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COVID-19 (2019 Novel Coronavirus)

Breadcrumbs
 

Current situation

Halton Region is firmly in a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. As cases continue to rise across the province and in Halton, it is more important than ever to follow public health direction and take personal responsibility to protect yourself and others. Stopping the spread of COVID-19 is a community effort and what we do today is critical to what we all experience two to three weeks from now.

As the situation continues to evolve and actions are taken, residents are asked to check the provincial website, ontario.ca/coronavirus (external link), regularly for updates.

For the latest information on COVID-19 in Halton region please read below:

  • Letter from Dr. Meghani to the Halton Community: On October 19, 2020, Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region’s Medical Officer of Health, released a letter (PDF file) to the community urging residents limit close contact to people within their households and limit non-essential activities. The letter also includes new recommendations for higher risk situations and settings such as sports, indoor fitness facilities, restaurants and bars. Read the letter (PDF file) and learn more about how you can help stop the spread of COVID-19.
  • Testing at Pharmacies: On October 14, 2020, the Provincial Government announced additional pharmacy locations offering COVID-19 testing, including new locations in Halton region. Please note that pharmacies offer testing to individuals without symptoms and who meet the provincial testing criteria by appointment only. To learn more, visit COVID-19 testing locations page (external link) and refer to the Assessment and Testing section on this page.
  • Testing: The Province sets the criteria for COVID-19 testing and local hospitals and select pharmacies are responsible for administering testing. The situation on testing continues to evolve, so please check the province’s website regularly for the latest testing criteria and testing locations (external link). To learn more, please see the Assessment and Testing section on this page.
  • Class Order: In response to rising cases and to align with Provincial requirements, Halton Region’s Medical Officer of Health has made important amendments to the Class Order under Section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act. Effective October 5, the amendments revise and clarify the self-isolation requirements and other legal obligations of those who are cases of COVID-19. To learn more, please read the Class Order (PDF file), Class Order Fact Sheet (PDF file) or our recent media release.
  • Social gatherings: On October 2, 2020, the Provincial Government announced that social circles will be ‘paused’. While limits on private, social gatherings continue to be no more than 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors, it is recommended to only have close contact with people living in your own household. Residents should maintain two metres physical distancing from others outside of their household. Read the Province’s news release for more information (external link).
  • Mask by-law: Halton Regional Council passed By-law 47-20 (PDF file), making it mandatory to wear a non-medical mask or face covering in certain indoor public places. On September 16, 2020, Halton Regional Council approved amendments to the by-law. The amended by-law takes effect at 12:01 a.m. on September 23, 2020. Details of the amendments are outlined in Halton Region’s September 22 media release. Some individuals may be exempt from the by-law. Please be kind and support each other. To learn more, please visit the Reopening Halton Region page.

Current cases in Halton

Please note that Halton Region Public Health is currently in the process of adopting a new provincial COVID-19 database. During this transitional period, all counts should be considered preliminary and are subject to change as information is reconciled.

Dashboard

Halton’s COVID-19 interactive dashboard provides a summary of the current local situation and information on COVID-19 activity in Halton to date. You can use the dashboard to easily explore Halton’s COVID-19 data on overall case counts, demographics, institutional outbreaks and lab testing.

To avoid duplication, we will no longer update the static case tables (with case counts by age group, municipality, and institutional outbreaks). All information previously provided in these tables is available in the dashboard below.

Having trouble loading the dashboard? View in fullscreen.

Data notes

Data sources:

  • Halton case data: Public Health Case and Contact Management (CCM) Solution, extracted each weekday morning to reflect cases reported by end of the previous day.
  • Halton test volume and percent positivity data: Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, Weekly counts of COVID-19 diagnostic test recipients.

General:

  • All data are dynamic and subject to change with future updates.
    • CCM is a dynamic disease reporting system which allows ongoing updates to data previously entered.
    • As a result, data extracted from CCM represent a snapshot at the time of extraction and may differ from previous or subsequent reports.
    • Data are updated once per day. Numbers update dynamically between 12 and 2 PM.
    • The change in the case count reflects the net change from the last update and shows how much higher or lower the count is compared to the most recently published data. The change does not reflect the number of new cases reported per day or when cases’ symptoms began. This information can be viewed in the “Cases over time” graph.
    • Based on information gathered while doing case investigation, numbers may increase or decrease daily to reflect our most up to date information.
  • Probable cases are individuals presumed to have COVID-19 because they have symptoms of COVID-19 and are travelers returning from an affected area, have had close contact with a confirmed case, lived/worked in a facility experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak, or had indeterminate test results.
  • All data includes only individuals whose main usual residence is in Halton Region. Cases who have municipality information pending are excluded.
  • Active cases, resolved cases, and deaths are a subset of total cases.
    • Cases are considered to be active if the case is open in CCM and not listed as resolved.
    • Resolved cases are persons who have been discharged from isolation at 14 days after symptom onset if they did not have a fever and their symptoms were improving for at least 72 hours OR 14 days from when they were tested if they were asymptomatic. For cases with no significant improvement in symptoms, Public Health continues monitoring until the case meets resolution criteria and the case is closed in CCM. For cases in hospital, a test-based approach may be used and isolation is continued until 2 consecutive negative tests are obtained, at least 24 hours apart.
    • Deaths include any fatality where the cause of death is recorded as COVID-19 on the death certificate or other official documentation, or fatalities among COVID-19 cases for which there is no clear alternative cause of death (e.g., trauma), and the decedent was still symptomatic/infected with COVID-19 at the time of death; was experiencing residual effects or complications of COVID-19 infection that persisted; and/or was a child that was experiencing multi-system inflammatory syndrome.
    • Case outcomes (resolved cases, deaths) reflect the latest available information reported to Halton Region Public Health and recorded in CCM by the extraction time.
  • The dashboard provides the ability to view cases using either episode date or reported date. Reported date is the date the case was reported to public health. This does not represent the day the case was first publicly reported in the dashboard, and there may be delays between when the case is reported to public health and when it appears in the dashboard (e.g., due to time required to receive confirmatory lab results, or receive a case referral from another health unit). Episode date is a field that is intended to approximate the symptom onset date for each case. It is calculated hierarchically, using the earliest date among symptom onset date; specimen collection date; or the date the case was reported to public health, as available.
  • Primary exposure group (the most likely source of acquisition for a case) is determined by examining the epidemiologic link and risk factor fields in CCM to consider whether a case travelled, was associated with a known outbreak inside or outside Halton, was a contact of a case or neither. If an investigator has stated that the case has an epidemiologic link, the nature of the link as specified by the investigator (contact, travel, or outbreak) will determine the category. If the investigator has stated the case does not have an epidemiologic link, or the investigator has not yet entered any information related to epidemiologic link, the case’s risk factors and association with any outbreaks are examined and a hierarchy is applied as follows:
    • Cases with episode date before April 1: Travel > Associated with any type of outbreak (institutional, congregate care, workplace, school, child care, or community) in or outside of Halton > Close contact of a confirmed case > None of the above (indicating community acquisition) > Information pending.
    • Cases with episode date on or after April 1: Associated with any type of outbreak (institutional, congregate care, workplace, school, child care, or community) in or outside of Halton > Close contact of a confirmed case > Travel > None of the above (indicating community acquisition) > Information pending.
      • If the investigator stated the case has an epidemiologic link, but has not yet specified the nature of the link, entered any related risk factors, and the case is not associated with an outbreak, the case is categorized as “Unspecified link”.
    • Some cases who are associated with an outbreak may not be categorized in the outbreak exposure group, if an investigator has specified their epidemiologic link as travel or contact.
    • It is important to note that cases can have multiple exposures, and these data reflect only their primary exposure group.

Outbreaks:

  • Our main priority in outbreak management is prevention. Ensuring appropriate measures are being taken requires time, in addition to collecting information on the status of cases. Data on outbreaks may therefore take additional time to be entered and reflected in the dashboard. Outbreaks will also not be posted until after notification of staff, residents, and families has been completed.
  • Institutional outbreaks include outbreaks of COVID-19 in long-term care homes, retirement homes, and hospitals.
  • School outbreaks include outbreaks of COVID-19 in publicly-funded elementary or secondary schools.
  • Outbreaks in congregate care settings (e.g. group homes) and most non-residential settings (e.g. community settings, workplaces, private schools, post-secondary institutions, child care centers) are not included.
  • Cases are included only if they reside in Halton. Staff members who work at Halton institutions or schools but who live outside Halton are not included. Similarly, students who attend Halton schools but who live outside Halton are not included. This can lead to outbreaks listed with zero cases.

Lab testing data:

  • Case turnaround times indicate the percentage of new confirmed Halton cases who were reported to Public Health within one day or within two days of being tested for COVID-19. It is an indicator of how quickly labs are able to process specimens submitted to them, and then report the positive results to Public Health so that case management and contact tracing can begin.
  • Case turnaround times are shown as 7-day averages that divide the total number of confirmed cases reported in the past seven days who were reported to Public Health within one or two days of being tested, by the total number of confirmed cases reported in the past seven days.
  • The target values are at least 60% of cases reported to Public Health within one day of being tested and at least 80% of cases reported to Public Health within two days of being tested.
  • Case turnaround times do not include probable cases as they often have not been tested.
  • Test volume and percent positivity data are updated once per week.
  • Test volume and percent positivity data reflect only lab tests that have been assigned to Halton Region based on the methodology used by the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences. There are several considerations associated with these data:
    • The unit of analysis is the testing episode (unique individuals tested per day). Individuals tested multiple times on different days are counted once in each week’s counts for the appropriate weeks.
    • Testing episodes after the individual's first confirmed positive COVID-19 test are excluded from subsequent weekly counts (numerator and denominator).
    • The COVID-19 test results are captured in the Ontario Laboratories Information System (OLIS). The testing date represents the date of specimen collection. Due to the time required for transportation and processing of specimens, it takes six days for approximately 95% of results to be finalized and reported for a given testing date. Some laboratories do not report all or part of their COVID-19 test results to OLIS. Unconsented test results are excluded.
    • Counts less than six are suppressed.
    • The location of tested individuals was based upon the test recipient’s postal code (and corresponding health unit) recorded in the OHIP Registered Persons Database (RPDB) for those residing outside a long-term care (LTC) facility, and the LTC address on the OLIS test requisition for specimens collected from LTC facilities. These address assignments can lead to misclassification of the health unit.
 

Map of COVID-19 cases by neighbourhood in Halton Region

 

Please note the cumulative rate per 10,000 categories have been adjusted upwards to allow for a better distribution of neighbourhoods compared to Ontario, as rates increase to reflect the accumulation of cases over time throughout the pandemic.

Crude incidence rates of COVID-19, confirmed and probable cases not associated with institutional or congregate care setting outbreaks, per 10,000 population, by neighbourhood, Halton Region. Mapping data are updated weekly; data below accurate to end of day on Sunday, October 18, 2020.

Area Crude rate per 10,000
Ontario 41.6
Halton 29.9

Please select a neighbourhood on the map below to view rate information. To search for an address, please view in Google Maps (external link).

Rates per 10,000 population

  0.1 - 24.9
  25.0 - 49.9
  50.0+
  Bronte Park

 

Data notes

Neighbourhood maps

  • Data extracted from CCM on October 19, 2020, with data current to end of day on October 18 27, 2020. All data are dynamic and subject to change with future updates.
  • Rates have been calculated using 2016 census estimates as the denominator. However, these rates should be viewed as estimates since many Halton neighbourhoods have experienced significant population growth since the 2016 census was conducted. This means that the number of COVID-19 cases in the numerator may be consistent with how many residents are actually living in the neighbourhood, but the denominators may be low since they have not changed since the 2016 census. This can result in rates per 10,000 that are overestimated.
  • Neighbourhoods in the map are based on neighbourhoods developed by Our Kids Network as part of a consultative process that took into account census, natural, municipal, and regional boundaries, while considering borders and names that would be meaningful to residents. For more information, please see the Neighbourhood Profiles page of the Our Kids Network website.
  • Rates per 10,000 were calculated because most neighbourhoods have between approximately 10,000 and 40,000 residents. This allows the rates to be accurately interpreted with respect to case counts. The area surrounding Bronte Park has no cases due to few individuals residing in that area.
  • Halton rates exclude cases among staff or residents of institutions or congregate care settings experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak. The Ontario rate excludes cases among residents or staff of a long-term care home experiencing an outbreak.
  • These rates are crude rates, meaning they do not take into account demographic differences between neighbourhoods (for example, differences in age distribution).
  • The crude rates were calculated using the cumulative cases in each neighbourhood since the start of the pandemic. Including only active cases would result in low counts that may be identifying.
  • As case counts are low, most rates have wide associated confidence intervals, and so are not necessarily statistically significantly different from each other, nor from the overall Halton rate.
  • Cases of COVID-19 that could not be assigned to a neighbourhood (for example, due to inaccurate or missing address information) have been excluded from the maps and table (<5%).
  • Only includes cases with a diagnosing health unit of Halton (meaning the case primarily resides in Halton

Surveillance reports

 

Halton’s COVID-19 Surveillance Reports provided a weekly summary of COVID-19 cases in Halton. They included information on cases over time, demographics, exposure sources, outcomes, institutional outbreaks, lab testing and comparison to Provincial statistics. This information is now available through the interactive dashboard on this page. 

View latest report
 

COVID-19 health advice

  • Most people with COVID-19 infection will develop mild symptoms and will recover on their own at home.
  • The risk of severe illness and outcomes is higher for older adults and those with weakened immune systems and underlying medical conditions (diabetes, heart and lung disease).
  • For a list of tip sheets and resources on COVID-19, such as cleaning and disinfection, guidelines for self-isolation or taking care of yourself and others, visit Public Health Ontario (external link).
  • For more information about COVID-19, email accesshalton@halton.ca or call 311. Translation is available in multiple languages.

Do I need a test?

The Province sets the criteria for testing. Please refer to the Ontario website for the latest testing criteria (external link) and review carefully.

Select pharmacies in Halton region (external link) are now offering COVID-19 testing to individuals without symptoms who meet the province’s testing criteria (external link).

Please note that testing is strongly recommended for people who are symptomatic (showing symptoms of COVID-19) or have had symptoms in the past 10 days.

Asymptomatic testing or testing for low-risk exposures is not recommended at this time. Please refer to the provincial testing criteria (external link) for more information.

How do I get a test?

Local hospitals are responsible for administering COVID-19 assessment and testing for those individuals who meet the province’s eligibility criteria (external link).

To maintain physical distancing and avoid crowding, testing is by appointment only. There are no “walk-in” testing sites in Halton region.

Assessment Centres

I am a resident of Oakville, Milton or Halton Hills: 

I am a resident of Burlington: 

I would still like a test. How can I get assessed to determine if I should be tested?

Other options for assessment:

If you are experiencing severe symptoms, please go to your nearest Emergency Department or call 911.

If you have any questions, please email accesshalton@halton.ca or call 311.

  • It may take up to five days to receive test results.
  • If tested at an assessment centre or pharmacy in Halton region, access your test results by:
    • using the provincial online portal (external link) (note: you cannot view test results using the Internet Explorer browser); or
    • contacting your family doctor (if their family doctor's contact was provided when getting tested).
  • If tested at the Joseph Brant Hospital Assessment Centre, you can also access test results through MyChart portal (external link).
  • If tested at Halton Healthcare Assessment Centre and online results are not available after five days, access test results by calling 905-203-7963.
  • Halton Region Public Health only receives positive test results and will follow up accordingly with those individuals and their close contacts.

Self-isolating while waiting for results

  • If you have any symptoms of COVID-19 (for example, fever, new or worsening cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, loss of smell and taste, etc.), you are required to self-isolate at home until you receive your results (see Self-Isolation section on this webpage).
  • You are not required to self-isolate while waiting for your test results if you:
    • do not have COVID-19 symptoms;
    • are not a close contact of someone with COVID-19; and
    • have not recently travelled outside of Canada (unless you are exempt).
  • Halton Region Public Health will contact all positive cases directly.
  • You are required to self-isolate at home for 10 days from when your symptoms began (see Self-Isolation section on this webpage).
  • If you do not have any symptoms, then you are required to self-isolate for 10 days from the date you were tested.
  • If your symptoms worsen while self-isolating (for example, you have difficulty breathing) call 9-1-1. Tell them about your COVID-19 diagnosis to ensure you receive appropriate care and the correct precautions are taken.
  • Re-testing is not required for you to return to work or other regular activities after self-isolation.
  • Under a class order issued by the Medical Officer of Health under Section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act, individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 are required to:
    • remain reachable for monitoring by public health; and
    • share the names and contact information for all contacts as requested by public health to support contact tracing.
  • In accordance with the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (external link), Halton Region Public Health makes every effort to protect the personal health information of individuals, the confidentiality of that information, and the privacy of individuals when conducting contact tracing.
  • If a negative test result is received, you can stop self-isolating if you have no fever and symptoms have been improving for at least 24 hours.
  • If you were identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19 and/or you have recently travelled outside of Canada (unless you are exempt), you are required to self-isolate at home for 14 days from the date you were last exposed to the individual with COVID-19 or from the date you returned to Canada (see Self-Isolation section on this webpage).
  • If you develop new or worsening symptoms, you may need to be re-tested.
  • A negative test result does not mean that you can’t get infected with COVID-19 in the future. Continue to follow public health measures to protect yourself and others (see Protect yourself and others tab on this webpage).

Serologic testing detects antibodies that are produced in response to a viral infection of COVID-19. On May 12, 2020, Health Canada authorized the first COVID-19 serological test for use in Canada. Canada’s COVID-19 Immunity Task Force (external link) is leading the collection of samples to be tested. Local Public Health Units currently do not have access to this test.

At this time, serologic testing is only available in Ontario for limited clinical purposes. Serologic testing is not to be used for screening and diagnosis of acute COVID-19 infection, or used to determine a person’s immune status.

Currently, in Canada, laboratories are using nucleic acid amplification testing (NAAT) to diagnose COVID-19. This test detects genetic material from the COVID-19 virus.

Additional information

Halton Region Public Health is working to protect the safety and health of all Halton residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. The latest evidence from local data suggests that physical distancing and other public health measures are helping to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the region. Learn how Public Health is protecting residents and what you can do to stay safe.

Local hospitals are responsible for COVID-19 testing. Please contact your local hospital testing and assessment centre to arrange a test if required.

Public Health:

  • educates the public (individuals, organizations, businesses) regarding steps they can take to reduce the spread of COVID-19;
  • provides infection prevention and control recommendations and guidelines to support local organizations and businesses throughout the stages of reopening;
  • assesses the risk among residents with symptoms and determines what further care is required;
  • coordinates testing (when required) at an appropriate location;
  • ensures those who are showing symptoms understand how to reduce the risk of transmission to others; and
  • provides guidance to cases and their contacts, such as self-isolation protocols and monitoring for symptoms to minimize the risk of spread.

Physical activity and getting fresh air are important for our overall physical and mental wellness. For most residents, it is safe to go outside for a walk, run or bike ride, or play in the park; others may need to stay on their private property for their own safety and the safety of the community.

Follow the instructions below:

Your situation Can I go outside in my private property (backyard, balcony or porch)? Can I go for a walk, run or bike ride off my private property?
I have tested positive for COVID-19 Yes No
I have symptoms of COVID-19 (even if mild) Yes No
I have returned from travel outside Canada in the past 14 days (unless you are exempt) Yes No
I am a close contact of a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 Yes No
I am over 70 years of age Yes Yes, however, please be aware that you are at increased risk for severe illness associated with COVID-19
I am immunocompromised or have underlying medical conditions Yes Yes, however, please be aware that you are at increased risk for severe illness associated with COVID-19
All other Halton residents (except those listed above) Yes Yes, but only if you stay 2 metres (6 feet) from those outside your social circle and have no symptoms of COVID-19

Other steps you can take to reduce your risk while being active outside:

  • Maintain 2 metres (6 feet) distance from others. You may need to change your route or the time of day that you go out in order to keep this distance.
  • Step aside or pass others quickly and courteously on sidewalks.
  • Do not enter spaces that are barricaded or have signage indicating the area is closed.
  • Keep your dog on a leash.

Remember to wash your hands when you return home.

  • To report an incident of non-compliance with the provincial emergency orders in Halton, please call the Halton Regional Police Service COVID-19 hotline at 905-825-4722.
  • The hotline will accept non-compliance reports for the following Provincial emergency orders:
  • A police officer or by-law officer will follow up to address the situation and describe the importance of the emergency measures. If necessary, the officer will issue a ticket or summons.
  • Halton residents can also report non-compliance with public health recommendations involving food premises and/or personal service settings by calling the Halton Regional Police Services COVID-19 Enforcement Hotline. All complaints will be forwarded to Halton Region Public Health for follow-up by a Public Health Inspector within one business day. After-hours calls will be returned the next regular business day.
  • Please call 911 for emergencies only. To report non-compliance with Regional by-laws or to contact Halton Region Public Health, please call 311.

As the spread of COVID-19 continues in Halton region, it’s recommended that you only have close contact with your immediate household. Avoid attending or organizing social gatherings with those from outside your immediate household.

If you interact with others from outside your household for social reasons, stay safe by:

  • limiting private gatherings to no more than 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors. These limits do not apply to events or gatherings held in staffed businesses and facilities.
  • keeping a physical distance of two metres (six feet) at all times.
  • wearing a non-medical mask or face covering.
  • staying home if ill.
  • reducing the amount of time that people gather indoors.
  • holding gatherings outdoors where possible.

For more tips on gathering safely, read the following documents.

The Ontario Government has developed guidance (external link) for how to stay safe this Halloween, including posters residents can display on their front door (external link) to let neighbours know whether or not you are handing out treats.

To prevent COVID-19 from spreading, Canada has put the following travel measures in place:

  • advising all Canadians to postpone or cancel all non-essential travel;
  • restricting all non-essential travel at the Canada-U.S. border;
  • banning entry of most foreign nationals entering Canada by air;
  • preventing symptomatic passengers from boarding a plane to Canada; 
  • redirection of the vast majority of international passenger flights to four airports (external link);
  • encouraging staff and passengers travelling by air, bus/motor carrier, rail, marine or air to wear a non-medical mask or face covering as much as possible, especially when physical distancing is not possible; 
  • requiring passengers to demonstrate they have the necessary face covering or non-medical mask before they are permitted to board an aircraft; and
  • requiring anyone entering Canada to self-isolate for 14 days, even if they do not have symptoms, under the Quarantine Act (external link), except those who are exempt (for example, cross-border workers).

Non-essential travel includes travel that is considered tourism or recreational in nature.

 

Media updates and announcements

  • December 31 - Health authorities in Wuhan, China first report cases of undiagnosed viral pneumonia. The cause is confirmed as a new coronavirus, known as 2019-nCoV or new coronavirus, which has not previously been identified in humans. For updated information on the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), visit the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Coronavirus Infection: Symptoms and treatment webpage (external link).


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