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Hastings Prince Edward health unit receives ‘increasing reports’ of people not self-isolating

A nurse gets a swab ready to perform a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. The Canadian Press file

Officials with Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH) say they have received “increasing reports” of people not following COVID-19 self-isolation orders over the past few weeks.

Officials made the remarks in a news release issued Friday.

“Individuals diagnosed with COVID-19, or those who have been identified as a close contact of someone who is at a greater risk of developing COVID-19, are legally required to remain in their home/on their property, avoid contact with others, and not allow any visitors within their home, for 14 days or longer,” Dr. Piotr Oglaza, the medical officer of health for Hastings Prince Edward, said in the release.

Read more: Ontario’s new COVID-19 restrictions include increased police powers, restricting gatherings

Officials said those who don’t comply could be fined up to $5,000 or may be required to follow a court order. Four court orders have been issued in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties thus far.

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The news release also said to date, five tickets have been issued for people failing to self-isolate, one ticket for failing to comply with the stay-at-home order, and seven tickets for not following various regulations under the Reopening Ontario Act.

Read more: Ontario reports more than 4,300 new COVID-19 cases, 34 deaths

HPEPH is also filing obstruction charges against a person who tested positive for COVID-19 and “was not honest about their activities during the time they were contagious,” the release said.

“The team at HPEPH recognizes that most residents continue to make every effort to follow public health requirements and are making incredible sacrifices to keep our community safe,” Oglaza said.

“To those who continue to violate restrictions, please do not diminish the efforts being made by your neighbours, family and friends.”

“We recognize that our community is tired of the pandemic, however limiting close contact between individuals is the best way to stop the spread of COVID-19 until vaccines are available to all.”

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