In the wake of a disproportionate number of COVID-19 cases reported in the city of Hearst, the Porcupine Health Unit is recommending that residents take “enhanced precautions” to prevent further spread.
These enhanced precautions include the use of facial or mask coverage in indoor and outdoor public places “anytime you are with people outside your immediate home and are unable to keep two meters away.”
Dr. Lianne Catton, PHU’s medical health officer, said that while all communities are at risk of spreading through COVID-19, the health facility is particularly “concerned with the increased risk of community exposure in the city of Hearst “,
The last six cases reported last week within the area under PHU’s jurisdiction were in the Hearst area.
In this cluster of cases, there are at least two people who work in the health unit office in Hearst who contracted the virus – which led UBS to temporarily close the office.
Last week, there was also a confirmed case involving a French Catholic college student in Hearst.
In order to reduce the risk of COVID-19, Catton warned that if a family member experiences symptoms and / or is awaiting the results of the COVID-19 test, all members of the immediate family should isolate themselves and monitor the symptoms. If symptoms develop, they should continue to isolate themselves and seek the COVID-19 test.
Anyone with symptoms should get tested.
Catton said the Hearst Assessment Center added hours over the weekend to determine and limit the extent of the spread. Residents can call 705-372-2913 to make an appointment directly. The testing center is at 1403 Edward St. (Hearst Medical Center). An appointment is required.
Anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, is urged to stay at home and isolate themselves for 14 days from the last contact with that person. If symptoms develop, they should continue to isolate themselves and seek the COVID-19 test.
The health unit is also recommending:
• Keep two meters away from everyone outside your immediate home;
• Avoid meetings to play with other families in the neighborhood, movie nights, pajama parties and social gatherings with friends in bars and restaurants;
• Only frequent restaurants, bars or other establishments with people you live with and follow the public health measures that have been implemented;
• Avoid non-essential travel;
• Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer;
• Sneeze and cough in the sleeve;
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth;
• Clean surfaces commonly touched; and
• Track symptoms regularly.