New Provincial Public Health Measures Tighten Masking and Social Gathering Regulations

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Local Residents Advised to Stay Home and Stay “Local”

Yesterday’s provincial announcement means there are now tighter rules for local residents when it comes social gatherings and wearing masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“Stay with your household, stay local, and always wear a mask in indoor settings when outside your home,” said Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health. “We’re pleased to see these stronger measures implemented across the province because if they are followed consistently, it will reduce case numbers and protect our most vulnerable residents from exposure to the virus.”

While a local masking directive was already in place for residents, the new provincial regulations go further by requiring masks be worn in all indoor settings including places of worship, workplaces, businesses, facilities and organizations, with a few exceptions.

All residents are asked to limit their contacts to only those within their households. Those who live alone are allowed to connect with one other household, but both need to remain exclusively in contact only with each other. This means that Thanksgiving celebrations should be limited to household contacts only.

Restaurants and bars will continue to operate under the Stage 3 Reopening Ontario directives. “Make sure you are seated in your household groups only, and wear a face covering if you need to leave your table,” advised Julie Ingram, Manager of Environmental Health. Public Health Inspectors continue to support local businesses to operate safely. The Ontario government announced even stricter measures for other regions of the province with higher case counts, such as Peel Region, Toronto and Ottawa. Dr. Salvaterra therefore discourages all non-essential travel, especially to these areas, noting several recent local cases were exposed to COVID-19 outside the Peterborough region.

In addition to these tighter rules, residents are asked to remain vigilant by physical distancing, washing their hands regularly, staying home when symptomatic, and downloading the COVID-19 Alert app.

While Peterborough Public Health awaits the technical updates to provincial regulations, all owners and operators of indoor public settings, including places of worship and common areas of multi-unit dwellings such as elevators, hallways and laundry rooms should ensure that masks are worn. Peterborough Public Health staff will be directly communicating with affected sectors once the regulation has been updated.

Brittany Cadence, Communications Manager – Peterborough Public Health