Ontario announces Stay at Home Order and Public Health Sudbury & Districts enhances COVID-19 outbreak reporting practices

Today, the Government of Ontario announced a Stay at Home Order for the province that will take effect Thursday, April 8, at 12:01 a.m. At this time, Public Health Sudbury & Districts is expanding public disclosure of local COVID-19 outbreaks to provide more information on the local context and to help reinforce the importance of following public health measures.

“The situation locally is very serious, and I am supportive of the stronger measures being put into place by the province,” said Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, Medical Officer of Health with Public Health Sudbury & Districts. “Almost 55% of recent cases have screened positive for variants of concern (VOCs), and we are seeing the virus spread in many locations including workplaces, daycares, and social settings. Under the current restrictions, it is illegal to gather indoors with people not from your household. I cannot stress how important it is to follow public health measures to buy ourselves time as we continue to work to get vaccine into arms,” added Dr. Sutcliffe.

Under the new restrictions announced by the province today, non-essential retail stores must also close except for curbside pickup. Grocery stores and pharmacies are permitted to stay open for customers to shop indoors and big box retail stores are restricted to selling only essential items for in-person shopping.

To help the community understand where outbreaks are occurring, Public Health will immediately begin to post information about all outbreaks on its website, when there are no personal privacy concerns related to the situation. With this expanded disclosure of COVID-19 outbreaks, Public Health will begin posting details of outbreaks in settings like workplaces, post-secondary institutions, and licensed child care centres. This information is in addition to the details already posted related to outbreaks in schools and institutional settings, such as long-term care homes, retirement homes, hospitals, and congregate living settings. The new table can be found at phsd.ca/COVID-19/data. The information on this page will be updated as outbreaks are declared or declared over. Public Health staff will continue to work closely with all settings experiencing outbreaks as well as affected individuals to ensure that all protocols and enhanced public health measures are in place.

Public Health will continue to issue wider public notifications in situation that involve a risk to the public due to an exposure risk or when people need to take specific actions to protect their health. Individual public notices will not be issued for outbreaks when a risk is not identified for the general community; however, the outbreak details will be posted online.

On April 1, the Government of Ontario announced a Provincewide Shutdown to help slow the increase in COVID-19 cases. Public Health Sudbury & Districts’ service area, including Greater Sudbury and the districts of Sudbury and Manitoulin remains in a temporary shutdown in addition to the new Stay at Home Order announced today.

Stay COVID-safe

Continue to follow public health measures. Stay home except for essential purposes such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care service, or for essential work. Monitor and screen for symptoms of COVID-19, get tested for COVID-19 if you have any symptoms, and practise physical distancing. You are encouraged to be physically active and take advantage of the outdoors while following public heath guidance related to physical distancing and wearing masks, when appropriate.

For more information or if you have questions, please visit phsd.ca/COVID-19 or call Public Health Sudbury & Districts at 705.522.9200 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200). Public Health returns all calls received; however, at times, inquiry volumes are high, and your patience is appreciated.7

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