The City of London is hoping residents soak up the sun at home this Canada Day.
Officials are asking people to keep safety “top of mind” and celebrate at home or online. The reminder comes a day after the Middlesex-London Health Unit confirmed two of the three cases of COVD-19 reported on Monday were among at least eight cases connected to “party-goers” who have attended gatherings of more than 10 people.
“What we have here is a situation where we all want this pandemic to be over but the reality is the virus is still in our community,” medical officer of health Dr. Chris Mackie said on Monday.
“It is still lurking and if people are not cautious about their Canada Day parties, they will end up being COVID parties. Please take precautions, please continue to limit the number of people gathering to 10 or less.”
Mayor Ed Holder said that even though we may be physically apart, we can still celebrate together online and close to home.
“I encourage Londoners to look for new ways to celebrate on July 1 and make new memories and traditions this year while keeping health measures and precautions in mind,” said Holder.
The London Heritage Council has helped to organize some unique virtual ways to mark the occasion, including live music and historic demonstrations out of Fanshawe Pioneer Village for “Dominion Day” as well as a creative science experiment from the London Children’s Museum. An extensive list of what to do in London on Canada Day can be found here.
In addition to taking safety precautions and following guidelines to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus, the city is also reminding Londoners to practice fireworks safety.
The city says individual household fireworks displays are allowed but residents are asked to “exercise caution and follow all fireworks safety precautions, fireworks bylaw, as well as all measures in place to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the community.”
Neighbourhood displays are “discouraged,” the city says, but live-streaming online could be a way to “share the fireworks experience beyond individual households.”
With hot weather in the forecast — Environment Canada is anticipating a high of 30 C in London on Wednesday — the city notes several parks have reopened spray pads.
Once again, residents are urged to follow public health guidelines, including staying two metres away from others, sneezing or coughing into your sleeve or elbow or into a tissue that you then throw out, and washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.