Ask the Thunder Bay District Health Unit on COVID-19

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Ask the Health Unit

Thunder Bay – COVID-19 Update – Readers have been asking questions about the current situation in the region regarding COVID-19.

We asked the Thunder Bay District Health Unit your questions, here are the responses:

Why are businesses allowed to be open during this lockdown but were not during the last lockdown?

Before TBDHU was placed in the COVID-19 Response Framework (the colour-coded system), all of Ontario was under a Provincewide Shutdown that had a set of regulations in place. Currently, TBDHU is in the Grey – Lockdown level of the Framework, which has a different set of regulations that must be followed. A summary of the public health measures and restrictions required for the Grey – Lockdown level is available at www.tbdhu.com/currentlevel or on the Ministry’s COVID-19 Response Framework website. Businesses that are allowed to be open must have all health and safety measures in place.

In February, the TBDHU area was moved out of the provincial “Shutdown” and back into the COVID-19 Response Framework (the colour-coded system). Currently, TBDHU is in the Grey – “Lockdown” level of the Framework. Shutdown and lockdown have a different set of regulations that must be followed.

A summary of the public health measures and restrictions required for the Grey – Lockdown level is available at TBDHU.com/currentlevel or on the Ontario Government’s COVID-19 Response Framework web page. Details are also provided in Ontario Regulation 82/20: Rules for Areas in Stage 1.

Businesses that are allowed to be open must have all health and safety measures in place.

What is the Positivity Rate and what does it mean?

The positivity rate (sometimes referred to as ‘percent positivity’ or ‘percent positive rate’) refers to the percentage of all COVID-19 tests performed that are actually positive. The positivity rate can tell public health two things: the current level of disease transmission in our community and whether we are doing enough testing to keep up with the level of disease transmission. A high positivity rate means that the level of COVID-19 transmission, relative to the amount of testing, is high at this point in time. A high positivity rate suggests it is a good time to add more testing, as well as, restrictions to slow the spread of the disease.

What is the incubation period for COVID-19?

The incubation period is the time from when a person is exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19 to the time they develop symptoms. The longest known incubation period for COVID-19 is 14 days.
A person with COVID-19 can be infectious to others 48 hours before symptoms appear.

Are there cases of the variants in Thunder Bay?

Variants of concern have not been detected in cases of COVID-19 in TBDHU at this time.

What is a Section 22 Order and what does it mean?

The Section 22 Class Order is a legal order that enables the TBDHU to enforce self-isolation requirements for the group of individuals that it applies to. The self-isolation requirements have not changed. Failure to comply with the order is an offence for which someone can be charged. Those under the age of 16 cannot be charged, thus parents/caregivers are responsible for ensuring children in their care are self-isolating when they are required to do so. More details can be found at www.tbdhu.com/section22


Do you have a question? Send your questions to newsroom@netnewsledger.com and we will work to get an answer.

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