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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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Alerts:

1) Our offices are temporarily closed to the public to allow us to respond to COVID-19 demands. However, phone lines remain open. The COVID-19 information line is operating 7 days a week (excluding statutory holidays) from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. All other program lines are operating Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.

2) Returning travellers must self-isolate for 14 days and contact Public Health if symptoms of COVID-19 develop.

If you have returned from travel anywhere outside of Canada, you must self-isolate for 14 days and immediately contact Public Health or your local health care provider if you develop symptoms of COVID-19. Earlier this month all travellers were asked to self-isolated when they returned to Canada. Effective March 25, the federal government made this isolation mandatory under the Quarantine Act to better protect our most vulnerable citizens. Each of us must make the responsible decision to follow the advice of health authorities. It’s in everyone’s best interest to do everything we can to stop the spread of COVID-19.