Media/Blogs

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Blogs

Media Releases

Outbreak Declared at Canadian Centre for Addictions in Port Hope – Saturday, November 28, 2020

Health Unit Declares Outbreak at Cameco Fuel Manufacturing in Port Hope – Friday, November 27, 2020

Health Unit Lifts COVID-19 Outbreak at Northumberland Hills Hospital – Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020

Partnership Helps Deliver Food Supplies to Students in Need, Even During COVID-19 School Closures – Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020

Health Unit Provides Update on Local COVID-19 Outbreaks – Friday, Nov. 13, 2020

Health Unit Declares COVID-19 Outbreak at Warkworth Long-Term Care Home – Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020

Health Unit Survey Asks How COVID-19 is Affecting You – Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020

Health Alert Issued After Numerous Suspected Overdoses in Kawartha Lakes – Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020

New Medical Officer of Health Appointed – Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020

No-Cost Quit-Smoking Resources Can Help Break Tobacco Habit – Monday, Oct. 19, 2020

Take Precautions This Thanksgiving Weekend to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 – Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020

COVID-19 Leads to Cancellation of Low-Cost Rabies Vaccination Clinics, but People Still Urged to Protect Their Pet from Rabies – Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020

Update on Local COVID-19 Outbreaks – Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020

COVID-19 Contributes to Death of Northumberland Resident – Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020

Beware of Bats Inside Homes, Health Unit Advises – Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Update on Local COVID-19 Outbreaks – Friday, Aug. 28, 2020

Local Health Unit Issues Order to Agricultural/Farm Operations that Employ Migrant Workers – Thursday, July 9, 2020

Local Health Unit Issues Requirement for Mask Use in Commercial Establishments – Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Latest Update on Local COVID-19 Outbreaks – Thursday, July 2, 2020

Health Unit Offices Reopen to the Public – Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Beach Water Testing Program Resumes This Summer – Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Latest Update on Local COVID-19 Outbreaks – Thursday, June 18, 2020

Health Unit Provides Update on Local COVID-19 Outbreaks – Friday, June 12, 2020

Health Unit Support for Expectant Parents, New Parents and Families Still Available During Pandemic – Monday, June 8, 2020

Two More COVID-19 Outbreaks Declared Over in Area – Monday, June 1, 2020

One Local COVID-19 Outbreak Declared Over – Sunday, May 31, 2020

Health Unit Provides Update on Local COVID-19 Outbreaks – Thursday, May 14, 2020

On Hold – Local Residents Strongly Discouraged from Organizing Garage/Yard Sales During COVID-19 – Friday May 8, 2020

Outbreak Declaration Removed at Case Manor Due to Lab Error – Thursday May 7, 2020

Recent Outbreaks in Area Long-Term Care and Retirement Homes – Tuesday May 5, 2020

Guidelines for Community Gardens – Let’s Get Growing Safely – Monday May 4, 2020

Retesting to Be Conducted After Lab Error May Have Created Inaccurate COVID-19 Results – Friday May 1, 2020

Health Unit Issues Order – Tuesday April 14, 2020

HKPR District Health Unit Reports Confirmed Case of COVID-19 in Haliburton County – Wednesday April 1, 2020

Working Together to Protect Vulnerable Residents at Bobcaygeon Long-Term Care Home – Thursday March 26, 2020

Community Transmission of COVID-19 – Wednesday March 25, 2020

COVID-19 Contributes to Death of CKL Resident – Sunday March 22, 2020

Three Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 in Area Nursing Home – Friday March 20, 2020

Updates from the Local Health Unit – Thursday March 19, 2020

Medical Officer of Health Activates Emergency Response Plan – Tuesday March, 17, 2020

Positive COVID-19 Case in CKL – Saturday, March 14, 2020

First Local Positive COVID-19 Case Reported – Friday, March 13, 2020

Local Health Partners Continue to Work Together in Preparation for Potential COVID-19 Cases – March 2, 2020

Working Together to Prevent Spread of Seasonal Illness and Novel Coronavirus – Jan. 30, 2020


Follow us for COVID-19 Updates

You can find and follow updates on COVID-19 in your local community via the following HKPR resources:

If you have questions about COVID-19, you can contact the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577 x5020 or email at info@hkpr.on.ca

How to Self-Monitor

It’s important to take steps to slow the spread of COVID-19. That’s why it’s essential to watch for symptoms.

Here’s how to self-monitor if you are asked by your health care provider or public health unit to watch for symptoms of COVID-19.

Monitor for symptoms for 14 days after exposure for fever, cough or difficulty breathing

Image of three characters representing someone having a fever, another with a cough and a third with difficulty breathing
Avoid Public Spaces

Avoid crowded public spaces and places where you cannot easily separate yourself from others if you become ill.

If you are unable to maintain a two metre distance, wear a non-medical mask or face covering to protect others from your potentially infectious droplets

What to do if you develop these or any other symptoms?
  • Self-isolate immediately and contact the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5020, your health care provider or take a COVID-19 online self-assessment.
  • To self-isolate you will need:
    • Soap, water and/or alcohol-based hand sanitizer to clean your hands
  • If you visit your health care provider, avoid using public transportation such as subways, taxis and shared rides. If you cannot avoid this, wear a mask and keep a two-metre distance from others or use the back seat if in a car.

This information is from the Public Health Ontario fact sheet “Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) How to Self-Monitor

Additional Resource:

211 Community Support – Easily find/search government and community-based services during COVID-19.  Call or text 2-1-1 day or night to find support for all of life’s challenges. Live Chat also available Monday to Friday from 7 am to 9 pm.

Download and print resources below:

Image of Are You Sick? AODA compliant poster – click to download
Image of Are You Sick? AODA compliant poster – click to download

Are You Sick?
Poster

Local COVID-19 Testing & Assessment Centres

Download the COVID Alert Tracing App

On This Page:

COVID-19 Assessment Centres

Below are locations of the specific COVID-19 Assessment Centres in Northumberland County, Haliburton County and the City of Kawartha Lakes. Please note that all COVID-19 Assessment Centres are now by appointment only (no walk-ins are allowed). Effective immediately, you are only asked to use these assessment centres if you are:

  • Showing COVID-19 symptoms
  • Have been exposed to a confirmed case of the virus, as informed by your public health unit or exposure notification through the COVID Alert app
  • A resident or work in a setting that has a COVID-19 outbreak, as identified and informed by your local public health unit
  • Eligible for testing as part of a targeted testing initiative directed by the Ministry of Health or the Ministry of Long-Term Care.
City of Kawartha Lakes

Ross Memorial Hospital (RMH) COVID-19 Assessment Centre in Lindsay

The RMH COVID-19 Assessment Centre is now located inside Ross Memorial Hospital. To get tested:

  • Visit the Ontario COVID-19 website to see if you qualify for testing under the current provincial guidelines.
  • Call 705-328-6217 or request an appointment online.
  • Do not leave multiple messages or submit multiple forms
  • Appointments are available Monday to Friday from 9:30-5:15 pm
  • You will receive a call back within 1-2 business days

When arriving for your appointment:

  • Arrive to the hospital at your appointment time. (NOTE: When making your appointment, you will be given instructions on where to park and which hospital entrance to use for testing)
  • Wear a mask
  • Bring your health card and identification
  • Maintain physical distancing from others awaiting testing
  • Your results should be available online within five days of testing. If unable to access your results online after five days, call (705) 328-6217 and leave a message.

If symptoms are severe, including difficulty breathing, chest pain, confusion or losing consciousness, you should be seen in the Emergency Department immediately.

Northumberland County

Northumberland Hills Hospital (NHH) COVID-19 Assessment Centre in Cobourg

NHH’s COVID-19 Assessment Centre (1000 DePalma Dr., in Cobourg) is now located in new trailer space immediately outside hospital’s Emergency Department entrance. A dedicated entry/exit is available to the new asessment centre.

NHH’s COVID-19 Assessment Centre is now operating on an appointment-basis only. Walk-ins will no longer be accepted. To book an appointment, call 905-377-7783. The assessment centre is open daily from 8 am to 4 pm for pre-booked appointments.

The NHH COVID-19 Assessment Centre will screen patients, test (if deemed appropriate) and direct patients to proceed as required. Through a temporary arrangement with the Northumberland Family Health Team, the Community Health Centres of Northumberland, and local primary care physicians, the NHH COVID-19 Assessment Centre is now able to offer patients the option to see a primary care provider (family physician or nurse practitioner) in addition to receiving a COVID-19 test.  Learn more details by calling the centre.

Canton COVID-19 Testing Centre (Municipality of Port Hope)

A new COVID-19 testing centre is now open at the Port Hope Community Hub (formerly Canton Municipal Hall) located at 5325 County Road 10, just north of Canton. The testing centre will be available for individuals without active COVID-19 symptoms. Hours are Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays (8 am to 4 pm) for virtual screening by phone or pre-scheduled appointments only. To book an appointment, call 905-377-7783.

Trent Hills COVID-19 Assessment Centre in Campbellford

The centre is open Mondays to Thursdays from 9 am to 5 pm (closed Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays). To book an appointment for COVID-19 test, call the local Assessment Centre directly at 705-395-1801. Please do not go to the Assessment Centre without first calling to book an appointment. Please do not call Campbellford Memorial Hospital either.

The Trent Hills COVID 19 Assessment Centre is located at Campbellford Memorial Hospital on the basement level in the former paramedic bay and offices. Access to the site will be a drive-through, drive-up centre. All visitors are to remain in their cars, and Assessment Centre staff will provide assessment/testing to you while you remain in your vehicle.

For days the Assessment Centre is not available, contact the HKPR District Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5020.

NOTE: Test results are now being managed differently. Only individuals with a positive COVID-19 test result will be contacted by a member of the Infection Control Team. All other individuals can check their results online. A handout with this information will be provided to each person attending the Assessment Centre.

Haliburton County

Haliburton County COVID-19 Community Assessment Centre

To book an appointment for testing, call the Haliburton County COVID-19 Community Assessment Centre at 705-457-1212 (press 6) during regular business hours. You can seek an appointment if you are a Haliburton County resident and meet any of the following criteria:

  • You have at least one COVID-19 symptom.
  • You are concerned you’ve been exposed to COVID-19 because you were in contact with a confirmed or suspected case
  • You are at risk of COVID-19 exposure because of your employment (e.g. health care worker, grocery store employees, other front-line workers)

PLEASE NOTE: if your symptoms are severe, call 9-1-1 and alert the dispatcher to your symptoms.

The Haliburton County COVID-19 Community Assessment Centre is staffed by health care providers who will complete a phone assessment and advise as to appropriate next steps, which may include self-monitoring instructions, self-isolation instructions, or further assessment and testing in the drive-through facility. The Centre is for all residents of Haliburton County, regardless of whether you have a family doctor.

COVID-19 Testing at Pharmacies

The Ontario government is now allowing some pharmacies to provide COVID-19 testing, including some in the local Health Unit area. Testing at pharmacies will be free, by appointment, and available ONLY to people who are not showing COVID-19 symptoms. Pharmacies will also be doing COVID pre-screening of anyone seeking a test. Click here to find pharmacy testing locations in your area (you can search by community or postal code).

Testing for COVID-19 – What Now?

Testing for COVID-19 is a critical step in stopping the spread of illness.  

Where and When to Get Tested 
If You Test Positive for COVID-19 
  • You MUST continue to self isolate if you test positive for the virus. The Health Unit will call you as soon as possible about your test results and ask you questions about places you have visited and people who you were in close contact. Anyone in close contact with you may be at risk from COVID-19 themselves, so must be called. Your help in answering Health Unit questions is essential to protect the health of others in the community.   
  • You will receive daily phone calls from the Health Unit to see how you are doing and to monitor any symptoms you have. The Health Unit will also ensure you are staying in self-isolation at home. Health Unit staff can discuss any supports you need and respond to your questions. 
  • If you are diagnosed with COVID-19 and do NOT stay at home in self-isolation, you could be served with a Class Order under Section 22 (5.01.1) of the Health Protection and Promotion Act. This order states you must stay home in self-isolation or face daily fines or imprisonment for not doing so. 
  • There are different periods for self-isolating, depending on your situation and the nature of your COVID-19 symptoms. To be safe, do not stop self-isolating until you receive the all-clear from the Health Unit.  
  • Visit the Ontario government website to learn more about COVID-19 testing. 
Close Contacts 
  • The Health Unit will follow up with anyone who has been in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19. This is called contact tracing.  
  • Individuals who are considered close contacts to someone who has COVID-19 can include: 
    • Family members/people living in the same household 
    • Anyone who had direct contact with a positive COVID-19 case 
  • The Health Unit will follow up with these close contacts and give instructions on what they need to do (like self-isolating) to slow the spread of COVID-19. The Health Unit will also do daily phone calls with close contacts to check in on them and ensure they follow public health directions. 
  • Here’s what to do if you have been in contact with someone (friend, relative, co-worker etc.) who was in contact with a COVID-19 case, but you yourself did not have a direct encounter with the positive case.

COVID Alert Tracing App

Download the COVID Alert app to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

This free, easy-to-use app will:

  • Notify you if you’ve been exposed to COVID-19
  • Offer advice on what to do next
  • Let others who have been in close contact with you know if you test positive for the virus (without sharing personal information).

The app does not collect personal information or health data, and does not know or track the location, name, address, or contacts of any user.

The more people who download COVID Alert, the more effective it is. The app can reduce the spread of COVID-19 by more quickly identifying potential new cases and contacts.

To download or learn more, visit:

Self-Isolation

You MUST self-isolate in certain cases to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This protects you and others from illness, especially those more at risk from COVID-19 such as seniors and people with chronic medical conditions.

Please Note: On October 28, 2020, the local Medical Officer of Health issued the following updated Class Order under Section 22 (5.01.1) under the Health Protection and Promotion Act. This order replaces an original April 14, 2020 order pertaining to self-isolating due to COVID-19. The updated Class Order is designed to protect the health of local residents by reducing the spread of COVID-19 in Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes.

On this page

When to Self-Isolate
  1. If you’ve travelled outside of Canada and have just returned
  2. If you have COVID-19 symptoms, or provide care to someone with symptoms
  3. If you do NOT have COVID-19 symptoms, but have been advised to self-isolate.

How Long to Self-Isolate

In general, you must remain in self-isolation for:

  • 10 days if diagnosed with mild to moderate COVID-19 illness and symptoms
  • 20 days if you suffered more severe COVID-19 illness (e.g. requiring Intensive Care Unit level support) or are immune-compromised.
  • 14 days if you had close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 or strongly suspected of having the virus.

Please follow specific public health guidance for self-isolating, or call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5020 for further direction.

How to Self-Isolate
Stay home

Do not use public transportation, taxis or rideshares.

Do not go to work, school or other public places.

Stay home unless you need to get tested or require emergency medical care.


Avoid contact with others

No visitors unless essential (e.g. care providers)

Stay away from seniors and people with chronic medical conditions (e.g. diabetes, lung problems, immune deficiency).

As much as possible, stay in a separate room away from other people in your home and use a separate bathroom if you have one.

Make sure that shared rooms have good airflow (e.g. open windows).

If these steps are not possible, keep a distance of at least two metres (6 feet) from others at all times.


Keep your distance

If you are in a room with other people, keep a distance of at least two metres and wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth.

Other people should wear a mask when they are in the same room as you.


Wash your hands

Wash your hands often with soap and water.

Dry your hands with a paper towel, or with your own cloth towel that no one else will share.

Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.


Cover your coughs and sneezes

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.

Cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hand.

Throw used tissues in a lined wastebasket, and wash your hands. Lining the wastebasket with a plastic bag makes waste disposal safer.

Clean your hands after emptying the wastebasket.


Wear a mask over your nose and mouth

Wear a mask if you must leave your house to see a health care provider or to get tested for COVID-19.

Wear a mask when you are within two metres of other people, or stay in a separate room.

If you do not have a mask, maintain two metres distance from people and cover your cough and sneezes


What should I do if I develop symptoms?
  • Complete the COVID-19 Self-Assessment.
  • Contact Telehealth (1-866-797-0000) or your health care provider.
  • Anyone with whom you had close physical contact (e.g., in your household) in the two days before your symptoms started or after symptoms started should also self-isolate. If you have questions about this, call the local Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5020.
  • You will be directed by the Health Unit or health care provider on how long you need to self-isolate.
  • When you stop isolating, you should continue with measures to prevent COVID-19, including physical distancing and properly wearing a mask or face covering.
  • If you are still unwell at the end of your self-isolation period, contact Telehealth or your health care provider for further direction.

Self-Isolating with NO COVID-19 Symptoms (Older Adults and people with existing medical conditions)

After Your Self-Isolation Period is Over

If you do not develop symptoms after your self-isolation period is over OR If you no longer have a fever and your symptoms have improved:

  • You can stop self-isolating, but for your protection, stay home except for essential trips (e.g. groceries and medication)
  • You MUST practise physical distancing measures when in public
  • Continue with frequent handwashing and avoid touching your face

If you are still unwell after this period, contact Telehealth or your health care provider for further direction. You can also call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5020.


Additional Resources
Watch our video on YouTube

211 Community Support – Easily find/search government and community-based services during COVID-19. Call or text 2-1-1 day or night to find support for all of life’s challenges. Live Chat also available Monday to Friday from 7 am to 9 pm.


Download and print resources below:

COVID-19 Testing

Resources

COVID-19 testing is a critical part of preventing the spread of the virus. Click here for resources and links on how, where, when and why you should be tested.


For Employees

COVID-19 has changed many things, including how we work. No matter where and how you are working, it’s important to follow key preventive measures to stop the spread of COVID-19.


Key messages:
  • Stay home if you are sick or have been directed to self isolate by the Health Unit.
  • Plan for physical distancing whenever and wherever possible. Avoid sharing work stations, tools or equipment. If you have to share items, clean and disinfect all commonly touched surfaces before you touch them. Allow for lots of space between you and other people, especially in lunch rooms and other common areas. Stay at least 2 metres (6 feet) apart whenever possible. 
  • If staff/workers are performing tasks indoors that require them to be less than 2 metres from an unmasked or improperly masked individual without a barrier (e.g. Plexiglass, partition, wall), appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) must be worn, including proper protection for eyes, nose and mouth. At a minimum, this would include a medical mask and eye protection (NOTE: This is also a requirement of the Ministry of Labour). Please refer to this COVID-19 Eye Protection guidance resource for more information.
  • Use appropriate PPE when needed.
  • Ontario is now requiring that non-medical masks or face coverings be worn inside public places. Employees who work with the public are covered by this. Learn more on how to ensure a mask fits properly and when you can temporarily remove a mask.
  • Practice good hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette.  Wash your hands, or use hand sanitizer when you can’t wash. 
  • Clean and disinfect your work stations, and all commonly-touched surfaces often.
  • If you are carpooling to work with another person, ensure physical distancing on the drive. Stick to two people per vehicle. The second person should sit in the back, passenger-side seat to ensure proper distance from the driver. Masks should be worn on the trip. The only exception to this two-person limit is if travelling in the same vehicle with people from your own household.
  • Review these workplace video resources for more information. 
  • Communicate and share credible and evidenced based information with coworkers and customers. 
  • Take care of your mental health.

Workplace health and safety resources:

Visit the Ontario government website for a full list of sector-specific guidelines to reopen workplaces. You can also go to these Ontario health and safety associations for more COVID-19 health and safety advice tailored to your workplace: 

You have a right to a safe workplace – now more than ever during COVID-19. Learn about your rights during COVID-19 and discover resources/supports that can help reduce the risk of illness for you and others in your workplace.


Latest Updates

What if There is a Case of COVID-19 in My Workplace?
Employees/Co-workers
  • Anyone with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 must NOT go to work and should self-isolate at home. If contact with a positive case is confirmed, further directions will be provided by the Health Unit
  • Physical distancing rules at work mean employees should not be in close contact with each other. If, however, an employee is identified as being a close contact of a co-worker who is confirmed or suspected of having COVID-19, the person should immediately take Ontario’s online COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool to see what further care is needed. They can also call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000. The employee may also be contacted by the Health Unit with further directions on what to do, including self-isolating or self-monitoring for symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Employers are strongly urged to support the COVID-19 instructions your employees have received from any health care provider. This protects the health of your workers and customers
  • Encourage everyone at work to continue following physical distancing rules (staying 2 metres or 6 feet apart from others) and regularly wash hands with soap and water
  • Continue to frequently clean and disinfect commonly touched or shared surfaces at work, including tools, equipment and workstations.
Customers/Clients
  • Follow direction from the Health Unit about any extra precautions that are needed to reduce the risk of illness. These directives can include: getting employees/staff who were in close contact with the customer/client to self-isolate or self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms, increasing cleaning and disinfecting at your workplace, and other measures
  • Continue to keep employees and customers safe:
    • Follow provincial rules that specify how your business/workplace can operate (for example, only offer curbside pickup, limit number of people in store, etc.).
    • Ensure a 2-metre (6-foot) distance is kept between people.
    • Reduce overcrowding.
    • Increase your online or phone services
    • Offer curb-side delivery
    • Make hand sanitizer available for customers at entry and exit points.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can an employee come to work if someone in their household has developed symptoms of COVID-19?

It is recommended that the symptomatic household member be tested for COVID-19 and self-isolate while awaiting test results.

If the employee has no symptoms, they can continue to work and self-monitor for symptoms, unless alternative direction has been provided by public health.

What should I do if an employee at my workplace develops symptoms of COVID-19? Should I send everyone else home? Should I close?

The employee with symptoms should be isolated from others, sent home immediately and advised to seek medical assessment and testing for their symptoms. Other employees can continue to work and should self-monitor for symptoms. It is not a requirement to send all other employees home and/or close unless advised by public health.

If one of my employees tells me that someone in their household travels regularly outside of Canada for work (e.g. a truck driver), can my employee still come to work?

Yes. Household members are not required to quarantine or self-isolate in this case but should self-monitor for symptoms.

Someone in an employee’s household has been identified as a contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19. Can the employee still come to work?

The employee can go to work but should self-monitor for symptoms.

When can an employee return to work if they have been sick with COVID-19?

Health Unit staff will provide detailed direction to all positive cases and their close contacts on self-isolation requirements and return to work.

When can an employee return to the workplace if they have been sick, but do not have COVID-19?

If the individual was tested for COVID-19 and the result was negative, the recommendation is to wait for 24 hours after symptoms resolve before returning to the workplace, unless otherwise advised by public health.

How do I protect myself, my employees and my customers from COVID-19?

Remember these key public health measures:

  • Self-monitor for symptoms daily, and stay home if you are sick
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer
  • Cough/Sneeze into elbow or tissue, put tissue in garbage and wah hands right away
  • Keep at least 2 metres physical distance from others
  • Wear a mask when indoors in public spaces, and anytime keeping 2m physical distance is not possible
  • Regularly clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces
  • Post signage to remind employees, customers and visitors of all of the above
  • Self-isolate if you develop symptoms
  • Stay within your social circle


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Follow us for COVID-19 Updates

You can find and follow updates on COVID-19 in your local community via the following HKPR resources:

If you have questions about COVID-19, you can contact the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577 x5020 or email at info@hkpr.on.ca

Reopening Your Business During COVID-19

NOTE: If working during COVID-19, be aware of Employee Health and Safety considerations

On This Page


Who can reopen?
  • More businesses are being allowed to reopen during COVID-19. Ontario has created a new colour-coded COVID-19 Response Framework for different parts of the province to open and operate. Click here for full details.
  • If you have further questions, call Ontario’s Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659.
  • For resources on reopening your business, visit the Ontario government website.
  • Click here for specific COVID-19 reopening guidelines/rules for community centres, pools/splash pads/wading pools, playgrounds/play structures, team sports/live sporting events, restaurants/bars, performing arts centres and weddings.


Common Health and Safety Measures to Follow

The Province is recommending health and safety measures be put in place to protect employers, employees and customers across all business sectors. They are listed below as general guidelines. 

You are strongly urged to review the sector-specific guidelines for your store/business to ensure you follow all the rules. Ontario has also released a new COVID-19 Workplace Safety Plan for employers to put in place specific controls to make the workplace safer for everyone. 

Physical Distancing
  • Limit face-to-face contact by encouraging physical distancing at work
  • Ensure that customers/clients and staff maintain a distance of 2 metres (6 feet) from each other as much as possible.
  • If staff/workers are performing tasks indoors that require them to be less than 2 metres from an unmasked or improperly masked individual without a barrier (e.g. Plexiglass, partition, wall), appropriate Personal Protective Equipment must be worn, including proper protection for eyes, nose and mouth. At a minimum, this would include a medical mask and eye protection (NOTE: This is also a requirement of the Ministry of Labour). Please refer to this COVID-19 Eye Protection guidance resource for more information.
  • Control and restrict the number and flow of customers/clients at any one time in your store/business to maintain physical distancing 
  • Post signs to remind employees and customers/clients to maintain physical distancing 
  • Install partitions wherever possible to protect staff and customers/clients 
  • Provide online ordering services and contact-less delivery wherever possible 
  • Ensure that workstations are 2 metres (6 feet) apart, install barriers or partitions, or rearrange workstations as needed  
  • Stagger employee start- and break-times. Consider changing the rotation of shifts .
  • In lunch rooms and other common areas, use floor markings to show 2-metre distance between chairs. Ensure 2 metre distance is also maintained between co-workers when they remove masks to eat or drink.
  • Wherever possible, avoid sharing work stations, tools and equipment 
  • Postpone all non-essential tasks 
  • Allow employees to work from home wherever possible 
  • Hold meetings by teleconference or online instead of meeting in person 
  • If direct customer/client contact is essential, ensure employees wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) suitable for their jobs (for example: gloves, masks). For a directory of Workplace PPE Providers, click here.
  • Recommend safe carpooling among employees by ensuring they physically distance on the drive to work. Stick to two people per vehicle. The second person should sit in the back, passenger-side seat to ensure proper distance from the driver. Masks should be worn on the trip. The only exception to this two-person limit is if travelling in the same vehicle with people from your own household.
  • Offer delivery or curbside pick-up options for customers and clients.
Screening
Cleaning and Disinfecting
Hand Hygiene and Respiratory Etiquette
  • Encourage good hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette by providing handwashing supplies and appropriate facilities 
  • Post signs to remind employees to wash their hands with soap and water frequently 
  • Post signs to remind employees of respiratory etiquette (coughing into sleeves, etc.) 
  • Food buffets should be closed. Instead food should be prepared and packaged to limit possible contamination 
  • Provide hand sanitizer at entrances whenever possible 
Non-Medical Masks and Face Coverings
  • Non-medical masks and face coverings must now be worn in indoor public places in Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes. Get full details here.
  • Businesses are being directed to put in place a policy and post signs that direct customers/patrons to wear a mask upon entry. Certain age and medical exemptions do apply for wearing a mask. Click here for printable signs to post.
  • Ontario is now requiring that non-medical masks or face coverings be worn inside public places. Employees who work with the public are covered by this. Provide education to workers on proper mask fit and when a mask can temporarily be removed.
Employee Mental Health
  • Support your employee’s mental health. Put in place policies that support employees who need to be absent from work due to illness or being in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case. Remind staff of their Employee and Family Assistance Program if your workplace has one. You can also share these Mental Health supports.

What if There is a Case of COVID-19 in My Workplace?
Employees/Co-workers
  • Anyone with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 must NOT go to work and should self-isolate at home. If contact with a positive case is confirmed, further directions will be provided by the Health Unit
  • Physical distancing rules at work mean employees should not be in close contact with each other. If an employee is identified as being a close contact of a co-worker who is confirmed or suspected of having COVID-19, the person should immediately take Ontario’s online COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool to see what further care is needed. They can also call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000. The employee may also be contacted by the Health Unit with further directions on what to do, including self-isolating or self-monitoring for symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Employers are strongly urged to support the COVID-19 instructions your employees have received from any health care provider. This protects the health of your workers and customers
  • Encourage everyone at work to continue following physical distancing rules (staying 2 metres or 6 feet apart from others) and regularly wash hands with soap and water
  • Continue to frequently clean and disinfect commonly touched or shared surfaces at work, including tools, equipment and workstations.
Customers/Clients
  • Follow direction from the Health Unit about any extra precautions that are needed to reduce the risk of illness. These directives can include: getting employees/staff who were in close contact with the customer/client to self-isolate or self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms, increasing cleaning and disinfecting at your workplace, and other measures
  • Continue to keep employees and customers safe:
    • Follow provincial rules that specify how your business/workplace can operate (for example, only offer curbside pickup, limit number of people in store, etc.).
    • Ensure a 2-metre (6-foot) distance is kept between people.
    • Reduce overcrowding.
    • Increase your online or phone services
    • Offer curb-side delivery
    • Make hand sanitizer available for customers at entry and exit points.

Information/Resources for Specific Businesses to Reopen

Visit the Ontario government website for a full list of sector-specific guidelines. You can also go to these Ontario health and safety associations for more COVID-19 health and safety advice tailored to your business: 

Workplace Safety and Prevention Services 
  • Serves: Agriculture, manufacturing, and service sectors 
  • Contact: Toll-free 1-877-494-9777 
  • On Twitter @WSPS_News 
Public Services Health and Safety Association 
  • Serves: Hospitals, nursing and retirement homes, residential and community care, universities and colleges, school boards, libraries and museums, municipalities, provincial government and agencies, police, fire and paramedics and First Nations. 
  • Contact: Toll-free: 1-877-250-7444  
  • On Twitter @PSHSAca 
Workplace Safety North
  • Serves (province wide): Forestry, mining, smelters, refineries, paper, printing and converting. 
  • Contact: Toll-free 1-888-730-7821 
  • On Twitter @WSN_News 
Infrastructure Health and Safety Association
  • Serves: Construction, electrical and utilities, aggregates, natural gas, ready-mix concrete and transportation. 
  • Contact: Toll-free 1-800-263-5024 
  • On Twitter @IHSAnews 
Personal Protective Equipment
  • Ensure employees have the protection they need to do their jobs. The provincial government has created a new website to help businesses find Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) suppliers. Click here for a directory of PPE suppliers.
Guidance for Reopening Workplaces

Reporting Workplace Health and Safety Concerns

File a complaint if you believe conditions in a workplace are unsafe, or if you or someone else is experiencing  harassment or violence on the job. Before reporting a situation, you can: 

  • Discuss your concerns with your supervisor or employer 
  • Consult your Joint Health and Safety Committee member or Health and Safety representative (if there is one) 

If the situation continues after trying to raise your concerns, you can file a complaint with the Ontario Health and Safety Contact Centre


Health Unit Support for Workplaces
  • Search this website for current information and resources about important public health measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including videos and printable resources 
  • For specific COVID-19 related questions and concerns, contact the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5020 or info@hkpr.on.ca 
  • Call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5006, if you have concerns involving any of the following:   
    • Child Care Facilities 
    • Recreational Camps 
    • Personal Services Settings (including mobile and home-based settings) 
    • Tanning Salons 
    • Facilities Providing Indoor Recreational Programs Including Indoor Public Pools and Whirlpools 
    • Food Premises, including restaurants 
    • Theatres and Cinemas (including drive-ins) 
    • Trailer Parks 
    • Schools (Public and Private) 

If you have further questions about COVID-19, contact the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5020, or email at info@hkpr.on.ca

For Employers

No matter where and how you work, it’s important to take steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19. As an employer, it rests with you to ensure all preventive measures are being followed.

Carefully review the specific guidelines to reopen your business during COVID-19 and read on for further recommendations/resources.

On this page:
Key messages
  • If staff/workers are performing tasks indoors that require them to be less than 2 metres from an unmasked or improperly masked individual without a barrier (e.g. Plexiglass, partition, wall), appropriate Personal Protective Equipment must be worn, including proper protection for eyes, nose and mouth. At a minimum, this would include a medical mask and eye protection (NOTE: This is also a requirement of the Ministry of Labour). Please refer to this COVID-19 Eye Protection guidance resource for more information.
  • Ensure employees are equipped with the proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) needed to do their jobs. For a directory of Workplace PPE Providers, click here.
  • Reinforce physical distancing whenever and wherever possible:
    • Allow staff to work from home if possible.
    • Avoid face-to-face meetings.
    • Avoid sharing work stations, tools or equipment.
    • Alter shifts and stagger breaks.
    • In lunch rooms and other common areas, use floor markings to show 2-metre distance between chairs. Ensure 2 metre distance is also maintained between co-workers when they remove masks to eat or drink.
  • Offer delivery or curbside pick up for customers and clients.
  • Practise good hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette always. Remind employees to wash their hands frequently with soap and water. Provide hand sanitizer and ensure access to handwashing facilities and soap.
  • Clean and disinfect work stations, and all commonly touched surfaces often.
  • Ontario is now requiring that non-medical masks or face coverings be worn inside public places. Employees who work with the public are covered by this. Provide education to workers on proper mask fit and when a mask can temporarily be removed.
  • Recommend safe carpooling among employees. Ensure physical distancing on the drive to work. Stick to two people per vehicle. The second person should sit in the back, passenger-side seat to ensure proper distance from the driver. Masks should be worn on the trip. The only exception to this two-person limit is if travelling in the same vehicle with people from your own household.
  • Develop a plan to effectively manage employee absence and ensure that everyone stays home if they are sick.
  • Consider employee and visitor screening strategies. Place posters at entrances and employee common spaces. You may also want to get staff to complete a health screening questionnaire before each work shift. The survey would ask if staff have any COVID-19 symptoms. Such a questionnaire could be done electronically or using a paper-based questionnaire sheet like the sample provided here. The Ministry of Health also has a COVID-19 Screening Tool for Workplaces to use.
  • Train employees on key public health measures to prevent COVID-19. These workplace videos can help.
  • Regularly communicate and share credible and evidenced based information with employees and customers. Provide ongoing updates and let them know what you are doing to keep them healthy during the pandemic.
  • Support your employee’s mental health. Put in place policies that support employees who need to be absent from work due to illness or being in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case. Remind staff of their Employee and Family Assistance Program if your workplace has one. You can also share these Mental Health supports.
  • Develop a plan on what to do if a person who is sick visits or comes to work at your business.
  • Support any COVID-19 instructions your employees have received from a health care provider. This protects the health of your workers and customers.
Workplace health and safety resources

Visit the Ontario government website for a full list of sector-specific guidelines for reopening. You can also go to these Ontario health and safety associations for more COVID-19 health and safety advice tailored to your workplace:

Latest Updates
What if There is a Case of COVID-19 in My Workplace?
Employees/Co-workers
  • Anyone with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 must NOT go to work and should self-isolate at home. Employees should not return to work until the required self-isolation period is over. Further direction on this will be provided by the Health Unit.
  • Employees are responsible to report COVID-19 illness to their employer if it is likely to cause illness to another person in the workplace. If an employee discloses they have been diagnosed with COVID-19, or have been exposed to someone with the virus, confirm they are self-isolating.
  • Physical distancing rules at work mean employees should not be in close contact with each other. If an employee is identified as being a close contact of a co-worker who is confirmed or suspected of having COVID-19, the person should immediately take Ontario’s online COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool to see what further care is needed. They can also call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000. The employee may also be contacted by the Health Unit with further directions on what to do, including self-isolating or self-monitoring for symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Employers are strongly urged to support the COVID-19 instructions your employees have received from any health care provider. This protects the health of your workers and customers.
  • Employers should also put in place policies that support employees who need to be absent from work due to illness or being a close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case.
  • The Health Unit does not recommend that employers require clearance testing or doctor’s notes for employees to return to work.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that may have been touched by an employee with COVID-19 as soon as possible. Continue to frequently clean and disinfect commonly touched or shared surfaces at work, including tools, equipment and workstations.
  • Encourage everyone at work to continue following physical distancing rules (staying 2 metres or 6 feet apart from others) and regularly wash hands with soap and water
  • Toronto Public Health has developed a COVID-19 Decision Guide for Workplaces to help determine when it is safe for employees to return to work. The Guide is included here for your information.
Customers/Clients
  • Follow direction from the Health Unit about any extra precautions that are needed to reduce the risk of illness. These directives can include: getting employees/staff who were in close contact with the customer/client to self-isolate or self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms, increasing cleaning and disinfecting at your workplace, and other measures
  • Continue to keep employees and customers safe:
    • Follow provincial rules that specify how your business/workplace can operate (for example, only offer curbside pickup, limit number of people in store, etc.).
    • Ensure a 2-metre (6-foot) distance is kept between people.
    • Reduce overcrowding.
    • Increase your online or phone services
    • Offer curb-side delivery
    • Make hand sanitizer available for customers at entry and exit points.
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Stay Connected

You can find and follow updates on COVID-19 in your local community via the following HKPR resources:

If you have questions about COVID-19, you can contact the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5020, or email at info@hkpr.on.ca

Current Colour Code for Local COVID-19 Restrictions

Ontario’s new colour-coded COVID-19 Response Framework places different parts of the province into assigned categories for COVID-19 restrictions. The public health measures can be adjusted, tightened or loosened based on local COVID-19 trends and case counts. The colour code for each area is reviewed weekly by the Ontario Ministry of Health and the local Medical Officer of Health. The Framework categories include:

5 colour code system

On This Page:


Current COVID-19 Colour Code for HKPR Area

The HKPR District Health Unit region, which includes Northumberland County, Haliburton County and the City of Kawartha Lakes, is currently listed in the lowest level of the framework (Green-Prevent).


What Stays Closed in This Colour Code

Highest-risk settings remain closed in this colour code, including:

  • Buffet-style food service
  • Oxygen bars
  • Camps that provide supervised overnight accommodation for children
  • Steam rooms, saunas and bathhouses
  • Amusement parks and waterparks
  • Night clubs (they can only open for purpose of serving food or beverages to patrons)
  • Dancing and table games (cards, etc.) are prohibited.

General Public Health Measures in this Colour Code (Gatherings, Workplace Requirements and Face Coverings)

Restrictions in the the ‘Green-Prevent’ colour code allow the broadest number of activities, as were permitted in Stage 3 reopening. However, these important public health measures to prevent COVID-19 must remain in place:

  • Limit for events and social gatherings (e.g. barbecue) is 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors (cannot be combined)
  • Gathering limits for organized public events are capped at 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors. If an event is both outdoors and indoors, it falls under the 50-person limit.
  • Gathering limits at places of worship for religious services , weddings and funerals remains at 30% capacity indoors and 100 people outdoors
  • Maintain physical distancing within the establishment. Capacity limits are based on the ability of patrons to maintain at least 2-metres (6 feet) from others up to a maximum of 50 indoors and 100 outdoors.
  • Patrons and staff must wear a mask or face covering when indoors in public areas that covers their nose, mouth and chin (unless exempted from regulation).
  • If staff/workers are performing tasks indoors that require them to be less than 2 metres from an unmasked or improperly masked individual without a barrier (e.g. Plexiglass, partition, wall), appropriate Personal Protective Equipment must be worn, including proper protection for eyes, nose and mouth. At a minimum, this would include a medical mask and eye protection (NOTE: This is also a requirement of the Ministry of Labour). Please refer to this COVID-19 Eye Protection guidance resource for more information.
  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water.
  • Provide alcohol-based hand rub when handwashing not available.
  • Continue with regular cleaning and disinfecting of premises, especially common areas.
  • Employees must be screened prior to entering the workplace. The screening tool should ask if staff have any COVID-19 symptoms. This screening tool could be done electronically or using a paper-based resource like the sample provided here. The Ministry of Health also has a COVID-19 Screening Tool for Workplaces to use.
  • Offer employees the option from working from home.
  • Use virtual gatherings or events to recognize occasions
  • For sector-specific requirements, please see the current Provincial legislation or scroll further down this page.

Sector-Specific Guidelines
Restaurants/Bars
  • Require patrons to be seated; 2-metre minimum between tables
  • Dancing, singing and performing music is permitted, with restrictions
  • Karaoke permitted, with restrictions (including no private rooms)
  • Restaurants and bars must keep contact information for one patron per seated party for a period of at least one month. This information can be turned over to the Health Unit for COVID-19 contact tracing, if needed.
  • Dine-in eating is allowed, but no buffet-style food services
  • Night clubs only permitted to operate as a restaurant or bar
  • People lining up or congregating outside an establishment must stay at least 2 metres apart and wear a mask or face covering that covers their nose, mouth, and chin (unless exempted by regulation).
  • Face coverings must be worn at all times, except when eating or drinking only.
  • If staff/workers are performing tasks indoors that require them to be less than 2 metres from an unmasked or improperly masked individual without a barrier (e.g. Plexiglass, partition, wall), appropriate Personal Protective Equipment must be worn, including proper protection for eyes, nose and mouth. At a minimum, this would include a medical mask and eye protection
Sports/Recreational Facilities
  • Maximum number for classes are capped at 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors, with 2-metre physical distancing in place
  • Maximum of 50 people indoors in areas with weights or exercise equipment.
  • Limit of 50 people per room basis if operating in compliance with a plan approved by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health.
  • Teams or individual sports must be modified to avoid physical contact. Maximum of 50 people per league.
  • Exemptions are in place for high-performance athletes and parasports
  • Limit volume of music to conversation level and prevent shouting by both instructors and members of the public. Get instructors to use a microphone to avoid shouting.
  • Face coverings required, except when exercising.
  • For fitness classes and organized activities. It’s strongly recommended to assign spaces to class participants by marking circles on the floor to indicate where to stand/exercise. This allows for easier physical distancing.
  • Equipment must be cleaned and disinfected between users or at the end of a game.
  • Activities must not be practised or played if they require the use of fixed structures that cannot be cleaned and disinfected between each use.
  • Washrooms, locker rooms, change rooms, showers or other amenities open to the public must be cleaned and disinfected frequently.
  • NOTE: For specific fact sheets on restarting sports and recreation programs, call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5020, or email info@hkpr.on.ca
Meeting and Event Spaces
Personal Care Services
  • These include businesses providing hairdressing and barbering, tattooing, aesthetics and piercing and other body modifications
  • Oxygen bars, steam rooms, saunas, and whirlpools closed
  • Follow Ontario’s guidance documents for health and safety during COVID-19.
  • Patrons must wear face coverings, except when receiving services on an area of face that would be covered
  • Staff are required to wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). To find PPE suppliers, click here.
  • Ensure physical distancing of at least 2 metres between patrons.
  • Increase cleaning and sanitizing of your facility. To ensure proper infection prevention and control, follow this Public Health Ontario disinfection chart.
  • Consider operating by appointment only and stagger times.
  • It’s recommended you record names and contact information of patrons in case of an outbreak
Casinos, Bingo Halls and Gaming Establishments
  • Capacity cannot exceed 50 persons.
  • Table games are prohibited.
    OR
  • Casinos, bingo halls, and gaming establishments operate in accordance with a plan approved by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health.
Cinemas/Movie Theatres
  • Limits in facility and area:
  • Face coverings must be worn at all times except when eating or drinking only
  • Drive-in cinemas permitted to operate, subject to restrictions
  • Post COVID-19 screening signs at entrances.
  • Provide hand sanitizer in key areas like lobby.
  • In concession areas, self-serve is prohibited. Where refills are offered, a new cup/dish must be provided to reduce contact.
  • Consider staggering showtimes, encourage online purchases to reduce cash transactions, encourage guests to only arrive 15 minutes prior to the movie, remove/close off equipment and furniture to reduce loitering, and increase cleaning/disinfecting of high-touch surfaces.
Performing Arts Centres
  • Maximum of 50 spectators indoors and 100 spectators outdoors with 2-metre physical distance maintained (NOTE: Employees/performers are not included in the crowd size)
  • Singers and players of wind or brass instruments must be separated from spectators by plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier
  • Rehearsal or performing a recorded or broadcasted event permitted
  • Performers and employees must maintain 2-metre physical distance except for purposes of the performance
  • Drive in performances permitted.

Additional Resources

Click on the following links for additional support:

If you have further questions, call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577 ext. 5020, or email: covid19@hkpr.on.ca


Holidays, Family Gatherings and Celebrations

Home for the holidays has extra meaning during COVID-19.

On This Page


Key Message: Stay Safe, Stay Home

Get-togethers with family and friends are normally a key part of the holiday season tradition. This year, however, the Ontario government is strongly encouraging everyone to celebrate safely and prevent the spread of COVID-19. No matter where you live in Ontario, you are asked to:

  • Limit your holiday gatherings. Avoid big holiday parties, large family dinners and similar-style festivities.
  • Only celebrate the holidays in-person with those in your immediate household. If you live alone, you can celebrate with one other household.
  • Celebrate virtually or connect by phone with other family and friends.

General Holiday Tips
  • Stay home if sick. Use Ontario’s online COVID-19 assessment tool to help determine if you need further care.
  • Avoid non-essential trips, especially to parts of Ontario with high rates of COVID-19 transmission.
  • Limit your contact to only those in your immediate household. If you live alone, you can celebrate with one other household.
  • Follow food safety tips if preparing a holiday meal for your immediate household.
  • Connect virtually with family and friends. Pick up the phone or chat via social media and/or video-conferencing. Consider using these platforms to hold a virtual holiday party/celebration. If technology is not your thing, send a card or write a letter to a loved one.
  • Look after your mental health and that of your loved ones, especially people who may be alone and feel cut off from others.
  • Avoid the “3 C’s” – closed spaces, crowded places and close faces. 
  • Practise physical distancing as much as possible. Keep a 2 metre (6-foot) distance from anyone who is outside your household.
  • Wear a mask or face covering inside public places.
  • Shop online, by telephone or using curbside pickup/delivery. Support local businesses as much as possible. If shopping in person, try to avoid crowds and pick less busy times to go.
  • Individuals living away from home (including college/university students) should consider doing a self-quarantine, or reducing close contact with others, 10 to 14 days before returning home for the holidays.
  • If you decide to visit loved ones whom you do not live with, plan to do so at an outdoor holiday gathering, being sure to practise physical distancing. The current size limit for outdoor gatherings is 25 people.
  • If you still plan to host a gathering with others outside your household, ensure you take full precautions to prevent COVID-19.
  • If you plan to attend a gathering with others outside your household:
    • Do not attend if sick. Stay home instead.
    • Wash your hands with soap and water before and after attending a gathering.
    • Check ahead with the host to see what COVID-19 preventive measures are in place.
    • Wave and greet others verbally. Do NOT hug, kiss or shake hands.
    • Practise physical distancing.
    • Wear a mask or face covering if visiting with others outside your household.

Safer Ways to Have Holiday Fun

Stay safe and have fun this holiday season. Try the following:

  • Build a snowman or go on a sleigh ride with people you live with. You can also attend other outdoor holiday activities, ensuring you maintain physical distancing.
  • Drive around local neighbourhoods to look at holiday lights.
  • Watch holiday or winter movies with the people you live with at home.
  • Decorate and put up lights outside and around your home.
  • Bake holiday treats together as a family. Try assembling a gingerbread house.
  • Donate to your favourite holiday charity or toy drive.
  • Send cards or gifts in the mail.
  • Organize a virtual carol singing with friends and family. In-person carolling is not recommended as it can put you at high risk of COVID-19 transmission.
  • Stop, drop and go. If buying a gift for a friend or loved one, drop gifts off on their porch or doorway to avoid gatherings.

If You Still Decide to Host a Holiday Gathering/Party

To slow the spread of COVID-19, you are strongly advised to connect virtually or by phone with anyone outside your immediate household. This is important with COVID-19 cases on the rise in Ontario.

If you still decide to host a gathering, be aware that the current size restriction for private indoor social gatherings is no more than 10 people. You could face fines for hosting a party that breaks this limit.

Follow that and these additional safety tips to reduce the risk of COVID-19 for you and your guests:

  • Ensure guests stay home if sick. Consider keeping a list of guests who attend for potential future COVID-19 contact tracing needs.
  • When entertaining, allow for physical distancing for your guests. Allow people to safely maintain a 2 metre (6 foot) distance, especially if they are outside your household.
  • Be upfront with your guests about the COVID-19 prevention measures you’re taking so they know what to expect before they arrive.
  • When possible, host your gathering outdoors. In colder weather months, go indoors but try to ensure the room or space is well-ventilated (e.g. open a window).
  • Arrange tables and chairs in advance to allow for physical distancing (if already set up, guests may be reluctant to move them).
  • People from the same household can be grouped/seated together, but should be 2 metres (6 feet) apart from other families.
  • When guests arrive, minimize gestures that promote close contact between those outside households. No kissing or hugging, for instance.
  • Encourage guests to wear masks when physical distancing is difficult. Consider providing masks for guests or ask them to bring their own.
  • Ensure there is enough soap and hand sanitizer for people to use during the gathering.
  • Use single-use hand towels or paper towels for drying hands so guests do not share a towel.
  • Remind guests to wash their hands before serving or eating food.
  • Limit the number of people handling or serving food (including limiting access to where food is being prepared, such as the kitchen).
  • Avoid buffet-style meals. If serving any food, consider identifying one person to serve all food so that multiple people are not handling the serving utensils
  • Limit contact with high-touch surfaces or shared items. If possible, clean and disinfect these surfaces and shared items between uses.
  • If you choose to use any shared items that are reusable (e.g. seating covers, tablecloths, linen napkins), wash, clean, and sanitize them after the event.
Additional Resources

Public Settings – Safe Reopening During COVID-19

As more activities resume, the need to continue taking COVID-19 precautions is important. Read on for reopening guidelines/rules for different public settings and situations.

If you have further questions, contact the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5006, or email info@hkpr.on.ca .

NEW: If staff/workers are performing tasks indoors that require them to be less than 2 metres from an unmasked or improperly masked individual without a barrier (e.g. Plexiglass, partition, wall), appropriate Personal Protective Equipment must be worn, including proper protection for eyes, nose and mouth. At a minimum, this would include a medical mask and eye protection (NOTE: This is also a requirement of the Ministry of Labour).

On This Page

Click on links below to easily access content for each public setting:

Outdoor Skating Rinks
  • Information to come
Day Camps
Swimming Pools
  • Locker rooms, change rooms, showers and washrooms must be cleaned and disinfected as frequently as necessary to maintain a safe and sanitary environment
  • Access is not allowed to high-touch features such as pool slides, diving boards and climbing structures (only exception is ladders)
  • All pools must comply with physical distancing requirements. This includes: operating with a reduced capacity or activity enrolment, and operating by appointment or timed entry
  • Equipment provided or rented to patrons must be cleaned and disinfected after each use
  • Steam rooms and saunas are not allowed to open at this time
  • When it comes to the use of non-medical masks or face coverings:
    • Patrons and staff must wear masks in all public areas and any location in which they interact with others
    • Masks are not required to be worn outside, or while exercising or swimming.
Playgrounds and Play Structures
  • Outdoor playgrounds and play structures can open. There are no recommendations for extra cleaning or disinfecting of these structures. Anyone who uses playground equipment is encouraged to wash hands with soap and water or perform hand hygiene with alcohol-based hand sanitizer after playing on them. Always stay home if you are sick.
  • For indoor playgrounds and play structures:
    • Physical distancing of at least 2-metres (6 feet) must be in place at all indoor facilities, except if individuals are in the same household.
    • Gathering limits of no more than 50 people must be followed at these indoor facilities.
  • When it comes to the use of non-medical masks or face coverings:
    • Patrons and staff must wear masks in all public areas and any location in which they interact with others
    • Masks are not required to be worn outside
Seniors Halls
  • Indoor gathering limits are limited to 50 people, while outdoor gatherings are capped at 100 people (employees not included).
  • Physical distancing must be in place.
  • No table games (e.g. cards, etc.) are allowed.
  • Ensure equipment (e.g. darts, etc.) is properly cleaned and disinfected between each use. Activities must not be practised or played if they require the use of fixed structures that cannot be cleaned and disinfected between each use.
  • Put up posters encouraging handwashing
  • Post screening signage at entrances.
Weddings
  • Indoor weddings are limited to 30% of room capacity, while a maximum of 100 people is allowed at outdoor weddings. NOTE: If a wedding is planned at a private dwelling or property, the maximum number of attendees is 10 people for inside and up to 25 attendees for outside events.
  • All wedding attendees must follow 2-metre physical distancing rules.
  • No buffet-style dinner is allowed. Guests must be seated when eating or drinking. Seating must be configured so that guests at different tables are separated by: a distance of 2 metres OR plexiglass or another impermeable barrier.
  • No one is allowed to dance, sing or perform music except if they are a hired performer, musician or entertainer. To perform, they must:
    • Be separated from guests and other performers by plexiglass or another impermeable barrier while singing or performing on a brass/wind instrument
    • Maintain a physical distance of at least 2-meters from every other person while singing or performing music
    • Clean and disinfect equipment used while singing or performing music between each use.
  • There is one exception to the dancing rule: a first dance is allowed for the bride and groom and their parents
  • Singing is not allowed during the wedding service.
  • Unless you are exempted, masks must be worn at all times, unless eating or consuming beverages. Masks do not need to be worn outdoors if maintaining a 2-metre physical distance.

Service Providers Working With Vulnerable Clients

It’s essential to slow the spread of COVID-19, especially to vulnerable clients. If you are a service provider working with vulnerable clients, you can access link/resources below to protect the health of staff, volunteers and clients.  

General Tips
  • Access  short Health Unit video modules  on how to prepare your workplace/organization for COVID-19. 
  • Know what to do if your staff or client has COVID-19 symptoms, or been in close contact with someone who  has been confirmed. Use the Ontario Ministry of Health’s Self-Assessment Tool to help determine what you should do. 
  • Maintain a clean and safe environment 
  • Staff and volunteers MUST stay home when sick 
  • Practise regular and frequent hand washing/sanitizing 
  • Practise physical distancing 
  • Increase surface cleaning/ disinfection especially on high-touch surfaces 
  • Practise respiratory etiquette 
  • Post information and insist staff, volunteers and clients cough or sneeze into the elbow, sleeve or tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash hands. 
  • Clients/participants MUST NOT share items (e.g. drinking cups, utensils) 
  • Develop an organizational plan in the event COVID-19 is spreading in the community. Consider how to:  protect staff; protect those clients more vulnerable to COVID-19 (seniors 65+ and those with compromised immune system); provide isolation opportunities for those who require it; modify service delivery based on staff capacity; and reduce fear, barriers, and stigma around COVID-19 by providing credible information. 
  • Contact 211 Community Support to find/search government and community-based services during COVID-19.  Call or text 2-1-1 day or night to find support for all of life’s challenges. Live Chat also available Monday to Friday from 7 am to 9 pm. 

For Homeless Shelters and Service Providers 

For Food Banks/Food Program Providers 

In your Food Program Location: 

  • Each food bank or food program is set up differently. Change the layout to reduce contact between clients 
  • Pre-pack food boxes or bags and pass out food at the door 
  • Stagger arrivals and departures to reduce client contact 
  • Remove client wait areas. Get people to wait outdoors, standing at least 2 metres apart. 
  • Practise physical distancing. Keep at least two meters away from each other, especially if someone may be sick. 
  • Consider safe delivery options to get food to high-risk clients 
  • Allow staff and volunteers to fill out any forms or paperwork on behalf of clients. (NOTE: Clients must be able to view and verbally verify the information documented is correct. Staff and volunteers cannot sign on behalf of a client.)  
  • Extend hours or open at additional times or days so clients are spread out.  
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick. Clients who are ill MUST stay home and have a friend or neighbour pick up their food or meal items instead.  

Remember Safe Food Handling 

  • Temporarily postpone any food demos or cooking classes. Do not serve food and beverages 
  • Stay at home and away from others if you’re feeling ill 
  • Increase access to handwashing stations  
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, using single use paper towel to dry hands and to close taps 
  • If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer  
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces such as doorknobs, light switches, all phones, counters, handles on cabinets, fridges, utility or grocery carts, pens, computers stations, etc. 
  • Do not allow clients to handle food items. Let staff/volunteers do this for clients 
  • Remind staff, volunteers and clients to sneeze or cough into their sleeves 

Food Distribution Considerations: 

  • Consider if your organization can provide service to individuals in isolation or quarantine, such as dropping off meals or supplies 
  • Consider pre-packing food boxes or bags and pass out food at the door 
  • Pre-bag produce to limit direct touching 
  • Create an alternate delivery system such as a drive-through where clients pull up in their cars and volunteers deliver a prepackaged bag to them 
  • Mobile food distribution could be considered to deliver food to clients who are ill 
  • Prepare and plan for operations with a reduced workforce and fewer volunteers 
  • Plan to reduce services, but also anticipate when you may need to ramp them up 

Additional Resources

Download and print resources below:

Fact Sheet: Take Care of Yourself and Each Other – Public Health Ontario

COVID-19

Access local COVID-19 data, and information to reduce your risk of COVID-19.

Scroll down this page for resources and links on how to stay safe and protect yourself and others from COVID-19. If you need further help or guidance, call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5020, or email info@hkpr.on.ca.


HAVE YOUR SAY! The Health Unit is launching a short, online survey to see how COVID-19 is impacting people in Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes. Let us know how COVID-19 is affecting you, what you’re doing to prevent the spread and how your behaviours have changed during the pandemic. The survey is voluntary and confidential. Click here to start the survey.


Self-Isolation During COVID-19 – Class Order Under Section 22 (5.01.1) of the Health Protection and Promotion Act 

COVID-19 Community Update (Oct. 14, 2020) – For Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes


Cases of COVID-19 within the HKPR District area

Click here for the latest COVID-19 case counts in Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes.


Additional COVID-19 Data Links


Featured Items


COVID-19 Content

Hunting and COVID-19

Fall is a busy time for hunting in Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes. Whether hunting moose, deer or other animals, it’s also important to take aim at COVID-19 by preventing its spread. Here how to stay safe and make the most of your hunting experience during the pandemic.

NOTE: Due to rising COVID-19 cases in the province, Ontario’s Medical Officer of Health is urging everyone to limit trips outside of home for only essential purposes like work, school, groceries, medical appointments and outdoor physical activity. In addition, travel to other regions of Ontario — especially those areas with high rates of COVID-19 transmission to places with low COVID-19 transmission rates — should only be for essential purposes as well. Please keep this in mind before deciding to go hunting.

On This Page

Hunting and COVID-19 Prevention

Before You Go

  • Do not put other hunters or individuals at risk. If you’re sick with COVID-19 symptoms, stay home and self-isolate. Use Ontario’s online COVID-19 Self-Assessment tool to see what to do next or call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5020.
  • If going to a hunt camp, follow any travel advisories. Before going out, also consider COVID-19 transmission rates in the area where you want to hunt.
  • Ensure physical distancing on the drive to the hunt camp/site. Stick to 2 people per vehicle. The second person should sit in the back, passenger-side seat to ensure proper distance from the driver. Masks should also be worn on the trip. The only exception to this 2-person limit is if travelling in the same vehicle with people from your own household.
  • Pack supplies to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Take soap, alcohol-based hand sanitizer, face coverings/masks, and cleaning/disinfectant supplies.

At Your Hunting Site/Hunt Camp

  • Keep hunting groups at one camp to 10 people or less to comply with Ontario’s indoor gathering limits. The exception would be if people can divide into groups of 10 or less, each with its separate accommodations such as tents, trailers, or separate buildings (and each of which would have its own specific indoor gathering limit). In this case, the maximum number of people allowed on the entire camp property would be up to 25 people (as per Ontario’s limit on outdoor gatherings).
  • Keep your distance from others. While camp life is often communal, try to maintain 2 metres (6 feet) from other hunters who are outside your household.
  • Bring your own tent/trailer in which to sleep and cook. This reduces your exposure to others.
  • If physical distancing isn’t possible, wear face coverings/masks. This applies at camp or in hunting blinds (especially if enclosed).
  • Socialize outdoors rather than inside buildings. Being outdoors reduces the spread of COVID-19.
  • Avoid buffet-style meals. Have people prepare/cook their own meals, ideally in their own tent/trailer. If eating a meal together, have one person make/serve the meal and have them wear a face covering while doing so.
  • Regularly wash your hands with soap and water. If you don’t have access to soap, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Sneeze and cough into your sleeve.
  • Clean and disinfect common and high-touch surfaces at the camp.
  • Do not share hunting gear/equipment or personal items (e.g. cigarettes, drinks, cutlery). It’s best to only use your own items.
  • Track the names and contact information of people in your hunting party, just in case contact tracing is needed should someone get COVID-19.
  • NOTE: Conservation Officers with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry have the power to enforce and issue fines for breaches of COVID-19 gathering limits and other rules.

If someone develops one or more symptoms of COVID-19 while hunting, have a plan to communicate with the group and have the individual self-isolate immediately. Call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5020, for further direction. Contact 911 if symptoms are severe.

Hunting Safety Rules
  • All hunters must wear solid hunter orange clothing (minimum 400 square inches above the waist) and a hunter orange head cover during gun seasons for deer, moose and elk. Outside the gun season for deer, moose and elk, these requirements also apply to bear hunters who are not hunting from a tree stand.
  • Handle firearms with care and attention at all times. 
  • Never shoot unless you are absolutely sure of your target and what lies beyond it. 
  • It’s illegal to shoot from a vehicle or carry a loaded firearm in or on a vehicle.
  • It is illegal to discharge a firearm from or across the travelled portion of a right of way for public vehicular traffic. 
  • Never drink alcohol and hunt.
  • If you hunt from a tree stand, always wear a safety harness and use a rope to raise and lower your unloaded firearm.

Source: Ontario Provincial Police

General Safety Tips
  • Tell someone where you will be hunting and when you will be returning.
  • Know the weather conditions in your hunting area and dress accordingly.                      
  • In an emergency, stay calm and stay put.
  • Avoid hypothermia. Know how to treat it if it strikes.
  • Keep rested, hydrated and well-nourished.
  • Carry a survival kit and a small first aid kit with you at all times.
  • Know how to build a fire in all weather conditions and carry the supplies to start one.
  • Carry a map and compass or GPS unit and know how to use them.
Additional Resources

Emergency Orders, Directives and Closures

To contain the spread of COVID-19, the following declarations, orders and closures from different levels of government are now in place. Please read on for further details.

On This Page:

HKPR District Health Unit

Provincial Orders
  • If you have questions about whether your business can reopen or not, call Ontario’s Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659. For resources on opening, please visit the Ontario government website.
  • Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health is urging everyone to limit trips outside of home for only essential purposes like work, school, groceries, medical appointments and outdoor physical activity. In addition, travel to other regions of Ontario — especially those areas with high rates of COVID-19 transmission to places with low COVID-19 transmission rates — should only be for essential purposes as well.
  • Strip clubs are now required to be closed.
  • Bars, restaurants and other food and drink establishments (including nightclubs) must stop selling alcohol at 11 pm and close at midnight (except for takeout or delivery).
  • You are asked to only have close contact with people in your immediate household. Individuals who live alone may consider having close contact with another household.
  • The Ontario government is mandating the use of face coverings in all public indoor settings across the province, such as businesses, facilities and workplaces, with limited exemptions, including corrections and developmental services. Masks must also now be worn throughout religious services at places of worship.
  • The Ontario government is now limiting the size of private social gatherings to no more than 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors (the two gatherings cannot be combined to host 35 people). The new limits do NOT apply to events or gatherings held in staffed businesses and facilities, such as bars, restaurants, cinemas, convention centres, banquet halls, gyms, places of worship, recreational sporting or performing art events. 
  • Playgrounds and play structures are now open as part of Stage 3 reopening.
  • The Government of Ontario has passed the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act that ensures important public health measures remain in place to address the threat of COVID-19 once the provincial Declaration of Emergency has ended.  
  • The Ontario government is improving its efforts to more quickly test, trace and isolate cases of COVID-19 to stop the spread of the virus. Included in this is a joint provincial-federal partnership to launch COVID Alert, a new privacy-first exposure notification app. The app is designed to improve COVID-19 tracking and will be launched in early July. More details about it are expected soon.
  • The Ontario government is expanding COVID-19 testing to pharmacies in the province. This testing at pharmacies will be free, by appointment only, and available ONLY to people who are not showing COVID-19 symptoms. Pharmacies will also be doing COVID pre-screening of anyone seeking a test. To learn which pharmacies are offering testing, click here.
  • Places of worship in Ontario can reopen, but with physical distancing in place and attendance limited to more than 30 per cent of building capacity to ensure the safety of worshipers. Masks must also be worn at all times.
  • The Province is providing guidelines to keep students safe at school during COVID-19. Licensed child care centres are also now allowed to operate at full capacity.
  • The Ontario government is allowing family visits at long-term care homes, retirement homes and other residential settings. Strict health and safety guidelines will be in place to protect the health of residents, staff and visitors. Contact the care home for specifics on how to arrange a visit.

Federal Orders 

Mental Health and COVID-19

COVID-19 can feel overwhelming. While it’s important to reduce the risk of the virus, you also need to look after your mental health at this time. Here’s what to do: 

  • Maintain routines as you’re able, keeping in mind the importance to take precautions such as physical distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19.
  • While you’re encouraged to only have close contact with others in your immediate household, stay connected with family and friends through phone, social media or video-conferencing.
  • Seek professional help. If you’re overwhelmed, talk by phone to a health professional or counsellor. If you have coverage for a counsellor through work, access your Employee and Family Assistance Plan.  
  • Eat well 
  • Stay active: Doing fun and healthy activities outdoors makes it easier to keep physical distance.  
  • Get enough sleep 
  • Look back at challenging situations and see how you successfully coped with them 
  • Limit your daily dose of COVID-19-related news to reduce anxiety and worry. Fight fear with facts about the pandemic by turning to credible sources of information. 

Supporting Others 

  • COVID-19 affects everyone, so be kind to others – regardless of gender, ethnicity, income or age. 
  • Reduce stigma. Use supportive language like: “people who have COVID-19”, “people who are being treated for COVID19”, or “people who are recovering from COVID-19”. Don’t define others  just because they’re affected by the coronavirus.   
  • Be neighbourly and assist others where possible, being sure to protect your health as well. 
  • Share positive and inspiring stories of what your community is doing to pull together during this time.  
  • Be patient and recognize the role caretakers and health care workers are playing in supporting people affected with COVID-19.  
If You Are Self-Isolating 
  • Stay connected with friends and family by phone, social media or video calls. 
  • Ask for help from friends, family and neighbours to deliver necessities to your door. Many community groups (e.g. churches and service clubs) have volunteers to help those who are isolated. 
  • Even if self-isolating, keep up your personal daily routines at home or create new ones.  
  • Stay healthy. Be active, eat well and get enough sleep.  
If You Have Mental Health and Addiction Issues

It’s extra important to control your anxiety and maintain your mental wellness during COVID-19:

  • Consider and accept that some fear and anxiety is normal
  • Seek credible information provided by experts and reputable sources
  • Assess your personal risk
  • Seek support
  • Get proper rest and sleep
  • Stay active
  • Access this Mental Health and COVID-19 Pandemic resource from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH).
Additional Resources:  

Four County Crisis – If you’re in crisis please call 705-745-6484 or toll-free 1-866-995-9933. By phoning these numbers, you can access 24-hour, free, confidential crisis support.

211 Community Support – Easily find/search government and community-based services during COVID-19.  Call or text 2-1-1 day or night to find support for all of life’s challenges. Live Chat also available Monday to Friday from 7 am to 9 pm.

Centre for Addition and Mental Health  

Bounce Back – A guided self-help program for adults and youth aged 15 and over using workbooks with online videos and phone coaching support.

Kids’ Help Phone – 24/7 virtual support service offering professional counselling, information and referrals as well as volunteer-led, text-based support to young people. Services available in both English and French by calling 1-800-668-6868.

Good2Talk – Free, confidential mental health support service providing professional counselling and information and referrals for mental health, addictions and well-being to postsecondary students in Ontario

Wellness Together Canada – Mental health and substance use support.

World Health Organization 

Download and print resources below:

Mask Use during COVID-19

Wearing face coverings is another important way to reduce the risk of COVID-19. That’s why it’s important to know when and how to properly wear a mask.

Please Note: The Health Unit is directing that non-medical masks or face coverings MUST be used within indoor public spaces in City of Kawartha Lakes, Northumberland County and Haliburton County. For complete details, click here.

Additional Note: The Ontario government is now also mandating the use of face coverings in all public indoor settings across the province, such as businesses, facilities and workplaces, with limited exemptions, including corrections and developmental services.

Medical masks (like surgical and N-95):
close up White protective hygenic mask isolated backgrounds for doctors and patient from virus biological infection and PM2.5 dust, pandemic news

These must be kept for health care providers and for those providing direct care for someone with COVID-19.

If you’re experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and need to seek medical care, wear a mask. Your health provider may also recommend you wear a mask while you’re seeking or waiting for care. The mask acts as a barrier and helps stop the tiny droplets from spreading around you when you cough or sneeze.

Masks MUST be put on, taken off and thrown out properly. If you need to wear a mask, be sure to clean your hands frequently with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer. When wearing a mask, follow this Public Health Ontario fact sheet  on how to properly wear and throw away one.


Homemade (Cloth) Masks:

The Health Unit is directing that cloth masks/face coverings be used inside public places in Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes. For specific details, including exemptions, click here. The Ontario government is now also mandating that masks have to be worn in most public places across the province.

When worn properly, non-medical masks can help to cover your mouth and nose to prevent your respiratory droplets from contaminating other people or landing on common surfaces. The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) advises that putting on a homemade mask can help protect others around you if you’re ill with COVID-19 and do not yet know it. PHAC is also recommending that masks or face coverings should be made of at least three layers, including:

  • Two layers made of tightly woven material fabric, such as cotton or linen
  • The third (middle) layer made of a filter-type fabric, such as non-woven polypropylene fabric.

NOTE: People shouldn’t throw away their two-layer non-medical masks. If making or buying more masks, consider the three-layer mask for improved protection.

Wearing a face mask in public places, together with washing your hands with soap and water, staying home and maintaining physical distancing, are all important to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Homemade masks or facial coverings should not be worn/put on by:

  • Children under age 2 years, or a child under the age of five years either chronologically or developmentally
  • A person who is unable to remove a mask without assistance
  • Anyone who cannot safely wear a non-medical mask or face covering due to medical reasons such as, but not limited to, respiratory disease, cognitive difficulties or difficulties in hearing or processing information
  • Someone who cannot wear a non-medical mask or face covering for any religious reason. 
How to Properly Use a Homemade Mask/Face Covering:  
  • Wash your hands immediately before putting it on and immediately after taking it off (use good hand hygiene while wearing it too)
  • Masks should fit snugly, but comfortably against your face (non-gaping) allowing you to breathe without restriction. Masks should be secured with ties or ear loops and have multiple fabric layers
  • Do not share cloth masks with others
  • Remember not to touch or rub your eyes while wearing it
  • Avoid moving, adjusting or touching your mask while using it, as it could become contaminated on the outside. 
  • Change face coverings if they get slightly wet or dirty
  • Wash the cloth mask after each use as it can get damp or dirty:
    • Put it directly into the washing machine or a bag that can be emptied into the washing machine and then disposed of
    • Cloth masks can be laundered with other items using a hot cycle, and then dried thoroughly.
    • Wash your hands with soap and water after putting the mask into the laundry.
  • Homemade masks that cannot be washed should be thrown out in a properly lined garbage bin as soon as they get damp, dirty or crumpled. Do not throw used masks on the ground or in a shopping cart. Immediately after wash your hands with soap and water.
  • For ideas on making your own homemade cloth masks, visit this Public Health Agency of Canada masks resource page.

Summary Do’s and Don’ts for Using Homemade Masks/Face Coverings

Do:

  • Wash your hands immediately before putting on and immediately after taking off a face covering or face mask
  • Practise good hand hygiene while you are wearing the face covering
  • Make sure the face covering fits well around your nose and mouth
  • Avoid moving the mask around or adjusting it often
  • Avoid touching the covering while using it
  • Change the face covering or face mask when it gets slightly wet or dirty

Do Not:

  • Share face coverings or face masks with others
  • Place on children under the age of two years or on anyone unable to remove without assistance or who has trouble breathing
  • Use plastic or other non-breathable materials as a face covering or face mask

General COVID-19 Video Resources

COVID-19 Resources

Get COVID-19 prevention tips by watching these videos. You can also click here for links to workplace-specific prevention videos.

How to Wear a Medical Mask

How to Use a Cloth Mask

COVID-19 – How to Self Isolate

COVID- How to Self-Monitor

How To: Hand Hygiene

COVID-19 – Respiratory Etiquette

COVID-19 – Overview and Symptoms

COVID-19 and Physical Distancing

COVID-19 and Handwashing

COVID-19 – Hand Sanitizer

Using Cloth Masks During COVID-19

Caring for Pets if You Have COVID-19

Top 5 Ways to Stay Healthy During COVID-19

How to Self-Isolate

Top 5 Ways For Seniors to Stay Healthy During COVID-19

Top 5 Ways for People with Medical Conditions to Stay Healthy During COVID-19

Cleaning with Disinfectant Wipes

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