The local health unit is asking patrons of a local restaurant to self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms after they may have potentially been exposed to the virus.
The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPRDHU) is asking anyone who dined in the Swiss Chalet restaurant on Strathy Road in Cobourg between March 25 and April 5 to monitor themselves and get tested if they develop symptoms. Symptoms include fever (temperature of 37.8 degrees Celsius or greater), new or worsening cough, headache, and shortness of breath. Other symptoms of COVID-19 can include sore throat, difficulty swallowing, changes to sense of taste and/or smell, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, runny nose, and/or nasal congestion.
Dr. Natalie Bocking, Medical Officer of Health for the HKPR District Health Unit, says the risk of transmission is still considered low so it is not necessary for patrons who visited the restaurant at that time to self-isolate, only to monitor their health for symptoms for the next 14 days. This notice only applies to individuals who dined inside the restaurant and does not apply to people who picked up takeout orders.
“While there are currently no cases among guests, we are erring on the side of caution and asking people who may have dined in the restaurant to monitor themselves for symptoms,” says Dr. Bocking.
The Health Unit declared an outbreak at the restaurant on April 7 and there are currently six cases associated with the outbreak. The restaurant owner has been working closely with the Health Unit to identify potential high-risk contacts and help stop any further spread of the virus. The restaurant did maintain a list of patrons as is required, but given the number of patrons, and the capacity of the Health Unit, it is not possible to personally contact all patrons to ask them to self-monitor, Dr. Bocking says. The restaurant owner has voluntarily closed the restaurant until April 20 and has been providing the information required to the Health Unit to conduct its contact tracing and case investigation work.
“Unfortunately, this is just one outbreak the Health Unit is working on currently, and so our capacity to reach out to a high number of potential contacts is limited,” Dr. Bocking says. “We need people to continue to do what they can to prevent any further spread.”
To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, Dr. Bocking is reminding people to:
- Stay home if you are ill (even if you think it may just be allergies);
- Stay home unless you need to leave home for an essential reason (groceries, medical appointments, work);
- Do not have indoor gatherings with anyone other than people you live with;
- Wear a mask (indoors and outdoors) when you cannot stay six feet from other people;
- Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently;
- Get vaccinated as soon as you are eligible: www.ontario.ca/bookvaccine or 1-888-999-6488.