Testing limited, Omicron surging, isolate immediately if sick

Huron Perth, ON – Omicron is surging across the province and testing and tracing capacity are limited; Huron Perth Public Health (HPPH) urges all residents to isolate immediately if they are ill with COVID-19 symptoms.

The Omicron variant of COVID-19 spreads easily. Omicron now accounts for an estimated 90.6% of COVID cases in Ontario, according to the COVID-19 Science Advisory Table Fourth Wave dashboard. Today, HPPH is reporting 229 active cases in Huron-Perth.

HPPH does not provide PCR or rapid antigen tests. The province and local testing partners are working hard to increase the availability of PCR tests and rapid antigen tests; however current availability is very limited. This means many residents may have to make decisions on what to do without being tested.

Further, the steep increase in cases as well as accelerated vaccination efforts means that HPPH cannot follow up on every positive case and contact.

“The most important thing to do if you are ill is to stay home and isolate and tell everyone you live with to isolate,” says Dr. Miriam Klassen, Medical Officer of Health. “If you have taken a test and received a positive result, you and your household must isolate. If you test positive, you may receive further instructions from public health.”

If you feel ill:

If you experience fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath or loss of smell and taste or any other symptoms of COVID-19:

  • Self-isolate immediately. 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.
  • All household contacts (regardless of vaccination status) stay home as well.
  • Notify your workplace. Health care workers and workers in high-risk settings must follow the direction of their employers.
    • High-risk settings include: long-term care homes, retirement homes, hospitals, shelter or congregate settings, a childcare centre or day camp, elementary/middle/secondary school, adult learning/post-secondary school, or remote, isolated or Indigenous communities
    • If you experience severe symptoms, contact your healthcare provider
    • If you take a PCR or rapid antigen screening test – and it is negative – then you may end isolation when you are symptom free for at least 24 hours (or 48 hours for gastrointestinal symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea).

 

If you test positive on a PCR test or a rapid antigen test (RAT)

  • Self-isolate immediately. 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.
  • You must self-isolate for 10 days since your symptom onset.
  • All household contacts (regardless of vaccination status) self-isolate for 10 days since the last exposure
  • Notify your workplace. Health care workers and workers in high-risk settings must follow the direction of their employers.
    • High-risk settings include: long-term care homes, retirement homes, hospitals, shelter or congregate settings, a childcare centre or day camp, elementary/middle/secondary school, adult learning/post-secondary school, or remote, isolated or Indigenous communities

Information is changing rapidly. For more information on isolation instructions and high-risk contacts, visit www.hpph.ca/isolation for the latest information. HPPH is not able to answer every inquiry regarding positive results or high-risk contacts.

Public health will continue to investigate cases associated with high-risk settings (including long-term care homes, retirement homes, hospitals, shelter or congregate settings, childcare centres or day camps, elementary/middle/secondary schools, adult learning/post-secondary schools, remote, isolated or indigenous communities). 

Getting a vaccination

HPPH continues to add as many vaccine appointments and clinics as HPPH and partners can staff.

Despite ongoing technical issues, HPPH continues to add and fill appointments. We thank residents for their patience and enthusiasm in booking appointments and we continue to work with vendors to resolve their technical issues.

Having received hundreds of phone calls and emails in the previous few days, HPPH booking staff will be making return calls Dec. 24 and Dec. 27 to Dec. 30 to book more appointments for future clinics. Our telephone booking line will be closed until Dec. 28 as HPPH staff make outgoing calls instead. Personal online booking will resume the first week of January.

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

For more information: