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Media Release: Confirmed COVID-19 Outbreak at Procter & Gamble Belleville

Hastings and Prince Edward Counties/Nov. 30, 2020

Today, Dr. Piotr Oglaza, Medical Officer of Health and CEO at Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH) confirms a COVID-19 outbreak at Procter & Gamble, 355 University Ave., Belleville. HPEPH has confirmed 9 cases of COVID-19 among individuals at the P&G site in Belleville.

P&G is working closely with HPEPH and has provided contact information for the individuals who were on site at P&G Belleville between November15 and November 25. Several people identified as high-risk contacts have been instructed by HPEPH to self-isolate immediately and to get tested. Once tested, they are required to remain in quarantine for 14 days after their exposure, regardless of test results.

While HPEPH does not typically disclose the location of a workplace outbreak in order to protect individuals’ privacy, this information is disclosed when needed to meet public health objectives such as contact tracing.

“It is incredibly important that impacted individuals isolate immediately and seek testing as directed by public health in order to prevent further local transmission of COVID-19,” says Dr. Oglaza. “While the risk to the community from this outbreak is considered low at this time, it serves as an important reminder to residents of Hastings Prince Edward to continue to follow public health guidance at all times, whether in the workplace, out in the community or at home,” says Dr. Oglaza.

The products manufactured at the P&G Belleville site, feminine hygiene and incontinence products, pose no risk of transmission to the public and can be safely used, Dr. Oglaza confirms.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, P&G has worked collaboratively with HPEPH to implement robust safety protocols including employee screening, social distancing, mandatory masks, enhanced disinfecting procedures and frequent hand sanitizing to protect the health and well-being of our employees, contractors, and the community,” says Mutazz Akour, P&G Belleville Plant Senior Director. “We will continue to assist HPEPH to ensure that they have all the information they need to complete contact tracing.”

HPEPH recommends all residents practice five fundamental actions to protect themselves and others:

  • Stay home when ill, as directed by provincial assessment tools;
  • Always physical distance with those outside your household;
  • Wear a mask or face covering in public spaces, as well as when physical distancing is difficult or not possible;
  • Wash your hands often, and clean frequently touched surfaces;
  • Get tested if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19.

In addition, HPEPH asks that all individuals avoid non-essential travel and stay as close to home as possible. This is especially important when considering travel to and from regions with higher rates of COVID-19 transmission. It can be discouraging to witness increased rates of COVID-19 in our region, but be kind to one another as we work together to stop the spread of this virus.

To learn more about COVID-19, how you can protect yourself and what to do if you suspect you may be at risk, please visit hpePublicHealth.ca or Ontario’s website.

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Media contacts

HPEPH:
Maureen Hyland, Communications Specialist
mhyland@hpeph.ca

P&G Canada:
Joyce Law, Communications Director
law.j@pg.com

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COVID-19 VACCINES IN HPEPH

Appointments for individuals 5+ can be booked through the provincial vaccine booking site, or by calling 1-833-943-3900 from 8 am to 8 pm, 7 days a week.  

Due to limited supply, HPEPH will initially be prioritizing available bivalent vaccine for residents and workers at identified highest-risk facilities.  Some HPEPH vaccination clinics MAY offer the bivalent vaccine, as availability allows. Vaccine clinics in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties will continue to offer monovalent vaccines (the same mRNA vaccines given as the primary series) for all eligible individuals until a steady supply of the bivalent vaccine is available.

Visit the HPEPH vaccine booking web page for details.

COVID-19 PROTOCOLS

Symptoms or exposure? Visit www.ontario.ca/exposed for the most up to date information about what to do.

For the most up to date information on current provincial restrictions, visit https://covid-19.ontario.ca/public-health-measures.

The Ministry of Health has launched a new toll-free line as an additional resource to help answer questions from the public regarding evolving COVID-19 testing and isolation guidance. The line can be reached at 1-888-777-0730, and is available from 8 am to 6 pm, 7 days a week.