fluidity. These are unusual times and we are thankful for your continued support.




We thank you for your dedicated work and support to some of our most vulnerable Ontarians.

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