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News release
Dec. 28, 2023

Tips for staying healthy as flu, cold and COVID viruses circulate

TORONTO, Dec. 28, 2023—It’s beginning to look a lot like cold and cough season, everywhere you go. Flu, cold, COVID and RSV are all circulating together again in Ontario, the proverbial unwanted guests at our seasonal gatherings.

Ontario’s doctors have some tips for trying to stay healthy at this time of year as people spend more time indoors and in closer contact with one another.

“No one wants to be sick, especially during the holidays,” said Dr. Andrew Park, president of the Ontario Medical Association. “But this is peak season for respiratory viruses. There are some commonsense precautions people can take to reduce their risk of getting sick and reduce pressure on emergency departments and other parts of the health-care system.”

  1. Get a seasonal flu shot, keep up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations and get an RSV shot, if you are eligible.
  2. Avoid close contact with people who are sick and stay home if you are sick. Rapid antigen tests for COVID are available through public health units and select health-care providers. If you have symptoms, keep testing over a few days to confirm or rule out COVID.
  3. Practice good public health hygiene: wash your hands often, sneeze or cough into your arm, not your hands, and regularly clean surfaces people touch a lot such as phones and doorknobs.
  4. Consider masking in crowded and/or indoor public spaces – or if you are around vulnerable people. Wear a mask in public for 10 days after you are sick with any respiratory virus or were last exposed to someone with COVID
  5. Consider opening windows and/or using air purifiers at holiday gatherings.

About the OMA

The Ontario Medical Association represents Ontario’s 43,000-plus physicians, medical students and retired physicians, advocating for and supporting doctors while strengthening the leadership role of doctors in caring for patients. Our vision is to be the trusted voice in transforming Ontario’s health-care system.

For more information, please contact:
Leslie Shepherd, OMA director of earned and social media

OMA President Dr. Andrew Park talks about how to avoid catching or spreading respiratory viruses.