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Change in COVID-19 testing criteria and large group recommendations

Testing recommendations for COVID-19 were updated by the Ontario Ministry of Health Friday to prioritize laboratory testing for specific groups in accordance with the Ministry of Health guidelines.

Not everyone can or will be tested. Individuals identified to have an increased likelihood of COVID-19 illness will be considered “Probable Cases” and advised to self-isolate at home without testing.

At this time, there are no positive laboratory confirmed cases among residents in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties.

Individuals with mild symptoms are advised to stay at home until 24 hours after symptoms have been resolved. If you are experiencing moderate to severe respiratory symptoms call your health care provider for direction, or dial 911.

All levels of government are recommending Canadians avoid non-essential international travel. Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health has also recommended the immediate suspension of all large events and public gatherings of over 250 people.

“These measures may seem extreme and disruptive, but the time to implement them is before we see community transmission” says Dr. Piotr Oglaza, Medical Officer of Health and CEO at Hastings Prince Edward Public Health. “Together we can take responsible actions to ensure the health of our community and flatten the curve of the spread of COVID-19”.

HPEPH is recommending active screening for a variety of settings, including all health care settings (physicians, dentists, optometrists, chiropractors, long-term care homes), daycares and schools. Health care professionals are reminded to visit our website for updates.

HPEPH has opened an information call line to answer questions related to COVID-19. The line is currently answered by public health staff 7 days a week between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm – please be patient, callers may have to wait for their call to be answered due to high call volumes.

Information is continually evolving, for the most up to date information visit

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