Don’t shirk calling contacts if you have COVID-19

(File photo courtesy of Pixabay/ StockSnap)

If you believe you have COVID-19, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit trusts you to do the right thing and call your contacts.

Now that the health unit has shifted its focus to vaccination, there is less emphasis on contact tracing. The provincial service that handles that responsibility is experiencing a backlog, and testing is not as readily available.

Earlier in the week, public health officials urged those who even suspect they have the virus to stay home and self-isolate.

Bearing that in mind, CEO Nicole Dupuis said it’ll be up to the public to contact anyone they might have infected.

“It’s always been a little bit of an honour system,” she said, explaining public health officials have always relied on the public to provide accurate information. “With the new restrictions, there certainly will be a lot less person-to-person interaction, so I would think an individual’s number of contacts would be pretty small.”

“It’s likely that a self-managed process is less robust than a professionally managed process,” added Acting Medical Officer of Health Doctor Shanker Nesathurai. “But, I do think the majority of people will try to follow the guidelines.”

While public health officials are reluctant to use enforcement, the Health Protection and Promotions Act does say anyone found guilty of violating the law could face a fine of up to $5,000.

“When appropriate we would use the enforcement authority, as provided by the public health law,” explained Nesathurai.