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 12:01 a.m. on October 5, 2020, the amendments revise and clarify self-isolation requirements and the legal obligations of those who are cases of COVID-19.
“A key role of Public Health in controlling the spread of the virus is to identify, contact and make sure high risk individuals are isolating as quickly as possible,” said Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region’s Medical Officer of Health. “To reduce the severity of the second wave, it is important that our community follows all public health direction and has clarity on what they need to do to stay healthy and protect others. Stopping the spread of COVID-19 is a community effort and what we do today is critical to what we experience two to three weeks from now.”
Key amendments to the Class Order include:
- the categories of people to whom the Class Order applies, and directions for how long they need to self-isolate, have been revised for improved clarity and to reflect current knowledge;
- household contacts of symptomatic individuals are no longer required to self-isolate (provided they have no COVID-19 symptoms themselves); and
- emphasis on the legal requirement for individuals to remain reachable for monitoring by Halton Region Public Health and to share the names and contact information for all contacts if requested by Halton Region Public Health.
Today, the Province also announced additional health measures (external link) to keep people safe. While many of the measures are targeted to other regions, province-wide measures, including Halton region, include mandatory face coverings in all public indoor settings, such as businesses, facilities and workplaces, with limited exceptions, including corrections and developmental services. The Province is also pausing social circles and advising that all Ontarians allow close contact only with people living in their own household and maintain two metres physical distancing from everyone else. Individuals who live alone may consider having close contact with another household. 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.
In response to the resurgence of COVID-19 and reduce the severity of the second wave, Halton Region Public Health continues to urge everyone to have a renewed vigilance with public health measures:
- limit contact to people in your household only and minimize non-essential social gatherings as much as possible and keep to 10 or less indoors or 25 or less outdoors;
- if hosting or attending a private gathering, make sure you are able to keep a 2 metre (6 foot) distance at all times and wear a non-medical mask;
- wear a non-medical mask or face covering in all indoor public places, including businesses, facilities and workplaces and when physical distancing is not possible;
- wash hands frequently with soap and water or with alcohol-based hand rub;
- stay at home when you are sick, even if you have mild symptoms;
- download the COVID Alert app to be anonymously notified if exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days; and
- get tested at a local hospital assessment centre only if you meet the Provincial testing criteria (external link).
To learn more about COVID-19 in our community and what you need to do to protect yourself and others, including under the class order, please visit halton.ca/COVID19.
The Regional Municipality of Halton serves more than 580,000 residents in the City of Burlington, the Town of Halton Hills, the Town of Milton, and the Town of Oakville. Halton Region is committed to meeting the needs of its residents through the delivery of cost-effective, quality programs and services, including water and wastewater; Regional roads and planning; paramedic services; waste management; public health; social assistance; children’s and seniors’ services; housing services; heritage programs; emergency management and economic development. For more information, call 311 or visit Halton Region’s website at halton.ca.