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Serré: 'We can't let sentiment blur our judgment' during holidays

Our region's low COVID numbers can be in part attributed to personal sacrifices of individuals and businesses, as well as excellent public health leadership, says Nickel Belt MP
Nickel Belt MP Marc Serré. (Supplied)

Our region’s ability to keep COVID-19 numbers low can be in part attributed to the personal sacrifices made by individuals and businesses. These last months have shown just how resilient our communities can be and the true spirit of generosity that our region embodies. Our low number of COVID-19 cases
can also be credited to the excellent leadership shown by our local public health units in Nickel Belt – Greater Sudbury. They have been a constant source of information and their hard work should be recognized and commended.

Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, Chief Medical Officer at Public Health Sudbury and District (PHSD) and Dr. Jim Chirico, Medical Officer at the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit (serving populations in West Nipissing) have offered transparent, timely and expert advice that has helped our communities navigate this pandemic.

The communication and knowledge they continue to share offers a sense of optimism and of collaboration that has helped reassure and ease feelings of anxiety and uncertainty.

From the very beginning, Nickel Belt – Greater Sudbury health units have worked collaboratively with all levels of government, which has helped offer support and guidance to businesses, residents, school boards, child-care providers, other public health agencies and much more. I commend them for their regular updates via social media, website and press about COVID-19 testing and active cases and for all the helpful guidelines they’ve developed. For example, they’ve released guidelines that empower businesses and help them implement COVID-19 health and safety measures and on how to adapt to changing restrictions.

Recently during a virtual meeting organized with the Hon. Patty Hadju, Minister of Health, Dr. Sutcliffe advocated for our region and helped the Minister better understand the realities and the complex challenges that Nickel Belt – Greater Sudbury has faced through this pandemic.

Thank you to the entire team at both regional health units. Please accept my sincere gratitude to all front-line workers and health-care providers for their unwavering dedication to protect the health and safety of residents in our communities. Your commitment continues to inspire each and encourage each of us to do our part in stopping the spread of the virus.

With the winter months upon us and holidays just around the corner it can be tempting to ease up on our personal commitment to avoid non-essential activities and large gatherings. However, we can’t let sentiment blur our judgment; we know what works and we must continue washing our hands, wearing a mask and encouraging those around us to do the same.

Marc G. Serré
MP Nickel Belt