Hastings and Prince Edward Counties/November 13, 2020 – As cases of COVID-19 continue to rise across the province, the continued efforts of Hastings and Prince Edward County (HPEC) residents have helped keep local infection rates relatively low. Currently, HPEPH is in the green/prevent zone of the province’s COVID-19 response framework, with standard preventative measures in place. However, over the past few weeks, several cases in the HPEC region have been acquired through local transmission. Local transmission is defined as cases that have no known close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, and no recent travel outside of HPEC.
“All residents are asked to do their part to reduce the risk of local transmission of COVID-19 and avoid additional restrictions for our region, says Dr. Piotr Oglaza, Medical Officer of Health and CEO at HPEPH. “If you are feeling unwell, stay home for all but essential reasons such as medical appointments or getting tested for COVID-19. Visiting public places while you feel sick or have symptoms can increase the risk of spreading illness to others in the community, and severely impact those who are more vulnerable, such as older adults or individuals living in long term care homes”.
Everyone is asked to decrease their number of high risk contacts, which will help reduce the spread of illness. To decrease high risk contacts, avoid the 3 C’s: closed spaces with poor ventilation, crowded places, and close contact where you can’t practice physical distancing. To further prevent the spread of COVID-19 or any illness, practice five fundamental actions:
- Stay home when ill, as directed by provincial assessment tools;
- Always physical distance with those outside your household;
- Wear a mask or face covering in public spaces, as well as when physical distancing is difficult or not possible;
- Wash your hands often; and
- Get tested if you have symptoms of COVID-19
Public health has processes in place to identify and notify close/high risk contacts of confirmed cases. All high-risk contacts of COVID-19 will be contacted directly and monitored by HPEPH.
Low risk contacts, or contacts of high-risk contacts, are advised to monitor for symptoms for 14 days and seek testing if symptoms develop. Low risk contacts do not need to isolate unless symptoms develop or otherwise advised. All residents should monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 and follow guidance provided in provincial assessment tools regarding testing and isolation.
About Hastings Prince Edward Public Health
Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH) is a public health agency that serves the counties of Hastings and Prince Edward from four local offices. We monitor the health of our local population, deliver programs and services within our communities, and help develop healthy public policies. We provide information and support in many areas to help improve the health and well-being of our residents. Together with our communities, we help people become as healthy as they can be. For more information, please visit hpePublicHealth.ca. You can also find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.