Please see the following release from Keith Beecroft, Public Health Promoter at Peterborough Public Health, shared on Monday, March 21:
“Good morning everyone,
As of 12:01 a.m. today, the province has removed many of the required public health measures for most businesses and organizations. For full details, please review O. Reg 364/20. This also includes the removal of mandatory masks in many indoor areas. However, masks must still be worn in:
- indoor premises and vehicles of public transit service,
- long-term care homes,
- retirement homes,
- congregate care settings, and
- clinics that provide health services.
Even though many businesses and organizations are no longer mandated to have masks worn in indoor areas, Peterborough Public Health strongly recommends that local residents continue to wear masks after March 21. To read more about this recommendation, click here. This recommendation coincides with an increase in COVID-19 transmission in our community as observed from the latest COVID-19 local wastewater data. Further to this, there are still thousands of local residents who remain at risk of serious disease if they get infected. Businesses and organization can reinforce our recommendation by encouraging patrons and staff to wear a mask in indoor areas. If you require signage to encourage mask use, please click here. For more information about the types of masks for various settings, please click here.
COVID-19 projections and modelling to assist with your planning
As we move into the warmer months, many businesses and organizations are determining policies and procedures that will be needed to protect staff and their patrons. Information that will be helpful to this planning, is the most recent COVID-19 projections and modelling data released by the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table. The key findings were that:
- COVID-19 case numbers, hospital and ICU occupancy have stopped declining; there is considerable regional variation.
- Given the relaxation of public health measures and consequent increase in transmission, hospital and ICU occupancy will likely increase over the next few weeks, but less than in January 2022 and for a limited period of time, if changes in behaviour are only moderate.
- The extent of this increase, and of a person’s risk of contracting COVID-19, will depend on the number of close contacts (especially indoors without masking), vaccination status, and the spread of the more transmissible BA.2 subvariant.
- Older adults, immunocompromised, unvaccinated and marginalized individuals and groups are still susceptible to severe illness from COVID-19.
- A complete vaccine series (currently two doses in children, three doses in adults, four in long-term care residents and other eligible high-risk groups) is the best defense against getting and spreading COVID-19.
In light of the above, Peterborough Public Health emphasizes that a layering of multiple strategies will continue to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as we move through the next few months:
- Make sure you’re fully vaccinated with three doses of COVID-19 vaccine, or four doses if you’re immunocompromised,
- Wear a mask,
- Ensure the spaces you’re in, especially without a mask, are well ventilated. Click here for a fact sheet.
- Stay home when sick,
- Complete a rapid-antigen test if symptoms appear, and recording them in the PPH surveillance survey here.
- Wash hands regularly,
- Maintain physical distance.
Next steps for PPH:
We are presently reviewing the results of our business/organization survey to determine what is needed to support a variety of sectors over the coming months. You can always find up to date information about vaccines, clinics, and prevention measures on our website, or by calling 705-743-1000. While our COVID-19 updates to you may be less frequent, PPH is still committed to providing you with information as the context and situation changes.
With continued thanks,