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Public Notices

Media Statement December 31, 2020 SWPH Reports Largest Single Day Case Increase

Local modelling projects 100 daily cases or more in early January
 
Today Southwestern Public Health added 71 cases to its COVID-19 dashboard. This is the highest single-day increase in the region to-date, exceeding the previous record of 47 cases on December 23.
 
New modelling used by Southwestern Public Health also projects 100 daily cases or more in early January. This represents a critical point in the pandemic.
 
“Once we start to see daily increases approaching 100 per day, it becomes very difficult to conduct contact tracing within 24 hours to contain the virus,” says Dr. Joyce Lock, Medial Officer of Health at Southwestern Public Health. “Our team is working at maximum capacity, our local health care system is strained, and we are urgently asking for your support to modify behaviours to stop the spread.”
The latest data indicates the percent positivity in the Southwestern Public Health region is 3.5%. This exceeds a critical threshold of 3% that health authorities have used to determine if a region is at-risk of being overwhelmed by COVID-19 cases.
 
“We need to prioritize contact tracing to ensure we contain the spread in high-risk settings, such as workplaces, long-term care homes, and in schools. It may take us longer than 24 hours to notify positive cases elsewhere,” says Dr. Lock.
 
If you are tested for COVID-19, you are encouraged to check for your own test results online at https://covid19results.ehealthontario.ca:4443/agree. Those who test positive must stay home and follow instructions from public health.
 
“If you have a positive result and have not yet heard from us, please inform your friends, family, coworkers and anyone else you had contact with so that they can self-isolate and get tested. A close contact is anyone you have been within 6 feet of for more than 15 minutes, even if you had a face covering on,” says Dr. Lock. “It is also advisable to download the COVID Alert App and keep a list of the places you have been and any close interactions you have had over the past two weeks.”
 
Additional actions that can help stop the spread:
  • Avoid visiting friends, family, and any other people you do not live with
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from people you do not live with
  • Wear a face covering in public spaces, even when outdoors
  • Maintain distance from coworkers – such as eating alone during lunch breaks
  • Stay home if you are sick, even if your symptoms are mild
Contacts
Natalie Rowe
Communications | Southwestern Public Health
519-535-1478

For Immediate Release - ELGIN COUNTY LONG-TERM CARE HOMES

For Immediate Release
December 23, 2020
[Elgin County, Ontario] – Elgin County was notified this afternoon that an additional resident at Elgin Manor has tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of impacted residents to two (2). Both residents are in isolation.
 
Across Elgin County’s three (3) Long-Term Care Homes, we have a total of three (3) staff members at Terrace Lodge and two (2) residents at Elgin Manor who have tested positive.
Residents in all three (3) of Elgin County’s Long-Term Care Homes are being closely monitored by our medical team. County staff continue to work closely with Southwestern Public Health on outbreak management and to identify close contacts of the resident.
 
Residents, staff and community members who are determined to be at risk are being contacted to prevent further spread of illness in the Home or in the community.
As directed by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Elgin Manor and Terrace Lodge Long-Term Care Homes (LTCH) have declared outbreaks. Any resident or employee that shows even the slightest evidence of a health change are immediately screened for COVID-19.
 
Homes staff continue to implement all available infection prevention and control measures to decrease the risk of spreading the virus within our Homes.
 
“I am sure this is difficult information for families of our residents to hear, especially this close to the holidays. It is important for the families of our residents to know that Elgin County has an amazing team of highly trained and dedicated staff working in our Homes. This team has responded quickly and remains committed to providing the best care possible to your loved ones,” said Warden Tom Marks.
 
The County is working closely with Southwestern Public Health and has implemented a number of additional safeguards to lessen the potential transfer of COVID-19.
 
At this time, Bobier Villa LTCH does not have any positive cases among residents or staff.
 
Regular updates and changes to visitor restrictions will be provided to residents, families and caregivers.
 
For media inquiries contact: Warden Tom Marks | tmarks@elgin.ca | 519-871-2466
[30]

Elgin County Shutdown in Response to COVID-19

December 22, 2020

For Immediate Release

On December 21, 2020, the Province of Ontario announced further measures across the Province to slow the spread of COVID-19 including a Provincewide Shutdown to Stop Spread of COVID-19 and Save Lives.  The County of Elgin supports all efforts to reduce and eliminate the transmission of COVID-19 in our community to protect the healthcare system and save lives. 

The Provincewide Shutdown restrictions start at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, December 26th, 2020 and are anticipated to continue in our region until at least Saturday, January 23, 2021.  This shutdown mirrors the provincewide restrictions put in place in the spring in response to the first wave of the pandemic. 

Details of the shutdown include, but are not limited to:

  • The Shutdown restricts all indoor social gatherings except those with members of the same household.  Residents living alone, including seniors, may consider gathering with one other household to help reduce the impact of social isolation. 
  • The limit for organized religious services and ceremonies including weddings and funeral services is limited to 10 people indoors and 10 people outdoors. 
  • Restaurant services are limited to takeout options, drive-through and delivery. 
  • Only essential retail services will be able to remain open for in-person shopping, including: supermarkets, grocery stores, hardware stores, liquor and beer stores, pharmacies, and pet stores. Stores will have limited capacity for in-person shopping. 
  • The Ministry of Education directed School Boards to prepare students for a pivot to remote learning and a staggered return to in-person learning will take place in 2021. 

Residents of Elgin County are strongly encouraged to stay home, except for essential travel, such as groceries and other necessities, like medicine; healthcare appointments; school; child care; and going to work.  By reducing the number of people who are out in the community, we reduce the potential exposures to COVID-19, which will help drive down case counts.

Having friends or family who are not members of your household in your home for a social visit is prohibited under provincial orders.  Essential support workers and emergency repairpersons are exempt.  Outdoor organized public events or social gatherings are limited to a maximum of 10 people.  Non-essential travel outside of one’s own community is strongly discouraged.

Elgin County parks are open, and residents are encouraged to use them for exercise, including walking, but to do so only with those they live with. 

To avoid future or prolonged restrictions following the strict measures announced on December 21, 2020, it is important that Elgin County residents follow the advice and orders of public health experts and take individual responsibility for saving lives.  The County acknowledges how challenging and difficult this is for everyone in our community. 

While these restrictions are necessary to reduce contacts and the spread of COVID-19, they must be implemented along with enhanced supports to protect frontline workers and disproportionately affected communities.  

Municipalities across Elgin County are working together to plan for the temporary shutdown. This temporary shutdown may impact the delivery of municipal services. For the latest information regarding the impacts of this shutdown in your municipality please visit the following websites or call your local municipal office or the County of Elgin for the latest COVID-19 information.

Case status data can be found on Southwestern Public Health’s website (www.swpublichealth.ca).

“This is a difficult but critical time in our fight against COVID-19.  We all need to stay home as much as possible and follow the rules in order to protect ourselves and each other,” said Warden Tom Marks.  “A swift, collective action is needed to contain the current surge before it totally overwhelms our healthcare system. By working together, we can save lives,” Marks continued. 

The Provincial government announced a new small-business support grant to help businesses required to close or restrict services under the shutdown.  Eligible small businesses can apply for a minimum of $10,000 and up to $20,000.  According to the Province’s plan, $10,000 will be received by all eligible businesses and businesses can apply for up to $20,000 in additional dollar-for-dollar funding if they can show their losses exceeded the baseline $10,000. 

For more information, please contact:

Warden Tom Marks                                     Julie Gonyou, Chief Administrative Officer
519-871-2466                                               519-868-0299
tmarks@elgin.ca                                           cao@elgin.ca

ONTARIO RESIDENTS CONTINUE TO BE TARGETED BY INDIVIDUALS CLAIMING TO BE ASSOCIATED WITH THE ONTARIO ENERGY BOARD (OEB)

FROM: Anti-Rackets Branch DATE: December 21, 2020

ONTARIO RESIDENTS CONTINUE TO BE TARGETED BY INDIVIDUALS CLAIMING TO BE ASSOCIATED WITH THE ONTARIO ENERGY BOARD (OEB)

(Orillia, ON) – Since October of 2020, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) in Eastern Ontario have received an increased number of complaints from homeowners who have been solicited by individuals claiming to be associated with the Ontario Energy Board (OEB). The OEB does not engage and is not involved in any type of sales activity.
Typically, the individuals will contact a homeowner by way of telephone requesting to attend the residence in order to conduct a green energy assessment to qualify for a green energy rebate or Ontario Rebate Program for COVID-19 relief. Once in the home, the representative will use high pressure sales tactics to have the homeowner purchase products and services in order to qualify for a rebate.
Door‐to‐door scams continue to pose a threat to Ontario consumers and businesses. Door-to-door salespeople can use high pressure tactics and can be aggressive in nature. Consumers may find themselves in a situation where they purchase a product or sign up for a service contract they neither need nor want.
The OEB has received in excess of 710 complaints related to energy scams in 2020 from consumers across the province.
In 2019, the Canadian Anti‐Fraud Centre receive 1,641 complaints related to service scams affecting 863 Ontario residents, for a loss of $2,878,898. Door‐to‐door scams reported to the Canadian Anti‐Fraud Centre include solicitations or a service scam involving the sale or maintenance of an appliance.
On March 1, 2018, Ontario banned unsolicited, door‐to‐door sales of certain household appliances to better protect consumers from aggressive and misleading contracting at home. The new rules apply to air cleaners, air conditioners, air purifiers, duct cleaning services, furnaces, water filters, water heaters, water purifiers, water softeners, water treatment devices as well as bundles of these goods and services.
On January 1, 2017, Ontario banned energy retailers from signing up customers for an energy contract while at their homes to give consumers the ability to make choices about their energy supply at their own pace and with better information.
Know your rights under the Consumer Protection Act, at https://www.ontario.ca/page/your-rights-under-consumer-protection-act

 

Statement - Ontario Delivers First COVID-19 Vaccine in the Country

Statement

Ontario Delivers First COVID-19 Vaccine in the Country

December 14, 2020

Premier Doug Ford issued the following statement on the first COVID-19 vaccinations being administered to frontline health care workers in Ontario and in the country:

"Today is a historic day for Ontario and for Canada as the first Health Canada-approved COVID-19 vaccines have started to be given to our frontline health care heroes.

I would especially like to recognize Anita Quidangen, the first person in Ontario and Canada to receive the shot. Anita is a personal support worker (PSW) from the Rekai Centre at Sherbourne Place, a long-term care home in Toronto. She has worked tirelessly to care for some of our most vulnerable, both throughout this pandemic and since her first days as a PSW in 1988. Anita has spent years rolling up her sleeves to protect our province, and today, she didn't hesitate to find a new way to do so. She represents the best of the Ontario Spirit.

Today's milestone officially launches the first phase of our three-phase vaccine implementation plan to keep Ontarians safe and marks the beginning of the long journey to return life back to normal. Over 2,500 health care workers in our hospitals and long-term care homes will be vaccinated over the coming days and weeks, with more people to follow as additional shipments arrive.

I encourage everyone to be patient. This is the biggest immunization program in a century, and our vaccine supply will arrive in stages. General Hillier and the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force are working with Health Canada and other provincial and territorial partners to ensure the vaccines are distributed quickly, so people can get immunized as soon as possible.

This is a watershed moment - the beginning of the end of this terrible pandemic. The light at the end of the tunnel grows brighter every day, but we must remain on our guard.

As we continue to rollout these vaccines, I'm asking all Ontarians to please continue following the public health measures to keep everyone safe and healthy, especially during the holiday season. Avoid social gatherings, wear a mask when required, practise physical distancing, wash your hands frequently, and download the COVID Alert app. As we await the arrival of more vaccines, this is our best and only defence against this deadly virus."

CONTACTS

Ivana Yelich
Premier’s Office
Ivana.Yelich@ontario.ca

Office of the Premier
http://www.ontario.ca/premier

 

Statement - Ontario Declares Santa Claus an Essential Service

Statement

Ontario Declares Santa Claus an Essential Service

December 17, 2020

Premier Doug Ford issued the following statement on Santa Claus' annual delivery of gifts:

"As children across Ontario count down the days to Christmas with excitement, I want to reassure all the boys and girls out there that Santa is still coming this year despite the COVID-19 pandemic.  

As Premier, I have officially designated Santa Claus as an essential service provider and authorized to deliver toys, treats and good cheer to the children of Ontario. I have also designated the Elves' Toy Workshop as an essential manufacturing business and authorized to supply Santa Claus with toys and gifts. Finally, Santa's Reindeer, including Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen and Rudolph, are proclaimed essential transportation service providers and permitted to pull Santa's sleigh across every part of Ontario.

Santa and his reindeer have one of the most essential jobs of all, delivering toys to all the good children in Ontario and around the world every Christmas Eve. While this Christmas is different than any other, Santa is taking every safety precaution necessary and will continue to make his rounds.

I would like to thank Santa Claus, the elves, reindeer and all of Ontario's essential workers this holiday season. From nurses to construction workers, personal care workers to grocery store clerks and so many other essential workers, we are grateful for the hard work you have done all year long.  

From my family to yours, I want to wish everyone a healthy and safe Merry Christmas and a wonderful holiday season!"

CONTACTS

Ivana Yelich
Premier’s Office
Ivana.Yelich@ontario.ca

Office of the Premier
http://www.ontario.ca/premier

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