Things are getting serious, O-Town! Just hours after the city’s daily COVID-19 cases rose to a record high, the medical officer of health took action. A Class Section 22 Order has been invoked, and Ottawa’s new self-isolation rules have fines of up to $5,000 per day.

On September 22, the same day Ottawa had a record-breaking COVID-19 spike, the city’s top doctor invoked a Class Section 22 Order under the Health Protection and Promotion Act.

In a statement, Dr. Vera Etches explained that “we need to bend the curve down now,” and said stricter regulation was necessary to prevent the situation from worsening.

The new order says that anybody who tests positive for COVID-19, or who has any signs and symptoms, must self-isolate immediately for 14 days.

This also applies to anybody who is a close contact of somebody who’s tested positive, those currently awaiting test results or anybody who has “reasonable grounds to believe they have COVID-19.”

Isolating, per the order, means staying at home and not going outside if you don't have a private balcony or enclosed yard.

No visitors are allowed, unless permitted by Ottawa Public Health.

 

“Failure to comply with this order could result in a fine of up to $5,000 for every day or part of a day on which the offence occurs or continues,” said Etches.

In her notice, the city's top doctor explained that the tough punishments are necessary due to otherwise “slow adherence to public health guidance.”

“I don’t take these types of decisions lightly; however, I must do everything possible to reduce the transmission that is currently occurring in Ottawa,” she added.

This latest update comes as the numbers of cases in the capital city continue to climb.

On Tuesday, Ottawa reported its highest ever daily increase, with over 90 new people confirmed to be sick.

Outbreaks in schools continue to be reported, and an increasing number of younger people and even children are testing positive.

 

Concluding her notice, Etches added, “...This order is another intervention that targets the increasing non-adherence with the basic prevention measures such as staying home when you have symptoms.”

With the city now believed to be experiencing its second wave, it seems following the rules is more important than ever!

*This article's cover image is for illustrative purposes only.

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