For the second year in a row, COVID-19 will once again effect how the Muslim community celebrates the holy month of Ramadan. The Middlesex-London Health Unit is reminding everyone of the importance of following public health guidance as the third wave of the pandemic persists and local case numbers continue to climb. While many Muslims would normally go without food or drink from dawn until dusk each day during Ramadan before breaking their fast and praying with friends and family each evening, the ongoing presence of COVID-19 in our communities will mean celebrations will have to be modified. In order to reduce the potential spread of COVID-19, the Health Unit is advising that celebrations, meals and prayers be limited to only those who live in the same household and that any contact with friends and family be virtual.
“We are currently seeing some of the highest levels of COVID-19 activity in the community since the pandemic began. It will be challenging to limit the kind of interaction with family and friends that is such an important part of Ramadan, but it is necessary if we’re going to limit potential virus spread,” says Dr. Alex Summers, Associate Medical Officer of Health at the Middlesex-London Health Unit. “Keeping physical distance, wearing a mask, washing our hands frequently and not gathering with anyone outside of your household are the best things we can do right now for our friends and our family members.”
The Canadian Muslim COVID-19 Task Force has a website at www.cmcovidtf.com that has helpful information, including recommendations about observing Ramadan safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to the recommendations mentioned above, the Health Unit also recommends the following to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:
- Limit trips outside of your home, and only go out for essential items, such as groceries or prescriptions.
- Work from home if you can and stay home from other activities, whether you have symptoms or not.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 15-20 seconds or use a waterless hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
- Cover coughs and/or sneezes with your sleeve or cough into your elbow.
- Clean high-touch areas frequently.
- Seek testing if you develop any symptoms of COVID-19.
- Book a COVID-19 vaccination appointment if you are eligible. Visit https://www.healthunit.com/covid-19-vaccine-eligibility to see if you are eligible.
Dan Flaherty, Communications Manager, Middlesex-London Health Unit
Dr. Alex Summers, Associate Medical Officer of Health, Middlesex-London Health Unit