Southwestern Public Health is advising residents of Oxford and Elgin Counties to continue following public health measures in response to a recent increase in cases across the region.
In the past week, there have been four new COVID-19 cases reported in Tillsonburg, and the number of confirmed cases in the Oxford-Elgin region is now 33 (including one with an address outside of Ontario). Aylmer currently has the most active cases at 15. There are also six in Bayham, five in St. Thomas, one in Central Elgin and one in Norwich.
That number, 33, surpasses the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit region which has 29 active cases as of Wednesday and the Middlesex-London Health Unit, which has 27 active cases.
“Our team is conducting a thorough contact tracing process to manage and contain these cases,” said Dr. Joyce Lock, Medical Officer of Health, Southwestern Public Health, in a media release. “Our current cases range from individuals, to households, to workplaces. They are not all are connected to one specific event or source of transmission.”
That underscores the importance of following public health advice for physical distancing, wearing a face covering when you cannot physically distance, keeping your hands and high-touch surfaces clean, and only having close contact with people in your social circle (maximum of 10), said Lock.
“I cannot stress this enough.”
Oxford-Elgin is also reminded of the Class Order (Section 22) issued on July 23 that requires self-isolation if asked to by public health. All residents are required to follow those requirements, and anyone who does not can be charged and fined up to $5,000 per day for every day the offence occurs or continues. It remains in place until further notice.
“Self-isolation means you must stay home for a full 14 days and cannot leave for any reason, including grocery shopping or running errands,” said Lock. “Please ask family or neighbours to drop off items at your doorstep and do not open the door to greet them.
“I want to caution speculation for where transmission is taking place. This virus can be anywhere. It is everyone’s collective responsibility to contain the spread of COVID-19.”
Southwestern Public Health has a responsibility and obligation to respect the privacy and identity of individuals, Lock noted.
“We also have a responsibility to protect the community from the spread of COVID-19. As such, we provide age range, gender and municipality for our cases to help inform the community about the number of cases and risks we are managing.”