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Returning Travellers Advised to Self-Isolate for 14 Days, and Contact Public Health if Symptoms of COVID-19 Develop

Hastings and Prince Edward Counties – Issued March 15, 2020 – 9:30am 

Effective immediately, Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH) is implementing new recommendations to reduce the spread of COVID-19 locally. Dr. Piotr Oglaza, Medical Officer of Health and CEO for HPEPH is advising all individuals who are returning from any travel outside of Canada to self-isolate for 14 days and to monitor for symptoms of COVID-19. This advisory is being put in place in order to reduce potential exposure to the community if an individual develops COVID-19 illness.

“We are advising all international travellers to take proactive measures and self-isolate while monitoring for symptoms, in order to help keep the local risk of COVID-19 as low as possible” says Dr. Oglaza. “We are asking everyone in our community to practice social responsibility during this critical time, as these actions can protect your own health and those around you.  We have the opportunity to slow the spread of illness and ensure health care resources are available to those who need them most.”

This most recent advice aligns with recommendations being made by the federal government, as well as several other health units in Ontario. This advisory is in addition to current provincial requirements that indicate all children who have travelled internationally and all individuals who have travelled to affected areas, must self-isolate for 14 days following their return to Canada.

Individuals who develop symptoms while in self-isolation are asked to contact their health care provider, or HPEPH at 613-966-5500 to receive advice regarding next steps.  Those with mild symptoms will be advised to self isolate until 24 hours after symptoms have resolved. Individuals who are experiencing moderate to severe respiratory symptoms are advised to call their health care provider immediately for direction or dial 911. 

While several returning travellers in HPEPH have been advised to self-isolate as a proactive measure, there are currently no laboratory confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the community. While confirmed cases have been reported in the quarantine zone at CFB Trenton, these cases arose among passengers who were repatriated from the Grand Princess Cruise Ship, and did not originate within the local community. Further, infection control measures in place in the CFB Trenton quarantine zone are continuing to protect the community, health care workers, and military personnel from exposure to the virus. These cases do not increase the risk of exposure in the HPEPH community.

Public Health Ontario has prepared information regarding self isolation, self monitoring and a self isolation: A Guide for Caregivers and Contacts. Additional information and resources are available at hpePublicHealth.ca or www.Ontario.ca/coronavirus for the most up to date information.

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Media Contact:
Emily Tubbs, Communications Specialist
613-848-2398
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 are currently eligible to book a first dose appointment. Individuals aged 70 and over as well as anyone who received their first vaccine on or before April 18th are now eligible to book their second dose on an accelerated schedule. To book, visit Ontario.ca/bookvaccine or call  1-833-943-3900.

There is currently a high demand for vaccination appointments in our region. If no appointments are available, please follow us on Facebook or Twitter to be notified when new clinic dates are added. Please do not call HPEPH to book. For more information, please visit  hpePublicHealth.ca/vaccine-booking/

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 Ontario.ca/bookvaccine.

PHARMACY-BASED VACCINATIONS

Individuals 18 and over can also receive their vaccination at participating local pharmacies. Select pharmacies are also offering vaccinations to youth aged 12 – 17. Please visit covid-19.ontario.ca/vaccine-locations for location and registration information.

CURRENT RESTRICTIONS IN HPEPH

Based on the provincewide vaccination rate and continuing improvements in key public health and health system indicators, the Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, will move the province into Step One of its Roadmap to Reopen at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, June 11, 2021. For more information, read the media release.

While the provincial Stay at Home Order has been lifted, public health precautions must be maintained. Close contact must be limited to those within your household. Outdoor gatherings are limited to 5 people, 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 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.