April 29, 2003

Recreation facilities, public programs and events safe to attend

NEWMARKET - In response to inquiries concerning Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), York Region Health Services would like to assure the public that it is safe to use recreational facilities and to attend public programs and special events. Dr. Hanif Kassam, Acting Medical Officer of Health, recommends that recreation programs and special events not be cancelled.

"Enjoy your regular family outings, attend events and take your children to their extra-curricular programs," says Dr. Kassam. "It is important that we continue to use recreational facilities to maintain a healthy and fit lifestyle."

There is no evidence at this time that suggests the SARS infection is spread through casual contact in large groups of people, such as in recreation facilities or public events.

York Region Health Services also works closely with its area municipalities to ensure swimming pools and recreation facilities meet or exceed provincial standards.

At the same time, if you or any member of your family is not feeling well, stay home to encourage recovery. As with any infectious illness, to prevent the spread, keep in mind the following:

If you have any questions or concerns about SARS or would like health information, call York Region Health Servicesí Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653.

The Regional Municipality of York is committed to providing cost-effective, quality services that respond to the needs of our rapidly growing communities.  York Region is comprised of the following nine area municipalities:  Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, King, Markham, Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Vaughan and Whitchurch-Stouffville.  For more information, visit our Web site at:  www.region.york.on.ca

Contact: Patrick Casey, Senior Media Relations Specialist, York Region

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