The Thunder Bay District Health Unit (TBDHU) has issued a Class Order under Section 22 of the Ontario Health Protection and Promotion Act.
Effective March 2, 2021, the Order allows the TBDHU to enforce self-isolation requirements for certain individuals. The self-isolation requirements have not changed from previous guidance.
For full details, view the Section 22 Class Order - Self-Isolation.
A Class Order is a legal order that enables the TBDHU to enforce self-isolation requirements for the group of individuals that it applies to. These efforts are being made to protect the district from potential exposure to COVID-19. Self-isolation and contact tracing to reach those who need to self-isolate are important to protect the community from COVID-19 transmission.
Effective March 2, 2021, the Order applies to all people residing in or present in the area served by the Thunder Bay District Health Unit who:
- a) Are a confirmed case or probable case of COVID-19;
- b) Have new symptoms (even mild symptoms) or worsening symptoms of COVID-19; have been tested for COVID-19 and are awaiting the results of their test;
- c) Otherwise have reasonable grounds to believe they now have symptoms (even mild symptoms) of COVID-19, or have had such symptoms within the past 10 days; and have not had a COVID-19 test since developing those symptoms;
- d) Are a close contact of a person identified in a) even if they do not themselves have any symptoms of COVID-19; or
- e) Are a parent, or person with responsibilities of a parent, of a person under 16 years of age in a), b), c), or d) who resides or is present in Thunder Bay District Health Unit. This means that parents and caregivers are responsible to ensure children in their care under the age of 16 are in compliance with this Order.
People in Categories (a), (b), (c) and (d) above must self-isolate and follow other directions in the class order. The purpose of Category (e) is to require parents and others who have the responsibilities of a parent to ensure compliance with the Class Order by any person under 16 years of age. Parents and others must self-isolate only if they themselves also fall within Category (a), (b), (c), or (d).
Parents and caregivers are responsible to ensure children in their care who are under the age of 16 are in compliance with this Order and are properly self-isolating when required to do so.
Parents and caregivers must self-isolate only if they themselves also fall within Category (a), (b), (c), or (d) of the Order and are required to be self-isolating.
For details, visit our Self-Isolation page.
Seek prompt immediate medical attention if your illness is worsening (e.g. difficulty breathing) by calling 911 and report your COVID-19-related diagnosis, exposure and/or symptoms.
Individuals who are affected by the Class Order are required to stay at home and not have visitors, except as essential (e.g. a health care worker). The other things you must do while self-isolating are explained in the Class Order and on the Self-Isolation page.
While self-isolating, people must remain reachable for monitoring by TBDHU and/or other public health staff. This helps TBDHU ensure individuals are doing what is required and to identify if they need support while self-isolating.
People in self-isolation should arrange to have groceries and other necessities delivered to them. If you need assistance, please let the public health nurse know.
On March 2, 2021, the Thunder Bay District Health Unit’s Medical Officer of Health issued a Class Order under Section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act. This Act authorizes a Class Order to be issued to address the risks presented by the potential spread of COVID-19 to people who reside or are present in the Thunder Bay District Health Unit area.
COVID-19 is present in the Thunder Bay District Health Unit and therefore poses a risk to the health of the residents of the area through community transmission. The number of cases and deaths continues to rise in the TBDHU area. Of particular significance is recent transmission across Ontario of variants of the COVID-19 virus identified to be of great concern given their potential for increased transmission and increase capacity to cause illness and death.
Self-isolation of individuals with COVID-19, anyone who has symptoms that could be COVID-19 and anyone who has been in close contact of someone with COVID-19, is an important part of reducing the spread of COVID-19 in our area. When someone who has COVID-19 or who could be infected with the virus isolates, they greatly reduce the chance of passing on the virus to others.
While most individuals are compliant with the direction to isolate, unfortunately, there are some people who aren’t following public health direction. To date, an approach of progressive enforcement has been taken. This Class Order is additional tool that will help with that.
The Class Order is effective March 2, 2021 and will remain in effect until the Medical Officer of Health determines it is no longer required. Isolation time is generally 10 days for individuals who test positive for COVID-19 and 14 days for individuals who are high risk close contacts. Public health will inform individuals on the exact length of their isolation. Further details for specific situations can also be found on the Self-Isolation page.
The requirements of the Class Order are subject to necessary modifications for:
- a person or class of persons who, in the opinion of the Medical Officer of Health, is asymptomatic and is required to provide an essential service, using mandated PPE, for the limited purpose of providing that essential service;
- a person or class of persons whose isolation, in the opinion of the TBDHU, would not be in the pubic interest; or
- a person or class of persons who, for other reasons, as authorized by the Medical Officer of Health or designate, require modifications of this Order.
Students and children in school and child care should continue to complete the Ontario COVID-19 School and Child Care Screening Tool every morning before going to school or child care and follow the recommendations. Recommendations to self-isolate based on responses to the questions still apply.
Parents and caregivers are responsible to ensure children in their care under the age of 16 are in compliance with this Order and are properly self-isolating when required to do so. Parents and caregivers must self-isolate only if they themselves also fall within Category (a), (b), (c), or (d) of the Order and are required to be self-isolating.
As is general practice with these kinds of orders, the Thunder Bay District Health Unit will attempt to engage directly with a person failing to self-isolate, (or to take other important steps), to make sure that they understand what is required of them, and to see if they need support in an effort to gain voluntary compliance. If these efforts are unsuccessful, the Medical Officer of Health will consider the need for legal action to compel compliance.
TBDHU, with the support of enforcement partners, can enforce the Class Order on any members of that class when there is non-compliance. Failure to comply with this Order is an offence for which someone can be charged or liable for a fine of $880 (ticket) to a maximum of $5,000 for every day or part of each day for which the offence occurs or continues.
If you believe someone who is required to self-isolate for COVID-19 is not following the Class Order, you can call the Thunder Bay District Health Unit at (807) 625-5900 or Toll-Free at 1-888-294-6630.
Any person subject to the Class Order may request a hearing by the Health Services Appeal and Review Board to challenge its requirements. Although a hearing may be requested, this Order still applies when it is delivered to a member of the class or brought to the attention of a member of the class. Refer to the Class Order for details.
People required to self-isolate must, if asked, share with public health the names and contact information for all people with whom they had contact while likely infectious, (and other information that may be requested). Providing this information is crucial as it enables public health to act to prevent disease transmission to others.
Public health understands that people will have concerns about their privacy. All information collected by public health is protected by Ontario’s privacy legislation for health information, the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004.