Attention All Fleming College Students from Peterborough Public Health

Peterborough ON – (March 12, 2021) – Many of you are returning to Peterborough after being away for Reading Week, or since the campus ceased in-person learning due to a rapid escalation of COVID-19 cases in our community, many of which were associated with Fleming College students. This notice is intended to remind you of your obligations under the Health Protection and Promotion Act, 1990 (HPPA), the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020 (ROA) and associated regulations now that you have returned.

Prior to the start of reading week, Peterborough Public Health declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Severn Court Student Residence. It appears that the cause of this outbreak was the result of several illegal gatherings that occurred on and around February 20, 2021. Be advised, that there is zero tolerance for such behaviour. Attending gatherings puts yourself, your roommates, your loved ones and the entire community at risk. Of the infections we’ve seen recently, the majority have screened positive for COVID-19 Variants of Concern (VOCs). The transmission of VOCs is fast, furious, and, as we have seen locally, is associated with a higher risk for severe illness and hospitalization, even for younger individuals between twenty and forty years of age.

While you reside in Peterborough, you are required to follow all local Orders and instructions in addition to provincial legislation. Failure to comply will cause an investigation and charges will be laid, as appropriate.

If you are returning to Peterborough after being away, it is possible that you may have been exposed to COVID-19 wherever you were – please take action to protect yourself and others. For two weeks following your return (14 days):

• Limit and track your contact with others;
• Remain with your household members only (i.e., roommates) as much as possible;
• Order takeout, have groceries delivered and/or use curbside pickup;
• Do not attend social events or gatherings;
• Self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 and if you experience symptoms, self-isolate and seek testing immediately.

If you do attend a place of business or facility that is open to the public, by provincial law, you are responsible to maintain a physical distance of at least two (2) metres from anyone that you don’t live with (with the exception of a caregiver). You are also required to wear a mask or face covering. You are not permitted to dine in at a restaurant or bar with anyone who you do not live with (with very limited exceptions). You will be required to attest to this when you attend a restaurant or bar.

If you live at Severn Court Student Residence, the Section 22 Class Order applies to all residents and restricts leaving the property, except in certain circumstances. While this Order is in effect, you are not permitted to attend work or school. Failure to comply with the Order will result in an offence under the Health Protection and Promotion Act, 1990, with a minimum fine of $750.00.

This is not the time to take risks. This is the time to be a responsible citizen of our community. Step up, protect yourself and protect others. Peterborough is currently in the Red (Control) Zone of the COVID-19 Response Framework. This is the most severe level prior to lockdown – and we need your cooperation in helping us prevent further infections and prevent a further lock-down. Please take note: Gatherings cannot exceed five (5) people indoors or twenty-five (25) people outdoors and physical distancing must be maintained at all times.

These requirements are not optional – they are the law. Failure to comply with the requirements will result in an offence under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020, with a minimum fine of $750.00.

While we are pleased to have you as part of our community, we are asking you to be respectful, compliant citizens and follow all public health guidance related to COVID-19. This will allow you to complete your studies in a safe manner, hopefully without further disruption.

Thank you for taking the time to review this information. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our office at: 705-743-1000 or you can e-mail our COVID-19 hotline at covid19@peterboroughpublichealth.ca.

Sincerely,

Rosana Salvaterra, MD, MSc, CCFP, FRCPC
Medical Officer of Health