Responding to the rapid spread of Omicron

Testing and isolation guidance is changing rapidly.  Please visit https://www.hpph.ca/en/health-matters/covid-19-self-isolation-information.aspx for the most current information.

Huron Perth, ON – On Friday, December 17, the Ontario government announced additional measures to slow the spread of the COVID-19 Omicron variant. These measures will help to safeguard Ontario’s hospitals and ICU capacity as the rollout of COVID-19 vaccine booster doses accelerates. 

Omicron is highly transmissible and is spreading quickly across the province, now accounting for about half of cases (see the COVID-19 Science Advisory Table Fourth Wave dashboard).

“Huron Perth Public Health has investigated more than 150 confirmed COVID-19 cases over the past two weeks and we expect numbers will continue to rise,” says Dr. Miriam Klassen, Medical Officer of Health for Huron Perth. “We believe the additional provincial measures will help to curb virus spread in our region and protect our local healthcare capacity.”

As a result of the expected surge in Omicron cases, HPPH is implementing new case and contact management processes.  We are relying on the public to help control virus transmission. Confirmed cases and their close contacts will be required to do the following:

  • If you test positive for COVID-19, you must self-isolate for 10 days from the date your symptoms started or from the date you were tested, regardless of your vaccination status. 
    • Self-isolate means staying on your property, not interacting with anyone within your household (unless you are the primary caregiver of a young child) and not leaving unless you need medical attention. Arrange for someone else to drop off supplies (e.g. groceries) at your doorstep if needed.
  • Tell your close contacts so that they know to self-isolate as well. 
    • A close contact is someone you have been within two metres (six feet of) for 15 minutes or more, within the two days before your symptoms started, or two days before you got tested. 
  • If you or your child are a close contact to a confirmed case, book a PCR test right away and again on or after day seven. 
    • Self-isolate for 10 days since the last time you interacted with the case, regardless of your vaccination status.
  • If you are a close contact of a confirmed case and test negative for COVID-19, you must still self-isolate for a full 10 days since your last interaction with the case.
    • A 10-day isolation applies regardless of your vaccination status.

Get your third dose/booster as soon as you are eligible

Although COVID-19 vaccines continue to provide some protection against severe illness and death, there is waning immunity against Omicron compared to other variants.  It is important for everyone to get a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose as soon as they are able.

As of December 20, 2021, adults aged 18 and older are eligible to book a COVID-19 booster at mass vaccination clinic or select pharmacies as long as enough time has passed since their second dose.  The interval between second and third doses has been shorted to three months (84 days).  Use the dose calculator at www.hpph.ca/thirddose to find out the earliest date you can receive the third dose. 

Getting a vaccination

HPPH is adding as many vaccine appointments and clinics as we can staff. Visit www.hpph.ca/vaccinebooking or call
1-833-753-2098 to book. We also continue to provide paediatric vaccines for those ages 5-11, and first and second doses for those aged 12 and older.

Visit the HPPH Get a Vaccination page for information on available clinics and other vaccination opportunities. Many partners are working together to provide as many vaccination opportunities as possible across the two counties.

A list of local pharmacies offering COVID-19 vaccinations is available at https://covid-19.ontario.ca/vaccine-locations.

For more information: