SAULT STE. MARIE -- Algoma Public Health and the Sault Ste Marie Police Service want to make sure everybody is following COVID-19 guidelines this holiday season.

Police spokesman Lincoln Louttit said while the education campaign continues, COVID-19 has been around long enough for people to know gathering rules and other restrictions.

“We’ve been living in the new normal for a long time and people should understand the restrictions,” said Louttit. “We want people to be aware that there could potentially be consequences if you choose to ignore those restrictions.”

He said police have received 260 COVID-related calls since the beginning of the pandemic, but only two tickets have been issued.

“Obviously, there’s been some education and some warnings issued as well, but we’re very proud of how the community has responded,” said Louttit.

Dr. Jennifer Loo, associate medical officer of health, said the safest way to celebrate the holidays is with only the people within your household, and to celebrate virtually with everyone else.

When dropping off gifts, keep the visit brief and observe social distancing.

Health officials continue to urge people to follow public health guidelines to make the holiday season a safe one.