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COVID-19 and Anti-Racism Rallies

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COVID-19 and Anti-Racism Rallies


Racism is a Public Health issue. Racism, in its many forms, profoundly impacts the health and wellbeing of individuals, families and communities.


We recognize that, at this time, people may want to gather to march and express themselves with respect to supporting efforts to end racism.


The Grey Bruce Health Unit has the responsibility to identify risk associated with any public health threat, including COVID-19. We remind people that gatherings increase the risk of transmission of disease.


In light of the of COVID-19 pandemic, the Grey Bruce Health Unit recommends other virtual forms of participation such as signing petitions, donating to groups, and learning more about racism and how to address it.


If you must participate in any local rallies, please be mindful that COVID-19 is still with us. Those considering taking part in gatherings are urged to do so responsibly by taking steps to keep as safe as possible to reduce the risk of transmission:

  • If you are sick or have any symptoms, please stay home
  • Spread out; maintain physical distancing of at least two metres when possible
  • Stay outside
  • Wear a cloth face mask at all times 
  • Bring hand sanitizer with you and also wash your hands upon returning home
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Consider alternatives to yelling and shouting to avoid spreading droplets
  • Clean any materials that you carried during the march


If you are more susceptible to serious complications should you contract COVID-19 (e.g. older adult, have chronic illnesses or are immunocompromised), reconsider the need to be present in a large crowd; perhaps find alternative means to participate, such as virtually. Social media and virtual protests remain the safest way to have your voice heard. Those living with a vulnerable person in their household, should also consider participating virtually.


As always, while COVID-19 is circulating in the community, monitor yourself for symptoms and if any symptoms develop, get tested right away.


Attachment: Dr. Ian Arra, Medical Officer of Health, takes a knee at the Owen Sound Black History Cairn


For More Information:

Dr. Ian Arra

Medical Officer of Health and Chief Executive Officer

To arrange to speak with Dr. Arra, please contact Drew Ferguson at:

519-376-9420 or 1-800-263-3456 ext. 1269

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