Ontario Health Officials Say You Should Start Keeping A Coronavirus Diary Like Yesterday
It's might be time to learn a new term in the battle against COVID-19. Experts are advising that contact tracing in Ontario is vital for keeping track of the virus. Now, one of the GTA's top medical leaders is urging residents to keep a journal of who they see and touch and what they do.
Contact tracing is, generally speaking, the practice of keeping some kind of record of where you go, who you see, and when and where you may have been exposed to COVID-19.
It has been touted as an important step in tracking and containing the virus by health staff in Canada and across the world,
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is among those who have talked about its importance recently, and Public Health Ontario has a whole webpage dedicated to it.
On Wednesday, June 17, Peel Region's Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Lawrence Loh, is urging residents in Mississauga, Brampton, and Caledon to actually keep a written record of who they've seen and where they've been.
“Contact tracing will continue to be a part of the new normal," Dr. Loh said at a briefing at Brampton City Hall on Wednesday.
"In helping with this, I encourage you as we reopen to keep track of your own interactions... For individuals, it would mean a daily journal of who you have seen and what you did together.”
So, as Ontario continues to reopen for business, keeping a daily log of your activity could be your new normal, particularly if you live in Ontario's hot spots like Peel Region or the City of Toronto.
While health officials have been working hard at contact tracing for weeks now, it would seem to be especially important now that the province is allowing mixed-household "social circles."
Premier Doug Ford admitted last Friday those bubbles will be hard to enforce and emphasized the province is relying on people being sensible and sticking to health advice.
Dr. Loh added that for businesses, contact tracing could include written visitor logs, appointment lists, or reservation lists with contact information supplied.
He also noted that contact tracing is not a new concept, referring to it as the "bread and butter of public health."
Some countries have taken to it more quickly than others.
In New Zealand last month, for example, the country released a contact tracing app for its residents.
In contrast, experts have criticized Ontario for its own tracing efforts. Back in May, Trudeau confirmed he is looking to secure a reliable contact tracing app for Canadian use.