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HPEPH to Post all COVID-19 Outbreaks on Website

Hastings and Prince Edward Counties/April 2, 2020 – 5:05 pm

Between March 31 and April 1, 2020, Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH) received confirmation that staff members from two local long-term care homes have tested positive for COVID-19. At this time, only two staff members at Hastings Manor and one staff member at Hallowell House have been confirmed as positive cases. These individuals, as well as close contacts, are self-isolating at home.

HPEPH does not typically release statements about these situations until the employer has had the opportunity to notify their staff and provide their own statement. However, HPEPH is legally required to post notice of outbreaks in local long-term care homes and retirement homes. This is done on the HPEPH Facility Outbreaks page. As the Ministry of Health has declared that even a single case of COVID-19 in a long-term care or retirement home is considered an outbreak, any and all occurrences of COVID-19 in a long-term care home will be included in the facility outbreaks notices. 

In the interest of transparency, HPEPH is making the public aware of these initial COVID-19 outbreaks as this information will become public knowledge as part of regular outbreak updates.

Outbreak control measures have been instituted at both facilities and all staff members have been asked to self-monitor for symptoms.  Staff have undertaken enhanced cleaning of the home, including extra housekeeping staff to do more frequent cleaning, especially for high touch areas such as doorknobs, handrails, common areas, staff rooms and seating areas.

“Public Health is working closely with both Hastings Manor and Hallowell House, and have contacted individuals who were identified as close contacts,” says Dr. Piotr Oglaza, Medical Officer of Health and CEO at Hastings Prince Edward Public Health. “This reinforces the reality of COVID-19 in our community and I urge individuals to do everything they can to prevent its spread, recognizing that many are at higher risk from the virus. Stay home, avoid contact with vulnerable individuals, practise physical distancing and wash your hands frequently.”

Lab-confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 are provided with the same requirement – to self-isolate for a minimum of 14 days, including from others in your home – monitor symptoms, keep HPEPH informed of any changes in health or symptoms, and wear a mask if you must leave home to seek medical attention.

Visit the HPEPH website, hpePublicHealth.ca for current information and answers to many questions about COVID-19. Individuals who still have questions after reviewing web content can call the COVID-19 information line at 613-966-5500, Monday to Friday between 8:30 am and 8:30 pm and weekends from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.

Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.

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Media Contact:

Veronica Montgomery, Foundational Standards Manager
vmontgomery@hpeph.ca

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.

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Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH) is in Green-Prevent level of the provincial reopening Framework since February 10, 2021.

For details regarding restrictions and precautions applicable to the Green-Prevent level of the province’s reopening Framework, please visit Ontario.ca.

In addition to restrictions outlined by the province, Dr. Piotr Oglaza, Medical Officer of Health and CEO at HPEPH, has implemented a Class 22 Order, which includes additional precautions in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties.

HPEPH will continue to update hpePublicHealth.ca to include information for local businesses and residents. Local business owners/operators who are unable to find answers to their questions on our web page are invited to complete our online inquiry form.

If you are concerned about potential exposure to a positive case of COVID-19, please be reassured that any contacts of a confirmed case will be contacted directly and monitored by public health.

Low-risk and indirect contacts should self monitor for symptoms for 14 days from the time of potential exposure and seek testing if symptoms develop. Low risk contacts do not need to isolate unless symptoms develop, and can continue to attend school/work/daycare while monitoring for symptoms.