Hastings-Prince Edward Public Health has issued a class order under section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act.

“This order enables Hastings Prince Edward Public Health to enforce self-isolation requirements for all individuals who have been advised to do so,” they explain in a statement. “These efforts are being made to protect the local community from potential exposure to COVID-19.”

The order applies to anyone living in Hastings or Prince Edward Counties that have been diagnosed with COVID-19, has signs or symptoms of the virus, has been tested and are awaiting results, has a reason to believe they may have symptoms or is in close contact with any of the above.

“This order legally requires individuals diagnosed with COVID-19, or who are at greater risk of developing COVID-19, to remain in their home/on their property, avoid contact with vulnerable individuals, and not allow any visitors within their home, for 14 days or longer,” says Public Health’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Piotr Oglaza. “We are making every effort to slow the spread of this virus in our community and are taking necessary action to ensure local residents are doing the same.”

Exemptions to this order are possible for essential service workers, but Public Health says it will only happen if they are not exhibiting symptoms and using personal protective equipment.

If convicted, failure to comply with the order may result in a fine of up to $5,000 per day that the order wasn’t followed.

“While many members of the general public are not legally required to self-isolate, all residents are urged to continue practising physical distancing, and only leave home for essential reasons,” Public Health says. “These efforts will help reduce the potential transmission of COVID-19 in the event that an individual is contagious before they are required to self-isolate.”