A day after the medical officer of health strongly discouraged non-essential visitors coming to the Kingston region, the health unit is now asking residents to be kind to essential workers and visitors.
“We are home to a military base, correctional and regional health-care facilities, post-secondary institutions, and innovative construction projects. As a result, we have many temporary residents, visitors, and essential workers who may not have identification with a local address working, attending or visiting these sites in our community,” Moore said in a statement Wednesday.
This comes the same day the region exited the province’s state of emergency and entered the green level of its regional COVID-19 reopening framework.
“KFL&A Public Health is asking everyone to be understanding and welcoming. Temporary residents, visitors, and essential workers need to continue to access services in our community. Please show kindness,” he said in a statement Wednesday.
The health unit said that temporary visitors include someone who is going to the hospital for health care appointments, going to see a long-term care resident or visiting a correctional facility.
Tuesday, the medical officer of health spoke strongly about the prospect of visitors from still-locked-down locations in the province coming to the region.
“This green is for us. It’s for our community. And I, frankly, think we deserve it. But it’s not for anywhere else in Ontario that is not in green,” he said Tuesday.
He then went on to say that the health unit was considering implementing a local Section 22 order that might require local businesses to only serve residents of the KFL&A region or another green zone in the province. He made it clear that this would not be the first course of action, nor would it apply to essential workers and visitors.
He then said, for now, local businesses had the right to refuse to serve people from other regions.
“Any independent business has the right to request ID for someone entering into their business, I think, and can limit it to local business, local people from KFLA. That is their right as a business to control who enters their business. I’m not condoning that, but I know some businesses have done that in KFLA,” he said Tuesday.
Not long afterward, Dr. Piotr Oglaza, medical officer of health for Hastings Prince Edward region, implemented such an order, making it mandatory for local businesses to ask where their customers were from.
Oglaza made it clear that the order was not punitive, and did not require business owners to ask for identification, but would allow them to deny customers if they identified themselves as being from other regions.