Effective 11:59 a.m. on Wednesday, April 8, 2020, Dr. Piotr Oglaza, Medical Officer of Health and CEO for Hastings Prince Edward Public Health, 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,” said 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.