Peterborough Public Health is canceling its mandatory mask order issued on August 1 and now requires all businesses and employers to follow the new provincial guidelines for indoor public spaces, including retail stores.
The latest provincial guidelines for Stage 3 of reopening the economy require COVID-19 warning signs to be placed for all staff, bosses and visitors, Medical Officer of Health Dr Rosana Salvaterra said during a weekly Peterborough Public Health teleconference on the COVID-19 pandemic Wednesday at noon.
The new provincial decree covers all indoor public spaces, including common areas of apartment buildings, places of worship, public transport vehicles and private offices, she said.
The provincial ordinance also states that plastic glass barriers alone do not allow workers to unmask themselves on the job safely, she said.
Indoor public places should always guarantee a two-meter distance, she said.
Service counter staff must always wear masks in shops and other places, even if they are behind plexiglass, she said.
Provincial rules will be enforced locally by municipal police, the Ontario Provincial Police and public health inspectors.
There is a fixed fine of $ 750.
Workplaces should also actively research all staff and visitors for COVID-19, Salvaterra said. An online self-assessment screening tool can be used by employees before they start work, she said.
The new guidelines were followed at a meeting Tuesday at city hall, where city councilors, staff and reporters all wore masks – even though everyone was behind tempered glass partitions. At previous meetings this fall, people took off their masks behind glass.
Salvaterra also said there were 131 cases within the jurisdiction of the health unit and only one active case on Wednesday (up from eight active cases a week earlier).
Regarding COVID-19 testing, Salvaterra said the appointment system implemented on Thursday at the drive-thru test site test site at Eastgate Memorial Park significantly reduced the wait hours for many people at the start of last week.
“I understand that access to testing has improved dramatically and wait times have all but disappeared,” she said, and urged people to make an appointment for screening for mild symptoms of the disease. COVID-19.
“This will help us identify new cases and their contacts quickly and efficiently,” she said.
She also noted that around 32,300 local residents have been tested for COVID-19 to date, or one in five people.
Also on Wednesday, Salvaterra and Selwyn Township Mayor Andy Mitchell, chairman of the board of health, asked hunters to limit their hunts to day trips rather than traditional night hunting camps to prevent the spread of the virus.
Hunters should eat separately, sleep in separate tents, and not have buffet meals or share utensils, Mitchell said.
Hunting parties should be limited to a maximum of 10 people and hunters should stay home if they show symptoms and should assess their health daily, Mitchell said.
“By hunting responsibly, we will help keep everyone safe and stop the spread of COVID,” he said.
For those looking to get the flu shot, Salvaterra said getting the shot this year is important to stay healthy and to make sure there are enough beds available at the hospital. for COVID patients.
Flu vaccine supplies have been adequate for long-term care homes and the hospital, she said, and all local doctors have received their initial vaccine deliveries and have been encouraged by the office of health to order more.
Although local pharmacies quickly used up their initial supply of flu shots, Salvaterra expects more vaccine deliveries later this month.
“So I hope that everyone who wants and needs a vaccine can get it,” she said.
When asked if she expected more cases of COVID-19 to appear in Peterborough after Thanksgiving weekend, Salvaterra replied that she does – but she is “crossing her fingers” that there won’t be many.