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Media Release: HPEPH Public Health Issues Class Order to Address concerning increase in COVID-19 cases as Easter approaches

Hastings and Prince Edward Counties/March 29, 2021 –

Over the past week there has been a concerning increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties (HPEC). In an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19, Dr. Piotr Oglaza, Medical Officer of Health and CEO at Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH) has issued a Class Order pursuant to Section 22 of the Ontario Health Protection and Promotion Act, 1990 to proactively protect our community and prevent an impact on our emergency medical services and hospitals.

The Class Order which comes into effect at 12:01 a.m. March 30, 2021, replacing the previous Class Order issued on February 9, 2021, is issued to all persons in or present in HPEC. 

In accordance with the order:

  • Bookings/reservations for hotel/motel accommodation, personal service settings, and dine-in food services can only be accepted for individuals residing in HPEC (exceptions will include booking accommodation for individuals who are travelling to our region for essential reasons ie. health care staff, medical appointments, and emergencies and are in need of housing).

  • All short-term accommodations (e.g. Airbnb’s, B&B’s, cottages) are immediately closed, including all bookings made prior to March 30, 2021 (Exception: booking of accommodation is permitted for individuals who are travelling to or within our region for essential reasons, i.e. health care staff, medical appointments, and emergencies, and are in need of housing).

  • No person shall host or attend any indoor or outdoor social gatherings with more than five (5) persons that is held at a private dwelling, condominium, apartment building and or student residence. (exception: does not impact occupancy limits for places of business and does not include a gathering held at a place of business or an organization held for reasons related to the operations of the business or an organization).
  • All food and drink establishments must close to the public between 12 a.m. and 5 a.m., with limited exceptions (e.g. to pick up or pay for a takeout order).
  • All food and drink establishments must seat no more than 5 people together at a table.
  • All food services and personal service settings must record contact information for all patrons (exception: need not collect contact information for pick-up/carry-out orders).
  • All retail businesses must have a safety plan that is in writing, available on request, and posted in a conspicuous place.
  • All retail businesses and food and drink establishments must ensure music played is no louder than the volume of a normal conversation.
  • The person responsible for a business or place that is open must not permit patrons to line up inside, or to line up or congregate outside unless maintaining a physical distance of at least two metres from other groups of persons and wearing an appropriate mask/face covering.
  • All staff at retail businesses and food and drink establishments must wear appropriate personal protective equipment if providing services within 2 metres of another person who is not wearing a mask or face covering and are not separated by an impermeable barrier (e.g., plexiglass).  Protection of the eyes, nose, and mouth is required (i.e., goggles or face shields and surgical or procedural masks). This includes personal service settings and eating establishments where patrons temporarily remove their mask in order to receive services.

Failure to comply with this Class Order can result in fines of up to $5000 for individuals, and $25,000 for corporations for every day or part of a day on which the offence occurs or continues.

HPEPH will continue to monitor provincial rates of COVID-19 and restrictions in other regions and will review and update this Class 22 Order as needed to protect local residents.

“Given the increasing concerns of COVID-19 variants, and the risks of potential spread of COVID-19 related to Easter celebrations, these measures are necessary to prevent illness and the spread of COVID-19 in our community,” said Dr. Oglaza. “I want to thank the community for their continued vigilance and support in keeping our community safe and want to emphasize the importance of continuing to adhere to public health measures.”

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. 

 -30-

Media contacts

Maureen Hyland, Communications Specialist
mhyland@hpeph.ca

Emily Tubbs, Communications Specialist
etubbs@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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COVID-19 VACCINES IN HPEPH

Individuals turning 12 and over in 2021 who have not yet had a first dose, or those who meet the minimum second dose interval are now eligible to attend HPEPH walk-in clinics. To view the schedule, visit the Booking and Eligibility Page.

If you attended a clinic and did not receive an email copy of your vaccination receipt you can download a copy off the provincial booking site at covid19.ontariohealth.ca.

PHARMACY-BASED VACCINATIONS

Individuals turning 12 and over in 2021 can also receive their vaccination at participating local pharmacies. Please visit covid-19.ontario.ca/vaccine-locations for location and registration information.

CURRENT RESTRICTIONS IN HPEPH

On Friday, July 16 at 12:01 a.m., Ontario moved to Step 3  of the the Roadmap to Reopen. We must all continue to follow the public health measures, advice and restrictions. Outdoor gatherings are limited to 100 people in Step 3, and distancing must be maintained. For more information, visit our COVID-19 page.

POTENTIAL EXPOSURE TO COVID-19?

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 10 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.