NWHU urging public not to travel to or from Manitoba unless for essential purposes
Tim Brody - Editor
The Northwestern Health Unit is urging the public not to travel to or from Manitoba unless it is for essential purposes and to avoid all non-essential travel outside of northwestern Ontario.
“Anyone who has travelled to Manitoba or is coming into our region from Manitoba should stay home and not interact with anyone outside of their household for 14 days after entering northwestern Ontario. If someone who has travelled to or from Manitoba gets symptoms of COVID-19 within 14 days of entering our region, they should self-isolate and get tested. Household members of that individual should also self-isolate until the test results are received,” the health unit advised in a Nov. 16 media release, adding, “The province of Manitoba has moved to the critical (red) level in their pandemic response system. Rates of COVID-19 in Manitoba are the highest in the country.”
“Interacting with someone who has recently been in Manitoba puts you at a higher risk for COVID-19. To protect our communities, anyone who has travelled to or from Manitoba should stay at home and not interact with anyone outside of their household for 14 days after arriving in northwestern Ontario,” Dr. Kit Young Hoon, Medical Officer of Health at NWHU advised.
“Following this recommendation may not be possible for individuals who are travelling for essential reasons such as medical services, to facilitate shared parenting arrangements, or if travelling for essential employment like health care, transportation, or law enforcement,” the health unit stated.
“Those who have been in Manitoba for essential reasons should minimize interacting with anyone outside of their household as much as is reasonably possible for 14 days on entering Northwestern Ontario,” Dr. Young Hoon informed.
NWHU advised that anyone who travels to a high-risk area is asked to follow the above advice as well. To determine what is defined as a “high-risk area”, the public can visit these webpages:
• For Ontario: https://www.ontario.ca/page/covid-19-response-framework-keeping-ontario-safeand-open
• For other provinces, review provincial webpages: https://health-infobase.canada.ca/covid-19/
For more information, people can also visit NWHU’s website at https://covid-19.ontario.ca/index.html or call their COVID-19 hotline at 1-866-468-2240.
On Nov. 18, NWHU urged the public to practise prevention measures as COVID-19 case counts increase in the Kenora region.
NWHU Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kit Young Hoon said she is concerned by the rise in case numbers.
“This surge is our region’s wake-up call. The risk of transmission of COVID-19 is higher in the Kenora area. We’ve seen the devastation that COVID-19 has brought to other areas in Canada, and we need our residents to do everything they can to prevent the spread,” said Dr. Kit Young Hoon. “Now is the time to act. Avoid unnecessary travel, stay at least 2 metres apart from anyone you do not live with, do not gather with other families indoors, and stay home if you’re unwell and take a self-assessment to see if you should be tested for COVID-19,” Dr. Young Hoon shared.
On Nov. 20 NWHU shared in a media release, “Earlier this week, Northwestern Health Unit (NWHU) noted an increased risk of COVID-19 transmission in the Kenora region. Cases continue to climb in the region, with two more cases being announced in the Kenora area this morning. The Kenora region has seen a 1.5% positivity rate this week, the highest rate our area has seen since the pandemic started. The public is reminded to be vigilant with personal preventive measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
Increased numbers of positive COVID-19 test results have resulted in the Thunder Bay District Health Unit region, as of Nov. 21, moving to the yellow – protect (strengthened measures) level of the Provincial Government’s Keeping Ontario Safe and Open Framework.
The Northwestern Health Unit remains (as of Nov. 23) at the green – prevent (standard measures) level of the framework.
More information on what level of the framework each of the province’s health unit regions sits at, and what public health measures look like at each level of the framework, can be found at: https://www.ontario.ca/page/covid-19-response-framework-keeping-ontario-safe-and-open.
Additional COVID-19 information can be found at www.nwhu.on.ca/covid19 and