Health Unit gets stricter on self-isolation to curb winter COVID cases


Citing the increase of COVID-19 cases in neighbouring districts, the North Bay Parry Sound District (NBPSD) Health Unit announced a new class order would come into effect on Nov. 26.

Issued by Medical Officer of Health Dr. Jim Chirico, under Section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act, the order aims “to prevent the impacts of last winter’s spike in cases from reoccurring,” by enforcing self-isolation requirements on certain individuals.

“We’ve been carefully monitoring the COVID-19 situation locally and province wide,” says Chirico in a release. “Current trends are leading us to anticipate a significant increase in cases, and so I want to be proactive. The new Class Order will allow us to respond quickly to cases or high-risk close contacts that may not be following public health self-isolation requirements and contributing to the spread of the virus. It is critical that our district continues to follow all public health measures and provincial guidelines.”

As of Dec. 7, there are 30 active COVID cases in the region including one hospitalization. An outbreak at a local workplace has resulted in 12 positive cases so far. The Health Unit indicates the outbreak was declared on Nov. 30 but does not identify the workplace.

But as was the case last winter, surrounding regions are doing much worse. As of Dec. 7, there are 813 active cases in Simcoe-Muskoka, 375 in Sudbury and Districts and 36 in Timiskaming Health Units. Chirico says he wants to avoid such spikes here, so he is enforcing the order as a preventative step.

The new order requires all persons to self-isolate if they are a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19;

have new symptoms (even mild symptoms) or worsening symptoms of COVID-19, and have not received a negative test result; have reasonable grounds to believe they now have symptoms of COVID-19, or have had such symptoms within the past 10 days, and have not received a negative test result since developing those symptoms; are not fully vaccinated and are a close contact of a person with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19; are a parent of a person under 16 years of age who is a positive or probable case or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.

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