Just stay home.

That’s the message from the Medical Officer of Health for the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit as we head into the Easter long weekend. 

As of Wednesday, there are 67 active cases in the health jurisdiction, with 24 of those in the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville. 

With the holiday weekend ahead, Dr. Paula Stewart says she’s extremely concerned about a possible surge in cases. 

“Through December 25-January 1st, we had a big surge in the number of new infections – all related to household gatherings,” Dr. Stewart said. “And there would be seven or eight people there, and one person was infected, there wasn’t social distancing, they weren’t wearing masks, and it spread like crazy.” 

Meanwhile, the health unit says it is working to get a case count on its webpage for variants of concern.

Dr. Stewart says the number of variant cases is much lower in our area than it is across other parts of Ontario – however, that number could rise quickly. 

“We’re in the teens right now for variants,” she said. “That’s  much lower than across the rest of the province. I think it’s about 50-60 percent of all new cases diagnosed in Ontario have the variant in them. In Leeds-Grenville, we have for sure seen them pop up.” 

Since vaccinations began, over 18,000 individuals have gotten at least one dose.

Dr. Stewart says as the variant cases rise and more people are vaccinated, it’s more important than ever to follow public health guidelines. 

“Do not travel, don’t invite other family members or friends to come in, this not the time,” Dr. Stewart said. “Please be really careful this weekend because we don’t want a repeat of what happened over Christmas and New Years, it could really set us back.” 

Head here to view the health unit’s case count.