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Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit – MOH identifies additional measure for COVID-19 response

Our experience is that people in our communities with possible symptoms of COVID-19 and their contacts follow public health directions willingly and completely.  Individuals with lab confirmed COVID-19 isolate at home until there is no longer any risk that they are infectious, usually 10 days with resolving symptoms and no fever. Close contacts of these individuals isolate for 14 days – one incubation period.

As local community cases of COVID-19 continue to occur in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark, there is a risk that someone could refuse to adhere to public health requirements. In preparation for this possibility, Dr. Paula Stewart, Medical Officer of Health for the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit, has issued a Class Order pursuant to Section 22 of the Ontario Health Protection and Promotion Act, 1990. Many other Medical Officers of Health have already issued a Class Order 22 for their Health Unit regions. It is one more tool to protect the people in our community from COVID-19 infection.

The Section 22 Class Order enforces self-isolation requirements for individuals residing in or present in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark who:  are a confirmed case or probable case of COVID-19;

  1. have new symptoms (even mild symptoms) or worsening symptoms of COVID-19, have been tested for COVID-19 and are awaiting the results of their test;
  2. otherwise have reasonable grounds to believe they have one more symptoms of COVID-19;
  3. are a close contact* of a person identified in a. even if they do not themselves have any symptoms of COVID-19,  *”close contact “ means you are caring for or living in the same household with someone who has COVID-19 or have otherwise been identified as a close contact by the Medical Officer of Health or Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit staff acting under the direction of the Medical Officer of Health (Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit);or
  4. are a parent, or person with responsibilities of a parent, of a person under 16 years of age identified in a, b, or c who resides or is present in the Counties Leeds, Grenville and Lanark.

Individuals who are affected by the Class Order are required to self-isolate, which means they are required to stay at home and avoid contact with others for a specified period of time defined by the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit. Individuals who are required to self-isolate are instructed not to leave their home and not to allow any visitors inside the home unless they are essential. Individuals in self-isolation should arrange to have groceries and other necessities delivered to them.

The Class Order is effective at 3:00 pm on October 21, 2020 and will remain in effect until the Medical Officer of Health determines it is no longer required. Individuals who fail to self-isolate can be charged and fined up to $5000.00 per day.

“Ensuring that people self-isolate when necessary helps to limit the spread of COVID-19 and keeps everyone in our community safe,” explains Dr. Paula Stewart, Medical Officer of Health. “Most people are cooperative when they are required to self-isolate, so this Class Order provides an additional tool for the occasions when individuals are ignoring the Public Health requirements.”

More information, including resources for individuals whose life circumstances make it difficult to self-isolate, can be found at https://healthunit.org/health-information/covid-19/contact-tracing/ or call 1-800-660-5853 ext 2222.  For important public health updates, you can connect with LGLHealthunit on Facebook and Twitter.