WELLINGTON COUNTY – With the arrival of cold and flu season, public health is changing the way it reports cases of respiratory illnesses.
On Sept. 19, Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health (WDGPH) launched its new “respiratory illness activity dashboard,” which combines reporting on flu, RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) and COVID-19.
Officials say residents should take all three illnesses seriously, and the new portal will provide a convenient way to assess the overall situation.
The webpage will include data on cases, hospitalizations, deaths, vaccinations and wastewater trends.
“After three years of a global pandemic, we all have tools to keep us safe: wearing a mask when in crowded spaces, staying home when we’re ill, and getting vaccinated,” WDGPH spokesperson Danny Williamson told the Advertiser on Sept. 21.
“An updated respiratory illness dashboard will provide people with the information they need to understand the current situation in [the region] and use those tools accordingly.”
Williamson added, “A single, comprehensive dashboard gives people a clearer picture of the whole of the respiratory season and the impact it is having on our region.”
The new webpage will replace the previous COVID-19 portal, which remains accessible but will not be updated after Sept. 20. Visitors to the old portal will be prompted to click on a link to the new respiratory illness dashboard.
“Respiratory viruses can have serious consequences,” Williamson stated.
“We want people to be able to make informed choices to protect themselves, their families, and their communities.”
On March 1, the Advertiser stopped providing weekly COVID-19 updates from the previous portal.
The newspaper may provide updates from the new dashboard in certain situations, including the emergence of new variants and large fluctuations in cases, hospitalizations, deaths and/or outbreaks.
To view the new dashboard visit wdgpublichealth.ca.