This Version Posted: October 19, 2020
To contain the spread of COVID-19, the following declarations, orders and closures from different levels of government are now in place. Please read on for further details.
HKPR District Health Unit
- July 16, 2020 – Updated Directive for Mask Use in Indoor Public Places Under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act
- April 14, 2020 – Section 22 Order for Local Residents With COVID-19 to Self-Isolate (see information below)
Local Medical Officer of Health Directive and Class Order
On April 14, 2020, the local Medical Officer of Health issued the following Class Order under Section 22 (5.01.1) under the Health Protection and Promotion Act. This order is designed to protect the health of local residents by reducing the spread of COVID-19 in Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes.
Who is Affected
The order applies to ALL persons in Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes who:
- are identified as a person diagnosed with COVID-19
- have the signs and symptoms of COVID-19, have been tested for COVID-19 and are awaiting the results of their test
- otherwise have reasonable grounds to believe they have symptoms of COVID-19, or
- are a close contact of a person identified in the above points.
What You Must Do
As of April 14, 2020 at noon, you must:
- Isolate yourself without delay as instructed by the HKPR District Health Unit. This includes: remaining in your home or isolation facility. Do not go outside, unless on to a private balcony or enclosed yard where you can avoid close contact with others. You must not have any visitors into your home except as permitted by the Health Unit.
- Remain in isolation until the expiry of a 14-day period that begins on the day on which you first show symptoms, are tested, or are diagnosed with COVID-19 (whichever is earliest, or on the last day of close contact). Follow these guidelines unless instructed otherwise by the Health Unit.
- During the self-isolation period, reduce exposure to others to prevent the spread of infection or potential infection from COVID-19. Follow infection control instructions on the HKPR District Health Unit website (www.hkpr.on.ca) or those given to you by the Health Unit or any other staff of a healthcare facility to which you may seek or receive treatment.
- Keep away from vulnerable persons. Follow any further instructions provided by the Health Unit pertaining to COVID- 19. In particular, you should seek clinical assessment over the phone – either by calling your primary care provider’s office or Telehealth Ontario 1-866-797-0000. If you need additional assessment, your primary care provider or Telehealth Ontario will direct you to in-person care options.
- Seek prompt medical attention if your illness worsens by calling 911 and telling reponsders of your COVID-19 related diagnosis or symptoms.
Please Note: Testing for Other Individuals
The Province of Ontario has indicated that people who are not displaying any symptoms of COVID may elect to be tested. The class order presently in place does not apply to individuals who do not show signs or symptoms of COVID, unless they have also been identified as a close contact of a person who has been diagnosed with COVID. If you are not a “close contact” AND are asymptomatic, the class order does not apply to you, and you do not have to self isolate while awaiting your COVID test results. However, if at any time before or after having your test, and/or receiving your COVID diagnosis, you experience COVID symptoms, the class order AND the obligation to self-isolate will apply.
Questions and Answers
- Who is Affected
- Under what authority did the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge (HKPR) District Health Unit issue a Class Order related to the COVID-19 outbreak to require persons to self-isolate?
- Why did the Medical Officer of Health issue this Class Order?
- Who is required to self-isolate under this Order?
- When is the Order effective? How long must people self-isolate?
- Are there any exceptions?
- What does it mean to self-isolate under the Order?
Under what authority did the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge (HKPR) District Health Unit issue a Class Order related to the COVID-19 outbreak to require persons to self-isolate?
The Health Protection and Promotion Act authorizes the Medical Officer of Health to make a Class Order to address the risks presented by the potential spread of COVID-19 to residents of the City of Kawartha Lakes and Northumberland and Haliburton Counties.
Why did the Medical Officer of Health issue this Class Order?
Based on the continuing increase in the number of people contracting COVID-19 in the City of Kawartha Lakes, Northumberland and Haliburton Counties, and experiences in cities around the world, this is a targeted mandatory measure that will strengthen our ability to reduce the loss of life from COVID-19, and preserve and protect the capacity of our health care system to respond and to provide care for those who need it.
While most people who have or may have COVID-19, as well as their close contacts, have been compliant with instructions from public health authorities to self-isolate, there are individuals who do not take these measures seriously enough. This Class Order is a legal tool to help us ensure that everyone who needs to self-isolate, complies.
Who is required to self-isolate under this Order?
All individuals who have been diagnosed with COVID-19; have signs and symptoms of COVID-19, have been tested for COVID-19 and are awaiting the results of their test; otherwise have reasonable grounds to believe they have symptoms of COVID-19; or are close contacts of those individuals, are required to self-isolate. A close contact is a person who is caring for or living in the same household with someone who has COVID-19 or is otherwise identified as a close contact by the HKPR District Health Unit.
When is the Order effective? How long must people self-isolate?
The order is effective from 12:00 p.m. (noon) on April 14, 2020, and will remain in effect until such time as the Medical Officer of Health determines it is no longer required.
Self-isolation is generally for a period of 14 days from the first onset of symptoms. In some cases, public health officials may direct an individual to extend the period of isolation, depending upon symptoms, other new cases identified in a household and test results.
Are there any exceptions?
Close contacts who are asymptomatic and provide an essential service may continue to provide that essential service. In addition, the Order does not restrict a person from receiving essential medical services or treatments, whether or not related to COVID-19. Other exceptions may be made in compelling circumstances, for example, individuals who do not have suitable housing to self-isolate, or who are fleeing domestic violence.
What does it mean to self-isolate under the Order?
Individuals who are affected by the Order are required to stay at home. If a person with COVID-19 is homeless, or where their home is otherwise unsuitable or unsafe for isolation purposes, they will be accommodated in an isolation facility to be determined. Self-isolation means not leaving home at all or having any visitors except as permitted by HKPR District Health Unit (for example, where a health care worker is visiting the home). People in self-isolation should arrange to have groceries and other necessities delivered to them. If you require any support with this, please notify HKPR District Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577 ext. 5020.
COVID-19 Class Order
- Stage 3 of COVID-19 reopening remains in place in Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes. However, new public health restrictions are in place in COVID-19 hotspots — Toronto, Ottawa, Peel Region and York Regions. The new measures in these four regions include: prohibiting indoor dining at restaurants and bars, and closing gyms, movie theatres and casinos. These restrictions will be in place for the next 28 days. Local businesses are not impacted by these new restrictions. If you have questions about whether your business can reopen or not, call Ontario’s Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659. For resources on opening, please visit the Ontario government website.
- Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health is urging everyone to limit trips outside of home for only essential purposes like work, school, groceries, medical appointments and outdoor physical activity. In addition, travel to other regions of Ontario — especially those areas with high rates of COVID-19 transmission to places with low COVID-19 transmission rates — should only be for essential purposes as well.
- Strip clubs are now required to be closed.
- Bars, restaurants and other food and drink establishments (including nightclubs) must stop selling alcohol at 11 pm and close at midnight (except for takeout or delivery).
- You are asked to only have close contact with people in your immediate household. Individuals who live alone may consider having close contact with another household.
- As of now, the Ontario government is also mandating the use of face coverings in all public indoor settings across the province, such as businesses, facilities and workplaces, with limited exemptions, including corrections and developmental services. Masks must also now be worn throughout religious services at places of worship.
- The Ontario government is now limiting the size of private social gatherings to no more than 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors (the two gatherings cannot be combined to host 35 people). The new limits do NOT apply to events or gatherings held in staffed businesses and facilities, such as bars, restaurants, cinemas, convention centres, banquet halls, gyms, places of worship, recreational sporting or performing art events.
- Playgrounds and play structures are now open as part of Stage 3 reopening.
- The Government of Ontario has passed the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act that ensures important public health measures remain in place to address the threat of COVID-19 once the provincial Declaration of Emergency has ended.
- The Ontario government is improving its efforts to more quickly test, trace and isolate cases of COVID-19 to stop the spread of the virus. Included in this is a joint provincial-federal partnership to launch COVID Alert, a new privacy-first exposure notification app. The app is designed to improve COVID-19 tracking and will be launched in early July. More details about it are expected soon.
- The Ontario government is expanding COVID-19 testing to pharmacies in the province. This testing at pharmacies will be free, by appointment only, and available ONLY to people who are not showing COVID-19 symptoms. Pharmacies will also be doing COVID pre-screening of anyone seeking a test. To learn which pharmacies are offering testing, click here.
- Places of worship in Ontario are now allowed to reopen with physical distancing in place and attendance limited to more than 30 per cent of building capacity to ensure the safety of worshipers.
- The Province is working to ensure students are safe at school with enhanced guidelines in place to protect against COVID-19. Licensed child care centres are also now allowed to operate at full capacity.
- The Ontario government is allowing family visits at long-term care homes, retirement homes and other residential settings. Strict health and safety guidelines will be in place to protect the health of residents, staff and visitors. Contact the care home for specifics on how to arrange a visit.
- Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health has released an updated directive to allow the gradual restart of non-essential services provided by regulated health care providers like dentists, chiropractors and others.
- If you have travelled abroad, you MUST immediately self-isolate/quarantine and stay home for 14 days. This is due to the Canadian government putting in place an Emergency Order under the Quarantine Act. Further mandatory requirements for travellers entering Canada were put in place on April 14 by the federal government. These quarantine measures apply to all travellers arriving in Canada and is aimed at slowing down the spread of COVID-19. NOTE: The only exceptions are essential workers, including those who ensure the continue flow of goods and essential services across the border.
- The Canadian government is also extending mandatory requirements under the Quarantine Act for anyone entering Canada until Sept. 30. Border measures preventing most foreign nationals from entering Canada are also extended.