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New Public Health Digital Guestbook Aims to Help Keep Both Residents and Tourists Safe

Hastings and Prince Edward Counties/June 12, 10:00 am

Today, the Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH) region enters into Stage 2 of the Province’s gradual approach to reopening. As additional businesses, facilities, and services become available for public use, individuals residing outside of the region are likely to visit the area to enjoy the many amenities, tourist attractions, and natural spaces available in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties.

“While HPEPH continues to recommend that everyone take steps to limit their close contacts, we recognize that people will want to make the most of the summer months, despite COVID-19 restrictions,” says Dr. Alexa Caturay, Acting Medical Officer of Health at HPEPH. “We ask that people be thoughtful about their travel, and take measures to reduce risk and promote safety for themselves and those in the communities they visit.”

To improve communication with travellers to the area, HPEPH is requesting that anyone visiting the region register on our Digital Guestbook, which is private, confidential, and requires only basic information such as an individual’s name, contact details, and nature of their visit. This additional measure will supplement existing processes in place to conduct contact tracing across health unit boundaries, as well as requirements for certain industries to keep detailed logs of clients or patrons. Use of the Digital Guestbook will not only enhance the efficiency of contact tracing if positive cases of COVID-19 are identified in the area, it will also allow HPEPH to connect visitors with the most current local information about the virus.

Local businesses and tourist establishments are encouraged to make visitors aware of the HPEPH Digital Guestbook, as part of regular registration, welcome, or payment procedures, to help improve infection control efforts. The Guestbook can be accessed at hpePublicHealth.ca/Guestbook.

All visitors and residents are reminded to continue necessary precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including washing your hands frequently, limiting your contacts, maintaining a distance of at least 2 metres with individuals outside of your household, using a cloth face covering if physical distancing is not possible, and staying home if you are ill. If you choose to gather, ensure you do so in groups of 10 people or less, and maintain physical distancing at all times.

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 may call the COVID-19 information line at 613-966-5500 / 1-800-267-2803.

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

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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We are working to respond to community needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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.

Please continue to visit our website for more information about our programs and services.