Dreaming of a normal Christmas? Ottawa’s top doc says there’s time to flatten the curve

OTTAWA — The COVID-19 pandemic has forced families to alter plans for Thanksgiving and Halloween, but Ottawa’s top doctor says there is still a chance for a traditional Christmas celebration with your family and friends.

“It’s two months away and so we have time to bend this curve,” said Dr. Vera Etches, Ottawa’s Medical Officer of Health.

Ottawa Public Health and the Ontario Government asked families to only celebrate Thanksgiving with their immediate household due to a rise in COVID-19 cases. On Wednesday, Dr. Etches told Council she’s recommending children don’t go out trick-or-treating on Halloween to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

CTV Morning Live host Leslie Roberts asked Dr. Etches Thursday morning if families could face the same restrictions for Christmas as they did for Thanksgiving.

“It depends on our actions; we can turn this around,” said Dr. Etches.

“Of course, we need to be able to celebrate with friends and family, we want to do that. Christmas is far enough way that we do have a chance of that.”

With Ottawa seeing the highest rates of COVID-19 in Ontario, Dr. Etches said Ottawa residents still have time to bend the curve and get COVID-19 transmission under control.

“If we had the situation we had to today, then yes the advice would be within your household and limit travel,” said Dr. Etches.

“But we’re not giving up; I really believe the people of Ottawa can do this.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has already forced the cancellation of the Help Santa Toy Parade and the Orleans Parade of Lights.

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