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.
Emily Tubbs, Communications Specialist
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.