Southwestern Public Health is taking steps to ensure compliance with its COVID-19 public health orders, geared toward any residents failing to comply with self-isolation instructions.
The key issue is the quarantine of people diagnosed with COVID-19 in Oxford and Elgin Counties; those who have the signs and symptoms and are waiting for test results; those who have reasonable grounds to believe they have symptoms of COVID-19 or those who are a close contact; or any of the above.
All residents are required to follow the self-isolation requirements, and those who do not can be charged and fined up to $5,000 per day for every day the offence occurs or continues. The new Class Order, issued by Dr. Joyce Lock, SWP Medical Officer of Health, is in place until further notice.
“Largely, the residents of this region have been doing what they can and should do,” said Dr. Lock in a media release. “Most of us want to keep our friends, family and neighbours safe. But occasionally Public Health needs the legal means to enforce best practices related to infection prevention and control. This Order gives us the authority to do that should it be required.”
A new COVID-19 case in Tillsonburg was reported Thursday, bringing the number of active cases in the Oxford-Elgin region up to nine.
Currently there are four cases in St. Thomas, two in the Municipality of Bayham, one in Aylmer, Malahide and Tillsonburg (the lone case Oxford County).
The total number of cumulative cases in Oxford-Elgin since the first positive tests March 23 (Elgin) and March 25 (Oxford) were recorded by Southwestern Public Health is 96. Southwestern Public Health’s daily reports show 82 of those have been resolved. There have been five fatalities in Elgin, none in Oxford.
Tillsonburg’s COVID-19 Assessment Centre at 17 Bear Street tested 123 people between July 20-22. To book an appointment call 1-855-905-6148. Visitors are required to wear a face mask. If you do not have a mask (cloth or disposable) when you arrive at the assessment centre, a mask will be provided.
“There are two pieces of information that are imperative for everyone,” said Lock. “First, if you have been instructed by public health to self-isolate at home, you must do so. Second, physical distancing works.
“It is really important to keep doing everything you can to protect yourself and those around you. Wash your hands frequently. Stay home when you are sick. Wear a non-medical mask. And importantly, unless you are in your social circle of 10 people, keep two metres of distance between yourself and other people,” she emphasized.
The Southwestern Public Health unit’s COVID-19 Information Line is open seven days a week between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. The number is 1-800-922-0096 ext. 9. Call if you have any questions.