Public Health Sudbury & Districts, Greater Sudbury Police Services and the Ontario Provincial Police issued a joint statement on May 3 reminding the public to recommit to being COVID-19 safe.
The statement pointed to the risks associated with gatherings and the huge ripple effects that have been seen through individual actions that have led to the spread of COVID-19.
"There are a number of local examples for which the choice to attend a gathering — whether indoors or outdoors—has impacted not only those who directly attended, but also their households, friends, and other close contacts," said the statement.
The third wave of the pandemic has brought with it new challenges, as variants of concern have made the virus stronger and more transmissible, resulting in infections in more people including younger and healthy individuals.
This is not the same virus we weathered through in the first and second waves. The variants of concern have made the virus stronger and more transmissible.
"Following public health measures, not looking for ways to bend, break, or ignore the law—is critical if we are to build on the progress we have made so far in the pandemic," said the statement.
"Keeping numbers down means less chance the virus can mutate and gives the vaccines a chance to work. The consequences of not doing so have very real impacts. Impacts that go beyond being charged. The reality of people choosing to violate the law and ignore public health measures will prolong the pandemic and continue to increase cases and illnesses in our community. These decisions can jeopardize people’s lives and livelihoods, and they put an already-stretched health care system at further risk."
Public health and law enforcement officials in partnership with municipal by-law enforcement, have continued to see the consequences of individual actions and choices.
"There are huge ripple effects and individual actions lead to the spread of COVID-19 and outbreaks in many settings. Choosing to host or attend a gathering does not just affect you, it affects your entire community," said the statement.
"One action, one decision, from you, can help stop this. The law applies to everyone, without exception. The consequences of COVID-19 and potential charges for non-compliance can be avoided. Recommit to being COVID-safe."
Finding safe ways to connect with family and friends can help weather these challenging times, but the health unit and local law enforcement are sticking to the message of "stronger together, but safer apart".
"Tremendous progress has been made in rolling out the COVID-19 vaccine with more vaccine is on its way," the statement said.
Within the next few weeks, every adult will be eligible to receive the vaccine.
"While this is great news, we must also remember that we are not out of the woods and even with the vaccine, the important public health measures are needed to end the pandemic," said the statement.
"Please, continue to do your part. Stay home. Follow the law. Save lives."