OPP – COVID-19 Compliance and Enforcement

In Editor Choice, Local

On March 17, 2020 the Government of Ontario declared a State of Emergency which has prompted some members of the public to contact the Peterborough County Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and the Peterborough Police Service to request individuals and businesses/institutions be investigated for non-compliance under the Emergency Measures and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA).

On March 25, 2020 the Government of Canada invoked the Quarantine Act. This requires all travellers returning to Canada – with the exception of what the federal government is calling “essential workers” – enter a mandatory 14-day period of isolation, regardless of whether any symptoms of COVID-19 are present. Our Services are awaiting more specific information on the rollout of this Act.

Under the EMPCA, it is important for the public to understand there are consequences for individuals and businesses who choose to defy the EMCPA while emergency orders are in force.
The Provincial Offences Act (POA) has been updated to include three offences which
may be enforced by police for each offence, at the following set fines:

· Fail to comply with an order made during an emergency = Fine of $750

· Obstruction of Person exercising a power in accordance with an emergency order = Fine of $1,000

· Obstruction of Person performing a duty in accordance with an emergency order = Fine of $1,000
Corporations (as a Part 3 offence) Fine = $500,000

Remember, 9-1-1 is for emergencies only. For all other police matters – including allegations of EMCPA non-compliance – contact the Peterborough County OPP at 705-742-0401 or the non-e m ergency line at 1-888-310-1122 or the Peterborough Police Service’s non-emergency line at 705-876-1122.

People with health-related questions about COVID-19 are encouraged to call Peterborough Public Health at 705-743-1000 or email covid19@peterboroughpublichealth.ca . After hours, people seeking medical advice can call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000.

Peterborough Public Health continues to conduct surveillance and inspections of facilities to confirm compliance with closures or modified operations for restaurants and bars (i.e. take out or delivery services). To date, Public Health Inspectors have observed a high level of compliance. Any premises permitted to remain open are encouraged to implement strategies to prevent crowding and encourage physical distancing. Many such facilities have reduced hours in order to facilitate enhanced premises cleaning and disinfection.

Public Health Inspectors have conducted site visits of local grocery stores to obse r ve infection prevention and control measures and discuss best practices with owners and management. Improvements are continuing, and all stores are reminded to limit the number of shoppers to ensure that physical distancing can be maintained. However, Peterborough Public Health encourages shoppers to only go to the grocery store for essential needs, and do not go at all if you are required to be in self-isolation. If you do need to attend the store, wash your hands frequently, keep two metres away from others, avoid paying with cash and be efficient with your shopping – get in and get out.

The current situation involving COVID-19 requires all of us to work together to protect everyone’s safety. Our police leaders, frontline personnel, public health staff and civilian members are working round-the-clock to support community efforts to keep all members of our communities safe.

We would like to thank the residents of Peterborough County and the City of Peterborough f or their cooperation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Updates will be provided when more information becomes available.
For more information please visit Peterborough Public Health at www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca.

Pete Fisher
Author: Pete Fisher

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