Vaccinated people may not have to self-isolate after being a close-contact in Mississauga and Brampton

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Published October 14, 2021 at 9:25 pm

Dr. Lawrence Loh, Peel's medical officer of health, says the 330,000 Peel residents not fully vaccinated greatly concerns him.

Dr. Lawrence Loh, the top doctor in Mississauga and Brampton, has revised Section 22 orders, and is indicating that fully-vaccinated people may not have to self-isolate after being a close-contact.

In a communications on Thursday night (Oct. 14), Peel Region said it is replacing the orders for people and businesses that have been extant since late February. For individuals, there are updates to both the definition of “close contact.” Guidances for those who are fully vaccinated or who have had recent COVID-19 infections, and direction for unvaccinated household members of close contacts to stay home from school or child care are also updated.

Workplaces have also been issued a new definition of a close contact as well as guidance for workers those who are fully vaccinated or who have had recent COVID-19 infections. Some references to actions that were needed during earlier stages of the pandemic have been removed, since Ontario has moved into Step 3 of reopening. (There is speculation that the province could move to Step 4 within weeks.)

“This class order was issued as a result of the continued increase in the numbers of people contracting COVID-19 in Peel, and experiences in similar cities around the world,” a five-page fact sheet reads. “Furthermore, the emergence of new variants of concern that are more transmissible are increasing as a share of confirmed cases in Peel.”

Here is a synopsis of the new orders.

For individuals

  • Fully vaccinated people who are a close contact of either a positive case, or someone who has gone to get tested or is showing showings, may not have to isolate for 10 days. Someone is fully vaccinated or has tested positive in the last 90 days (under the Ministry of Health definition) is eligible to avoid isolation.That could be subject to change, under Peel Public Health’s direction.
  • Someone who has tested positive still needs to self-isolate for a minimum of 10 days. The same goes for someone who is showing symptoms of COVID-19, until they have a negative test and their symptoms are improving.Those who have reasonable grounds to believe they have symptoms of COVID-19 must isolate either until they receive a negative test for the virus, or for a minimum of 10 days if they are not tested.Self-isolation can be extended to 20 days for people who become severely ill from the virus or ends up needing intensive-care-unit treatment.

For businesses connected with two or more potential cases

  • Workplaces must continue to “immediately exclude” any staff who have either had positive test, gone for a test after experiencing symptoms, reasonably believe they have symptoms, or is a close contact of someone in those three groups.
  • A person who is considered a close contact,  but who is fully vaccinated or previously positive, is exempt from the requirement to isolate. They can still be directed to isolate by Peel Public Health.
  • Affected workplaces must ensure occupancy is limited to only as many workers who can be accommodated while maintaining two-metre social distancing between workers.
  • Peel Public Health must be notified if there are two or more cases connected to a workplace within 14 days. If that happens, active screening and contact tracing (logging the contact info of every visitor to the workplace) must begin immediately.

A Section 22 order from a medical officer of health is covered by Ontario’s Health Protection and Promotion Act. It allows a region’s chief medical officer to “of Health to issue a class order to address the risks presented by the potential spread of COVID-19,” according to a release from Region of Peel.

Peel Region has 616 COVID-19 workplace outbreaks in last 19½ months. Some 37 per cent have occurred in the manufacturing and industrial sectors.

Forty-three new COVID-19 cases were reported in the region on Thursday.

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