A joint news release issued today by Algoma Public Health (APH) and the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service stressed the importance of limiting – or better yet, eliminating – contact with individuals outside your immediate social circle.
“With three new positive cases in one week in Algoma and cases climbing across the province, now is the time to protect ourselves and each other, by not having big gatherings or parties,” states Dr. Jennifer Loo, APH associate medical officer of health, in the release.
“Hanging out on the same couch together, sharing a meal around a kitchen table – these are all close contact activities that should only be done with people in your immediate household or exclusive social circle."
Full text of the news release follows:
The Ontario Government has taken further action to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by putting limits on the number of people permitted to attend unmonitored and private social gatherings across the entire province.
The new limit on the number of people allowed to attend an unmonitored private social gathering across the province is:
• 10 people at an indoor event or gathering
• 25 people at an outdoor event or gathering
“The Sault Ste. Marie Police Service will continue to enforce the COVID-19 regulations as set forth by the provincial government,” said Chief Hugh Stevenson.
“Since the onset of the Emergency Orders, the people of our community have responded well to education and warnings. However, as the province prepares for a second wave of the virus, stronger enforcement may be necessary. Everyone in our community must educate themselves so they understand their responsibilities under the order and the potential penalties if they choose to ignore them.”
If you fail to comply with an order or obstruct an officer attempting to enforce the order you could face a fine of $750 or $1,000.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford has stated, anyone found to be organizing a private gathering in violation of the order could face a fine of $10,000.
“With three new positive cases in one week in Algoma and cases climbing across the province, now is the time to protect ourselves and each other, by not having big gatherings or parties,” said Dr. Jennifer Loo, associate medical officer of health at Algoma Public Health.
“Hanging out on the same couch together, sharing a meal around a kitchen table – these are all close contact activities that should only be done with people in your immediate household or exclusive social circle. No one should be doing these types of close contact activities with more than 10 different people, and ideally, the fewer people in your circle, the better protection for everyone. This is especially true if someone close to you is elderly or has a health condition that makes them more vulnerable to serious infection.”
It remains critically important for everyone in Algoma to continue following public health advice. This includes:
- Stay home and don’t go to work, school or social gatherings when you are sick, even if it’s “just” a cold. COVID-19 testing is the only reliable way to tell if cold or flu symptoms might be COVID-19.
- If you are meeting up with someone who is not in your immediate household or exclusive social circle of 10, do it safely, with physical distancing: stay two metres apart at all times.
- Wear a face mask when in indoor settings.
- Wash your hands often and thoroughly. Don’t touch your face unless you have just washed your hands.