Health Unit Announces New Restrictions, Measures For Windsor Essex ‘Above & Beyond Provincial Regulations’

Friday November 13th, 2020

Posted at 3:24pm

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The Windsor Essex County Health Unit announced additional restrictions and measures for the region as of Friday that go “above and beyond the provincial regulations.”

“Today, the Province has moved Windsor and Essex County into the Yellow-Protect stage of the provincial Keeping Ontario Safe and Open Framework in response to the increasing trends of COVID-19 pandemic indicators,” said Dr. Wajid Ahmed, Medical Officer of Health in an email.

“At this time, I would like to remind our residents that COVID-19 is spreading rapidly in our community and all residents of Windsor and Essex County need to do their part to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

Dr. Ahmed says local data suggests that Windsor-Essex is in a second wave of COVID-19 with cases increasing in long term care homes, retirement homes, agri-farms, schools and the community in general.

“Our hospital systems are also nearing capacity putting the entire community at a significant risk for not only COVID related concerns but also for other medical emergencies such as heart attacks, influenza, etc,” he said.

Dr. Ahmed says the Health Unit is implementing additional measures to control the spread of COVID-19 that will take effect at 12:01am on Monday, November 16th.

“I am instructing all Windsor-Essex residents or persons responsible for a business or organization that is permitted to open under the Reopening Ontario A Flexible Response to COVID-19, Act 2020 Regulation 364/20 to adopt the following additional requirements above and beyond the provincial regulations,” Dr. Ahmed said.

The new regulations include the following:

  1. General instructions for residents:
    1. Zero tolerance on all COVID-19 prevention measures.
    2. Social gatherings to cap 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors irrespective of the event.
    3. Minimize your close contacts to your household members only.
    4. Minimize visiting to a private home or residential premise, including social gatherings (both indoor and outdoor) except for essential reasons.
    5. Cancel, postpone, or hold virtually any other discretionary in-person activities, or participate only with your household and essential supports.
  2. Workplaces instructions:
    1. Enable, as possible, work from home options for employees.
    2. Prohibit non-essential visitors (persons whose presence is not essential to the functioning of the workplace as a workplace) from attending their facilities.
  3. Malls instructions:
    1. Prohibit consumption of food or drink while walking through malls.
  4. Retail and Grocery Stores instructions:
    1. Designate specific store hours to serve seniors who do not have any other support systems for essential grocery needs.
    2. Restrict the number of people in the store to allow for physical distancing.
    3. Ensure signage for flow of customers and staff to minimize any close physical contact.
  5. Personal Care Services instructions:
    1. No personal care services that require the removal of a mask or face covering.
    2. Locker rooms, change rooms, and showers must be closed, except a washroom or a portion of business that is used to provide first aid.
    3. Whirlpools, baths, floating pools or sensory deprivation pods must be closed, unless they are used for a therapeutic purpose prescribed by, or administered by a regulated health professional.
  6. Gyms and Fitness Centers instructions:
    1. Strictly follow the number of people allowed in the establishment under the regulations.
    2. Direct participants to pre-register for a specific group class that might be offered (i.e., no walk-in participants permitted), in addition to the provincially mandated registration to enter the facility.
    3. Maintain class lists with names and contact information of participants to assist with cohorting and contact tracing in the event of an exposure.
    4. Retain class contact lists for a period of at least one month; and only disclose the records to a MOH or an inspector under the HPPA on request for a purpose specified in Section 2 of that Act or as otherwise required by law.
  7. Spectators in the facility:
    1. No spectators are permitted in the facility. One parent or guardian or other caregiver may accompany each person under the age of 18 years who is engaged in activities in the facility.

The Health Unit is also asking people to:

  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Maintain a physical distance of 2 metres from others
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol based hand sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Use a non-medical face mask when physical distancing is not possible
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or use the inside of your elbow when you cough or sneeze

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