Dr. Kit Young Hoon at the Northwestern Health Unit is implementing additional enforcement. 

Throughout the pandemic, there have been a small number of incidents across the region of people not following self-isolation requirements for COVID-19, the health unit says in a media release issued earlier this afternoon.

For some of those people, the health unit says they've issued an individual section 22 order to self-isolate, when other options did not work. Now, with the concerns of variants of the virus and with the provincial shutdown being lifted, it is more important than ever that anyone who develops COVID-19 symptoms -- who has COVID-19 -- or who is a high risk contact of someone with COVID-19 self-isolates, the health unit stated in their release.

Health unit staff say the order is effective Wednesday, February 17, at 12:01 a.m., and it will remain in effect until the medical officer of health determines the order is no longer required. The order enables the Northwestern Health Unit to enforce self-isolation requirements for the group of individuals to whom it applies.

“If the variants of concern spread in our region, the impacts could be devastating. These viruses spread more rapidly, affect more people, and may overwhelm our health care system. One of the variants also increases the risk of death,” explains the medical officer of health.

“Today the province-wide shutdown is being lifted. When gathering with others, please continue to stay 2 metres away from others who are not within your household, avoid indoor gatherings and wear face masks when coming with 2 metres of others. Anyone who has symptoms, or who has been in contact with a positive case, should self-isolate immediately and get tested as soon as possible,” Young Hoon continued in the media release.

The Class Section 22 Order applies to all persons residing in or present in the Northwestern Health Unit region, who are required by public health to self-isolate, including cases of COVID-19, close contacts of COVID-19 cases, and people who have symptoms that could be COVID-19.

Northwestern Health Unit and other enforcement officers can enforce the Class Section 22 Order.

Dr. Young Hoon notes, “Our focus with this step is on people who have tested positive for COVID-19, those who have been told by NWHU that they are close contacts, and those who have symptoms of COVID 19 that cannot be explained by another condition. Our enforcement activities will focus on people who are already in contact with Northwestern Health Unit or other COVID-19 service providers.”

Failure to comply with this order is an offence for which you may be charged, or liable for a fine of $750 (ticket) to a maximum of $5,000 or it can lead to an Order for Confinement under the court system.

Complete information on the Class Section 22 Order can be found on the Order of the Medical Officer of Health – COVID-19 Class Order page.

For more information:

NWHU - COVID-19 in northwestern Ontario

NWHU - Test​ results by region