Media Release: WDG Public Health issues new Section 22 Orders

November 13, 2020

Update as of December 17, 2020 - All orders mentioned in this release have been rescinded.


November 13, 2020 – Dr. Nicola Mercer, Medical Officer of Health and CEO of Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health, has issued Section 22 Orders under the Health Protection and Promotion Act requiring Old Order Mennonite churches and schools in the region to close and members of this Community to follow specific public health instructions and restrictions on gatherings.

The Section 22 Orders have been issued to help address the growing risk of COVID-19 in this community. In addition to an increase of COVID-19 cases of the virus and two known outbreaks, the uptake of public health measures has been low. Public Health has confirmed cases within the Community but cannot conduct its contact tracing because this information is not being provided.

To keep people safe and stop the outbreak, further steps are required. The intent of the Section 22 Orders is to immediately help stop the spread between households and to keep our region as open as possible.

“I am saddened by the need for this extraordinary step,” said Dr. Mercer. “I do not take the issuing of Section 22 Orders lightly, but COVID-19 poses a serious health risk to the Old Order Mennonite Community and to all of us in the region. Sometimes we need to make difficult decisions to prevent the unchecked spread of this virus.”

Preventing hot spots of transmission is key to containing COVID-19. Using targeted public health measures based on science will keep our region open, maintain health system capacity and protect vulnerable people, including those in long-term care. Public Health works to ensure contact tracing is as complete and accurate as possible and that anyone who is a high-risk contact of a positive case self-isolates and gets tested for the virus.

Public Health with continue to work with the Old Order Mennonite Community to halt the spread of COVID-19 and keep residents of Wellington, Dufferin and Guelph safe.

Media Contact

Chuck Ferguson
1-800-265-7293 ext. 4374

Danny Williamson
1-800-265-7293 ext. 4376