During contact tracing of two new COVID-19 cases in Huron Perth, the health unit was alarmed by how many people they had visited and residents are becoming complacent about protecting themselves and their families.
HURON PERTH COUNTY - Huron Perth Public Health is reporting two new cases of COVID-19 over the past four days.
Medical Officer of Health Dr. Miriam Klassen says they are worried that some residents are not taking the right precautions.
“During our contact tracing work on recent confirmed cases, we’re noticing that people are identifying more contacts and I’m worried that residents have become complacent about protecting themselves and their families. Please ask yourself if your daily activities are in keeping with public health measures. If they are not, it’s time to reign them in and be vigilant again.”
Public health measures everyone should be taking include:
- Keep your physical distance from people outside of your household and do not share food or drinks
- Wear a cloth mask if you are not able to physically distance
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water
- Stay home if you are sick.
Dr. Klassen says that Public Health staff are trained and ready to perform case and contact management with confirmed and potential cases.
“We need to remind people that if you test positive, it is the law to cooperate with public health during the contact tracing process, including letting us know honestly about your activities and who your close contacts have been in the time leading up to your positive test result.”
When Huron Perth Public Health receives a report of a confirmed positive case of COVID-19, public health staff immediately begin to conduct thorough contact tracing related to the case, which is a priority for stopping the spread of COVID-19.
Upon receiving a report of a confirmed case, Huron Perth Public Health:
- Immediately follows up to ensure the person diagnosed is self-isolating, and identifies the period in which they would have been infectious.
- Retraces the person’s actions from 48 hours prior to testing (for asymptomatic people) or 48 hours prior to symptom onset to assess who may have come in contact with the individual while they were capable of transmitting illness. Then public health asks what type of interaction took place in order to identify everyone who may be at risk of infection.
- Follows up with each person identified as being at risk. For those at higher risk, direction is provided including whether they need to isolate and for how long. For many, the risk is not high and those individuals will need to monitor their symptoms for up to two weeks to ensure they do not become infected. High-risk contacts typically have had face-to-face contact with the case within 2 metres (6 feet) for a prolonged period of time (greater than 15 minutes).
- HPPH connects with both high- and medium-risk contacts of a case to complete teaching and continues to monitor them until they are no longer infectious (approximately 14 days).
Testing is available now for the following:
- All people with at least one symptom of COVID-19, even for mild symptoms.
- People who are concerned that they have been exposed to COVID-19. This includes people who are contacts of or may have been exposed to a confirmed or suspected case.
- People who are at risk of exposure to COVID-19 through their employment, including essential workers (e.g., health care workers, grocery store employees, food processing plants).
Testing Sites in Huron and Perth
There are testing sites operating every day of the week across Huron and Perth. Testing is available by appointment so that the staff at the testing centre can be prepared for your visit and to also reduce potential wait times. In Stratford, the testing collection centre operated by the Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance is moving effective June 4 to the West Building Outpatient Clinic Entrance (under the canopy) off West Gore Street, and will also offer a drive-through option.
How to Get Tested in Huron-Perth
- Complete the online assessment tool (https://covid-19.ontario.ca/self-assessment/) or call your local healthcare provider.
- If you do not have a family doctor, contact Huron Perth Public Health (1-888-221-2133 ext. 3267) and have your Health Card number ready.
- If you call HPPH during our regular business hours, you will be sent for testing that same day. If you call after hours (past 4:30 p.m.), we will call you back the next day, even on weekends.
- Once you have been assessed, an appointment will be made at a testing centre convenient for you.