To contain the spread of COVID-19 and keep people home, the following declarations, orders and closures are currently in place from different level of governments:
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.
Questions and Answers
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.
- The Ontario Government has extended its State of Emergency due to COVID-19 until June 30. Under this order, many outdoor amenities and non-essential businesses are closed. Restrictions on social gatherings and limiting staff from working in more than one retirement home or long-term care home also remain in place until then.
- Ontario has also extending its COVID-19 emergency orders to June 9. All bars/restaurants will remain closed except for takeout and delivery only. Outdoor playgrounds, play equipment, swimming pools and splash pads must remain closed. Restrictions on social gatherings of more than five people also remain in effect.
- Some backcountry camping and limited day use are now permitted in provincial parks.
- The Province is now allowing drive-in religious gatherings under certain conditions. Drive-in movie theatres and batting cages can also reopen, as long as they follow COVID-19 safety measures.
- The Ontario government has opened provincial parks and conservation reserves to limited day-use. Community gardens are being allowed to operate, provided they follow a directives from the local Health Unit pertaining to physical distancing, and cleaning and disinfecting commonly used equipment and surfaces. Farmers’ markets can also operate this summer, but are subject to certain conditions.
- Ontario has expanded its list of essential businesses that can reopen. The Ontario government also announced its guiding principles for reopening the province and gradually lifting COVID-19 restrictions. Specifically, Ontario’s Framework for Reopening the Province provides details on the steps and stages in which this will be done. 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 or read the Frequently Asked Questions.
- All publicly-funded elementary and secondary schools will remain closed until September 2020. By the end of June, the Province will announce a full plan on how to safely reopen schools for the coming 2020-2021 school year.
- 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.
- Private schools, licensed child care centres and EarlyON programs will also remain closed for the safety and protection of children. Overnight summer camps will also not be permitted over coming months.