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Public Health Order Will Help Enforce COVID-19 Self-Isolation Requirements

Hastings and Prince Edward Counties / April 9, 2020 – 9:50 am

Effective 11:59 am on April 8, 2020, Dr. Piotr Oglaza, Medical Officer of Health and CEO for Hastings Prince Edward Public Health, has issued a class order under Section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act. This order enables Hastings Prince Edward Public Health to enforce self-isolation requirements for all individuals who have been advised to do so. These efforts are being made to protect the local community from potential exposure to COVID-19.

The order applies to anyone who currently resides, or is present, in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties who:

  • has been diagnosed with COVID-19,
  • has the signs and symptoms of COVID-19,
  • has been tested for COVID-19 and is awaiting the results of their test,
  • has a reason to believe they have symptoms of COVID-19, or
  • is a close contact of any of the above.

“This order legally requires individuals diagnosed with COVID-19, or who are at greater risk of developing COVID-19, to remain in their home/on their property, avoid contact with vulnerable individuals, and not allow any visitors within their home, for 14 days or longer,” says Dr. Piotr Oglaza, Medical Officer of Health and CEO at HPEPH. “We are making every effort to slow the spread of this virus in our community and are taking necessary action to ensure local residents are doing the same.”

Certain exemptions to the order may be applied to essential service workers – but only if they are not exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19, and are using personal protective equipment in a manner that protects individuals around them. Essential service workers are required to follow the Section 22 order while not at work. Individuals who fail to comply with the order may be charged a fine of up to $5,000 by HPEPH representatives and/or may be required to abide by a court order issued by a judge from the Superior Court of Justice.

While many members of the general public are not legally required to self-isolate, all residents are urged to continue practising physical distancing, and only leave home for essential reasons. These efforts will help reduce the potential transmission of COVID-19 in the event that an individual is contagious before they are required to self-isolate.

The complete order has been posted on the HPEPH website, hpePublicHealth.ca. The website also includes additional information and answers to frequently asked questions about COVID-19. Individuals who still have questions about the order after reviewing web content can call the HPEPH COVID-19 information line. The line can be reached at 613-966-5500, and will be available over the long weekend, Friday, April 10 – Monday, April 14 from 8:30 am – 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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Dr. Oglaza audio quote for media – Section 22 Specifics

Media Contacts:

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 gradually resuming in-person services at HPEPH by appointment only at this time.  Please review our Service Interruptions page for more information.

All program lines and the COVID-19 information line operate Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm (excluding statutory holidays).

To assist us with our efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19, we ask anyone visiting the office for an appointment to:

  • bring a non-medical mask, physical distancing may not be possible during your appointment
  • maintain physical distance of at least 2 metres, both inside and outside the office
  • review symptoms of COVID-19, and reschedule your appointment if you have symptoms of the virus, or any other illness
  • reschedule your appointment if a family member or other close contact is ill
  • use accessible buttons to open doors, instead of handles
  • use hand sanitizer when entering and exiting the building

We have made additional changes to prevent the spread of COVID-19. If you are visiting our office for an appointment, you can be confident that we are:

  • increasing our cleaning, in alignment with heightened infection control protocols
  • considering alternatives to in-person appointments and meetings when possible
  • screening staff and visitors for symptoms of COVID-19
  • offering in-person services by appointment only to reduce traffic in office
  • ensuring staff wear masks and/or other protective equipment when seeing clients

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