Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

A State of Emergency is currently in effect for Ontario. Effective Thursday, January 14, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., a Stay-at-Home Order has been issued requiring all individuals to remain at home with trips outside of the home limited to essential purposes only. This includes: going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services, for exercise, or for essential work. 

Learn more about the public health measures and restrictions during the state of emergency. We are currently updating our pages to reflect the new restrictions and public health measures.

The COVID-19 Response Framework (colour-coded zones of public health measures) is paused during this time. 

Class Order Section 22 - Issued by the Huron Perth Medical Officer of Health, November 29, 2020 

The Order is a legal measure that authorizes the health unit to enforce individual compliance with public health instructions. The key focus of this Order is to ensure people who have been told to self-isolate by public health or a health care provider are doing so. For more information, view our Fact Sheet: What you need to know: HPPH Class Order, Section 22: Self-Isolation (PDF) or go to our self-isolation page.

Quick links:

Partners and professionals:

HPPH buildings are closed to the public so that we can focus our efforts on the COVID-19 response in our community. Please view our COVID-19 Response Service Interruptions page for a list of programs and services interruptions and modifications.

State of Emergency and Stay-At-Home Order

State of Emergency 

In response to the alarming rise of COVID-19 cases in Ontario, a declaration of emergency was made on January 12, 2021 for all of Ontario. 

The declaration of emergency allows the government to:

  • strengthen public health and workplace safety measures
  • create and enforce emergency orders

The purpose is to help:

  • keep people at home as much as possible and save lives
  • stop the spread of COVID-19 in communities
  • prevent the hospital system from becoming overwhelmed
  • protect at-risk populations and those who care for them

The results of the enhanced public health measures will be evaluated throughout the provincial emergency to determine when it is safe to lift any restrictions, or if they need to be extended. Read the detail framework. 

This means that the COVID-19 Response Framework (colour-coded zones of public health measures) is paused during this time. The Provincewide Shutdown that was previously in place will continue with stronger public health and workplace safety measures. 

Everyone must follow the rules (orders) under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act and the Reopening Ontario Act.

Stay-at-Home Order

As of January 14, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., a stay at home order is in effect for all of Ontario.

This means that you MUST stay at home. You should only go out for necessities, such as:

  • getting food, beverages or medication
  • going to medical appointments
  • supporting vulnerable community members
  • child care
  • attending school or a post-secondary institution
  • going to a bank
  • accessing government services
  • getting exercise or walking pets
  • going to work, if you cannot work from home

Businesses must ensure that all employees work from home if they can.

Do not travel outside your region or the province unless absolutely necessary.

Learn more about the new public health measures and the full list of reasons you can go out during the stay at home order by visiting the province’s website.

COVID-19 Level: Provincewide Shutdown 

Effective Saturday, December 26, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. Huron-Perth will begin the time-limited province-wide shutdown to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Please note that these measures will continue with stronger public health and workplace safety measures during the current State of Emergency and Stay-at-Home Order that came into effect on January 12, 2021. 

Daycare and childcare

For parents whose child/ren are attending a childcare centre or home daycare:

  • Use the provincial COVID-19 school and childcare screening tool [online] or COVID-19 school and childcare screening tool [PDF] to assess the health of your child/ren each morning and determine whether they can go to childcare
  • If your child becomes sick during the day at childcare, your child will be separated from other children and supervised by a staff member until you are able to pick them up. You will then be advised to complete the screening tool for your sick child and follow the directions.

For staff who work in a childcare centre or home daycare:

For childcare operators:

 Events and gatherings

The Province of Ontario has placed restrictions on events and gatherings. 

A Provincial State of Emergency is currently in effect for the Province of Ontario. Effective Thursday, January 14, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., a Stay-at-Home Order has been issued requiring all individuals to remain at home with trips outside of the home limited to essential purposes only. This includes: going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services, for exercise, or for essential work.

The COVID-19 Response Framework (colour-coded zones of public health measures) is paused during this time.

Indoor organized public events and social gatherings are not permitted except with members of the same household (the people you live with). Limit close contact to your household:

  • Families should not visit any other household or allow visitors in their homes
  • Individuals who live alone and single parents may consider having exclusive, close contact with another household to help reduce the negative impacts of social isolation
  • Virtual gatherings or events are the safest way to visit or recognize occasions with people outside your household

Maintain two metres of physical distancing from everyone outside of your household (who you do not live with).

Wear a face covering indoors; outdoors if physical distancing cannot be maintained; or if wearing one is required.

Limits for outdoor organized public events and social gatherings, where physical distancing can take place, must comply with requirements on physical distancing and face coverings:

  • 5 people outdoors

Limits for certain organized public events and gatherings such weddings, funerals and other religious services, rites or ceremonies, where physical distancing can be maintained and in compliance with rules on face coverings:

  • 10 people indoors
  • 10 people outdoors
  • Drive-in services, rites or ceremonies are permitted. Virtual services are permitted.
  • An indoor event cannot be combined with an outdoor event to increase the gathering limits. 

Limits for organized events and social gatherings associated with weddings, funerals and other religious services, rites or ceremonies (such as a wedding reception), where physical distancing can be maintained:

  • Indoor gathering prohibited
  • 5 people outdoors

Learn more about the public health measures and restrictions during the state of emergency.

Police are responsible for enforcing gathering limits. Please note that some public health directions are strong recommendations, but may not be part of a provincial order.

Local police:

If you have questions about whether you are in conflict with provincial requirements, please contact your local police force for clarification.

How to protect against COVID-19

Coronaviruses are spread mainly from person to person through close contact. Close physical contact means:

  • being less than 2 metres away in the same room, workspace, or area for over 15 minutes
  • living in the same home

There is currently no vaccine available to protect against COVID-19, but there are actions you can take to help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses.

Learn more about how to protect yourself from COVID-19.

Every day actions to protect yourself

Proper hygiene can help reduce the risk of infection or spreading infection to others:

  • wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the washroom and when preparing food
    • use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available
  • when coughing or sneezing:
    • cough or sneeze into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand
    • dispose of any tissues you have used as soon as possible in a lined waste basket and wash your hands afterwards
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
  • stay home if you are sick
  • practice safe food handling: shopping, cooking and preparation

How long does the virus survive on surfaces?

  • It is not certain how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on surfaces, but it seems to behave like other coronaviruses.
  • Studies suggest that coronaviruses (including preliminary information on the COVID-19 virus) may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days.
  • This may vary under different conditions (e.g. type of surface, temperature or humidity of the environment).

Cleaning

Health Canada has published a list of hard surface disinfectants that are likely to be effective for use against coronavirus (COVID-19).

Although they do not claim to kill viruses such as COVID-19, cleaners can play a role in helping limit the transfer of microorganisms.

Health Canada recommends cleaning often, using either regular household cleaners or diluted bleach (1 part bleach to 9 parts water) the following high-touch surfaces:

  • toys
  • toilets
  • phones
  • electronics
  • door handles
  • bedside tables
  • television remotes

Is it safe to receive a package from any area where COVID-19 has been reported?

Yes. The likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low and the risk of catching the virus that causes COVID-19 from a package that has been moved, travelled, and exposed to different conditions and temperature is also low.

Physical distancing and social circles

Physical distancing is a public health measure that can delay and decrease the number of cases of COVID-19 over time so as not to overwhelm our healthcare system. 

The province of Ontario has set indoor and outdoor gathering limits. In all cases, individuals are required to maintain physical distancing of at least 2 metres with people from outside their households or social circles.

Social circles

The province is 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. 

When home isn't safe

For many survivors of domestic violence and seniors who experience abuse, staying home may not be the safest option. If home is not safe for you, please contact Optimism Place (24hr service women's shelter): 1-800-265-8598/519-271-5550, Emily Murphy Centre 1-888-826-8117/519-273-7350, or Huron County Women’s Shelter and Second Stage Housing and Counseling Services at 1-800-265-5506/ 519-524-6245. If you are in immediate danger, please call 911.

 Places of worship

All services, rites and ceremonies must adhere to the limits set out during the provincewide shutdown.

Role of local public health 

  • Current Huron Perth Public Health activities include:
    • surveillance
    • performing case management (such as assisting with self-isolation) and contact tracing
    • communications
    • leading local collaboration
    • acting as liaison with the Ontario Health Regional Planning Table, and
    • facilitating regional plans.
  • Huron Perth Public Health has a strong partnership with local hospitals and healthcare providers and are working together to respond to the situation.
  • COVID-19 is now a reportable disease in Ontario. This means healthcare providers and organizations are required to report any suspect or confirmed case of COVID-19 to local public health authorities, so that public health can take measures to contain spread of infection.
  • For a suspected or confirmed case of novel coronavirus in Huron or Perth, HPPH works with the Ministry of Health, Public Health Ontario Laboratory, and local hospitals in the management of the case and any contacts.
  • Learn about the public health response in Ontario.

Travel

The Government of Canada has put an official global travel advisory into effect: Avoid non-essential travel outside Canada until further notice. View the latest travel advisories related to COVID-19.

The Government of Canada has also put in place an emergency order under the Quarantine Act. This order applies to all travellers arriving in Canada.

Under this order, if you have recently returned to Canada you must self-isolate (quarantine) and stay home whether you have symptoms or not. Even if you do not have symptoms right away, you are at risk of developing them and infecting others.

If you need it, you will get immediate medical attention when you arrive in Canada.

For more information, see the Government of Canada's latest COVID-19 travel restrictions, exemptions and advice.

If you have a concern about people who are not self-isolating when returning from affected areas, contact your local police services.

Vaccines

For information, visit our COVID-19 vaccine information page.

For more information

Be sure to read credible information regarding the novel coronavirus, including:

Frequently Asked Questions