Illustration of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2, the cause of COVID-19 (Alissa Eckert, MS, Dan Higgins, MAMS)
The North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit’s Medical Officer of Health Jim Chirico has made the important decision to issue a Class Order under Section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act.
The Order is effective immediately and will remain in effect until Chirico determines the Order is no longer required.
The Order enables North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit to enforce self-isolation requirements for the group of individuals to whom it applies.
“A key role of Public Health in controlling the spread of COVID-19 is to identify, contact and ensure those testing positive for the virus and high-risk individuals are isolating as quickly as possible,” explains Chirico.
“It is important that our district follows all public health measures, and when individuals who are required to self-isolate by public health are not following the rules we need to be able to take additional and immediate action,” Dr. Chirico continued.
The Order is different from the provincial shutdown. Where the provincial shutdown asks everyone in Ontario to only leave home for essential purposes and to not be in close contact with anyone outside your home, the Order applies to all persons residing in or present in the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit region who are required by public health to self-isolate, including those who:
- Are a confirmed case or probable case of COVID-19;
- Have new symptoms (even mild symptoms) or worsening symptoms of COVID-19, have been tested for COVID-19 and are awaiting the results of their test;
- Have symptoms (even mild symptoms) of COVID-19, or have had such symptoms within the past 10 days;
- Are a close contact of a person identified in (a) even if they do not themselves have any symptoms of COVID-19; or
- Are a parent, or person with responsibilities of a parent, of a person under sixteen years of age identified in (a), (b), (c) or (d) who resides or is present in the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit region.
People in Categories (a), (b), (c) and (d) above must self-isolate and follow other directions in the Order.
The purpose of Category (e) is to require parents and others who have the responsibilities of a parent to ensure compliance with the class order by any person under 16 years of age.
Parents and others must self-isolate only if they themselves also fall within Category (a), (b), (c) or (d).
The North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit, with support from police services, will enforce the Order. Failure to comply with this Order is an offence for which you may be charged, or liable to a fine of $880.00 (ticket) to a maximum of $5,000 for every day or part of each day on which the offence occurs or continues to occur.
The Medical Officer of Health may also have individuals taken into custody (in a hospital or other appropriate facility) during their self-isolation period if they are not in compliance or cannot comply with self-isolation requirements.
Complete information on the COVID-19 Class order can be found on the Health Unit’s website, including a Frequently Asked Questions section.
The public is reminded to follow public health measures including the provincial shutdown, which comes into effect on December 26, 2020, at 12:01 a.m.
Written by Greg Bowman