All household members of close contacts are required to isolate under new Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) rules.
All household members of close contacts are required to isolate under new Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) rules.

Self-isolation guidelines change for households

Stephen Jeffery
EAP
Those living with high risk contacts or symptomatic individuals must follow new isolation requirements, according to the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU).

The EOHU released new requirements on Wednesday in response to the risk of COVID-19 variants spreading across Ontario. Under the rules, all household members of a high-risk contact were required to stay home for the duration of the contact’s quarantine, except for essential reasons such as work or school, food and medication errands, and medical appointments. Non-essential visitors needed to refrain from entering a home during the 14 days in which a high risk contact must isolate after exposure, even if their test result was negative.

Meanwhile, all household members were required to stay home if an individual showed symptoms of COVID-19, either until the individual received a negative test or an alternative diagnosis was provided. If a test was recommended and the symptomatic individual was not tested, the person must isolate for 10 days from symptom onset, while all household members would then need to quarantine for 14 days from their last contact with the individual. If the symptomatic individual could not isolate from the rest of the household, all would need to isolate for 14 days from the end of the symptomatic individual’s isolation period.

EOHU Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis said the more contagious variants had made containment more difficult, though none of the variants had yet been detected in the region. “These variants of concern have thrown a wrench into the works here, where we’re now concerned about the rapidity at which they’re spreading,” he said. “It’s very good news [that case numbers have stabilized], but tempered when we’re looking at the other aspects of it.”

Vaccines

Another shipment of vaccines arrived in the region on Wednesday. Dr. Roumeliotis said the schedule of vaccine delivery meant it would be “weeks, not months” before mass rollout of the vaccines would begin.

The second dose of vaccine had been administered to all residents at long term care homes in Prescott-Russell, except for those at the Prescott and Russell Residence. The EOHU had started to administer the first dose to retirement homes in the region, including Carillon Manor in Chute-à-Blondeau, Caledonia Manor    in Saint-Isidore, Résidence Simon in Rockland, and Centre d'accueil Mon Chez Nous in Lefaivre.

Outbreaks

Staff outbreaks continued at Valoris-211 Russell Road  in Cheney and Manoir Carillion  in Chute-à-Blondeau. An outbreak at Centre d'Acceuil Roger Segin in Clarence Creek was declared over on Wednesday.

No outbreaks had been declared at EOHU area schools, but one student case was reported at École secondaire publique Le Sommet.

The region

Six of the 10 new cases in the EOHU on Thursday were in Prescott-Russell. Of the 115 cases active across the region, 25 were in Prescott-Russell communities, including:

  • 6 in Champlain;
  • 6 in Clarence-Rockland;
  • 4 in Alfred-Plantagenet;
  • 3 in Hawkesbury;
  • 3 in Russell;
  • 1 in Casselman;
  • 1 in East Hawkesbury, and;
  • 1 in The Nation.