Based on an increasing number of COVID-19 cases across the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) region, as well as projections shared by the Government of Ontario on April 3 that show public health measures are working to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the province, the EOHU has issued two new orders to further reduce the number of infections and deaths caused by the virus.
The orders, which came into effect at 11:59 p.m. on April 3, are part of the health unit’s continuing effort to limit the number of cases of COVID-19 and save as many lives as possible across the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry, the United Counties of Prescott and Russell, and the City of Cornwall.
The first order, pursuant to section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act (HPPA), requires that individuals experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19, as well as their close contacts, isolate themselves from other people until they are no longer infectious or potentially infectious.
“I have issued this order today as the next two weeks are a crucial time for us as a community to come together and collectively flatten the curve of COVID-19 infections,” said EOHU Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis.
“These reinforced isolation measures will reduce the risk of individuals infected with COVID-19 spreading the virus to others,” Roumeliotis said.
Order relating to mandatory isolation of certain individuals
This order makes isolation mandatory for the following individuals residing or present in the EOHU area (some exceptions may apply):
- Anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19
- Anyone who has signs or symptoms of COVID-19 and has been tested for COVID-19 but is awaiting results of that test
- Anyone who has reasonable grounds to believe they have symptoms of COVID-19
- Anyone who is a close contact of a person identified in a, b or c above
These individuals are required to isolate themselves for 14 days in accordance with the Eastern Ontario Health Unit’s directives. They must also keep away from vulnerable persons, and conduct themselves in a way that does not expose another person to infection or potential infection from COVID-19, by following infection control instructions. Full details of the order are available at www.EOHU.ca.
New Measures for owners/operators of grocery stores, convenience stores and pharmacies
Dr. Roumeliotis also issued a new order with guidelines regarding what owners/operators of grocery stores, convenience stores and pharmacies can do to stop the spread of COVID-19.
“Ensuring that grocery stores, convenience stores and pharmacies follow infection prevention measures will further prevent the risk of spreading COVID-19,” he said.
The new order issues additional measures regarding in-store crowd control, hygiene, the screening and training of employees, as well as measures regarding in-store signage about physical distancing and preventing hoarding amongst customers.
For more information about the orders issued by Dr. Roumeliotis, please consult the official documents on the EOHU’s website.
The orders will be enforced by EOHU inspectors, municipal by-law officers, and police officers.