What Ontario’s Return to Step 2 Public Health Measures Means Locally

Written by Comms Team, January 7, 2022

Businesses and Residents All Have a Role in Preventing Spread of Omicron in Public Settings

Peterborough Public Health commends local businesses and residents for pivoting once again to comply with provincial Step 2 guidance designed to protect our community from the Omicron variant.

“We recognize this transition is another hardship for local businesses and we appreciate the efforts that most are making to modify their operations and once again, comply with new restrictions,” said Julie Ingram, Manager of Environmental Health. “Many local operators have already reached out to us for advice and support, and we thank all businesses who are doing their part.”

On January 5, 2022, the province returned to a modified version of Step 2 of the Provincial Roadmap to Reopen in response to increasing cases and strain on Ontario’s health care system. Highlights of the new regulations include:

Ms. Ingram noted that it’s not just businesses that have a role to play in Step 2, residents also share in the responsibility and need to observe these necessary measures to bring Omicron under control.

“Please adhere to the social gathering limits, make sure to screen for symptoms before leaving home, wear your mask in public settings, and consider alternative safe activities,” she explained, adding that a list of Safe Activities During COVID-19 has been updated on www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca. Shopping locally and avoiding travel outside the region are also other important ways residents can help reduce the spread of COVID-19 at this critical time.

Business operators who have questions or need support to implement changes can contact Peterborough Public Health to speak with a Public Health Inspector by emailing environmentalhealth@peterboroughpublichealth.ca. Details are also available by calling the provincial Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659 or by visiting the provincial website COVID-19: Help for businesses in Ontario | COVID-19 (coronavirus) in Ontario.

Ms. Ingram stated that the primary focus of Peterborough Public Health’s COVID-19 enforcement team is to help support local business with the Step 2 changes, however, they are still receiving and investigating public complaints related to noncompliance. Local residents can submit complaints online at www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca in the Reporting Complaints section.

Peterborough Public Health is also rescinding the following three Letters of Instruction (LOI) now that Ontario has entered Step 2, as the LOI measures are suitably covered or exceeded by the provincial regulations:

  1. Instructions to Food Premises for enhanced public health measures – issued December 13
  2. Instructions to Workplaces for enhanced public health measures – issued December 13
  3. Instructions to Food Premises for the collection of patron information for contact tracing – issued September 16

Residents are encouraged to watch Peterborough Public Health’s public health orders webpage for updates at www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca/public-health-orders.

As the pandemic’s second anniversary approaches, Ms. Ingram recognized that many are dealing with increased levels of stress and anxiety. “We need to be kind to those around us as each family situation is unique. Check in on each other and know that there are supports in our community to help you or someone you know. Anyone experiencing a mental health crisis should contact 911 immediately or present to the nearest emergency department.”

For more information about local mental health helplines and other supports, visit www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca and click on the section for COVID-19 – Supports for Mental Health & Substance Use and COVID-19 – Supports for Basic Needs. The Canadian Mental Health Association has a list of helplines and other resources available at https://cmhahkpr.ca/mental-health/links/.

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For further information, please contact:
Brittany Cadence
Communications Manager
705-743-1000, ext. 391