A class order under Section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act has been issued by Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit’s Medical Officer of Health (MOH) to enforce COVID-19 self-isolation requirements. The order takes effect October 6, 2020 and remains in effect until the MOH declares it is no longer needed.
“Cases of COVID-19 are sharply on the rise in our communities and we need to make every effort to protect residents of Simcoe Muskoka from potential exposure to COVID-19,” said Dr. Charles Gardner, MOH. “This order enables us to enforce existing self-isolation requirements for all individuals who have been advised to do so in a quick and efficient manner, reducing delays that could significantly increase the risk to the health of our residents.”
The order applies to any person living or present in the County of Simcoe and District of Muskoka who:
- is identified as a person 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
- ·otherwise has reasonable grounds to believe they have one or more symptoms of COVID-19 or
- is a close contact of a person identified as a person diagnosed with COVID-19.
If you think you have any symptoms of COVID-19, use the provincial COVID self-assessment tool, and if indicated by the tool, get tested and self-isolate at home for 10 days (the period of time you are contagious) or until your test result is negative for COVID-19.
If you have been identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19, which means being within two meters of that infected person for at least 15 minutes without adequate personal protective equipment (PPE), you must self-isolate for 14 days even though you don’t have symptoms. This is because the COVID-19 incubation period (the period between exposure to an infection and the appearance of the first symptoms) can be up to 14 days. Adequate PPE is using both medical grade surgical/procedural mask and protective eyewear. Cloth face coverings are not adequate PPE.
Individuals who fail to comply with the order may be liable for a fine of up to $5,000 for every day or part of each day on which the offence occurs or continues.
For more information, including the complete order, visit the health unit’s website. People can also call Health Connection to speak with a public health professional weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturdays 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520.