Media/Blogs

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Blogs

Media Releases

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

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

As of Oct. 19, the RMH COVID-19 Assessment Centre will be moving inside Ross Memorial Hospital. It will be located in the former Admitting area on the south side of the hospital. Testing continues to be done on an appointment-basis only. 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.
  • Park in the short-term parking lot at the south side of the hospital, entering from Kent St. (There is no charge for parking for those visiting the assessment centre. All other patients should use short or long term parking on the North side of the hospital.)
  • Wear a mask
  • Bring your health card and identification
  • Proceed to the South Entrance (follow signage for COVID-19 Assessment Centre)
  • Maintain physical distancing from others awaiting testing
  • Your results should be available online within 72 hours of testing. If unable to access your results online, or to book an in-home test, call (705) 328-6217.

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

Effective Oct. 28, NHH’s COVID-19 Assessment Centre is now located in new trailer space located directly adjacent to the hospital’s (1000 DePalma Drive) 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.

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)

Effective November 4, new COVID-19 testing centre will 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), but testing will only be available on an appointment basis. To schedule 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.

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.

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

As of Friday, Sept. 25, the Ontario government is expanding COVID-19 testing to some 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. A complete list of Ontario pharmacies offering the COVID-19 testing is available here.

Use of Non-Medical Masks and Face Coverings Within Indoor Public Spaces

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit is updating its original instruction from July 13 on the use of non-medical masks or face coverings in indoor public spaces in the area. These updated instructions take effect at 12:01 am on July 17, 2020, and include most commercial establishments/services and indoor public places in Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes.

IMPORTANT NOTE: As of now, the Ontario government is 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.

The revised Health Unit instructions have been updated under the authority of the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act and apply to all persons responsible for operating a place of business or facility that is indoors and open to the public currently permitted to operate under Ontario Regulation 263/20 – Rules for Areas in Stage 2 and Ontario Regulation 364/20 – Rules for Areas in Stage 3. The aim of the directive is to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in this region.

For more details, please read the the following FAQs, as well as posters, policy and resources to assist you with compliance.

Please Note: This order applies to non-medical masks and face coverings. Medical masks are different and must only be used by health care workers.


Who is Affected?

If you own, operate or are responsible for a business or facility that is indoors and open to the public and currently operating under Stage 3 of the provincial Framework for reopening, you must have policies in place to inform people about the need to wear a mask or face covering before entering your establishment. Certain exemptions do apply on the use of masks in these indoor settings.

The Health Unit’s updated instructions apply to any places of business or facilities that are indoors and open to the public and used for the purposes of offering goods or services for sale or use. These establishments include: a mall or other structure containing commercial premises, and currently include the following:

  • Retail stores, convenience stores, malls/plazas, restaurants, personal service settings, grocery stores and bakeries, gas stations, indoor farmers’ markets, areas of mechanics’ shops/garages/repair shops, which are open to the public

Other indoor public places are also covered by this order, including: 

  • Churches/places of worship, public libraries, real estate open houses, personal care services (relating to the hair or body), food courts, fitting rooms, driving instruction services, sports and recreation facilities (like gyms, yoga/dance studios, and fitness facilities), children’s camps, movie theatres, performing arts centres, casinos/bingo halls/gaming establishments, and racing venues, cultural centres (museums, art galleries, etc.).

Are there places where masks/face coverings do not need to be worn?

In addition to the Health Unit’s mask instruction, the Ontario government is now also mandating face coverings be worn across the province, This includes:

  • Public spaces (for example, inside stores, event spaces, entertainment facilities and common areas in hotels).
  • Workplaces, even those that are not open to the public.
  • Vehicles that operate as part of a business or organization, including taxis and rideshares.

According to the Province, establishments in which face coverings are not required are correctional facilities, university dorms, retirement homes, long-term care homes or other similar dwellings (except when you are in common areas and can’t maintain 2 metres from others), and residences for people with developmental disabilities.

Are churches/places of worship covered under these updated instructions?

Yes, churches or places of worship are now included in the updated instructions for requiring mask use. Attendees to religious services/rites or ceremonies must wear masks at all times, with a secured physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet) from others. For additional directions on mask use and COVID-19 prevention measures in places of worship, click here.

Why is this instruction on masks being updated (on July 17) so soon after it took effect (on July 13)?

With the move to Stage 3 on July 17, more businesses and services are reopening in Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes. The Health Unit’s revised instructions are meant to provide additional clarity and direction for mask use in these newly-opened establishments.

Wearing non-medical masks or face coverings inside public places is another way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in this area. As we move into Stage 3 reopening and more businesses and public spaces open and people increase their contacts, the risk of a rapid rise in infections and outbreaks is ever-present. Although the number of cases of COVID-19 in the Health Unit area is declining, the risk of ongoing spread remains as the reopening process continues.

Increasing scientific evidence supports wearing a mask when in enclosed public spaces as an important measure in reducing COVID-19 transmission, while the risk of rising rates of infection continues. Together with physical distancing, hand and cough hygiene, and staying home when ill, the use of a non-medical mask or face covering in a commercial establishment is an additional public health measure that may help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.

What areas of a place of business or facility that is indoors and open to the public are subject to the non-medical mask and face covering requirements?

  • Any areas in which customers interact with one another or with staff members

OR

  • Any areas that are open or accessible to members of the public

Except where: The area is outside, whether or not the area is covered (e.g. a restaurant patio)

Are there times when you do not have to wear a face covering?

In addition to the Health Unit’s mask order, the Ontario government is now also mandating the use of face coverings across the province. Below are the only situations when you do not need to wear a face covering:

  • Children do not have to wear a face covering indoors if they are younger than two years old.
  • If you have a medical condition that makes it difficult to wear a face covering, are unable to put on or remove a face covering without someone else’s help, and are receiving accommodations according to the Human Rights Code or the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (2005).
  • In correctional facilities or youth detention centres.
  • In workplaces when working in an indoor area that allows you to maintain a distance of at least 2 metres (6 feet) from anyone else.
  • In university dorms, retirement homes, long-term care homes or other similar dwellings except when you are in a common area and can’t maintain 2 metres (6 feet) from others.
  • If you are performing or rehearsing for a film/television production, concert, artistic event or theatrical performance.

You can also temporarily take off your face covering to:

  • Receive services that require you to take it off (e.g. at the dentist, getting a facial)
  • Take part in an athletic or fitness activity
  • To eat or drink
  • As necessary for health and safety purposes.

What happens if patrons don’t wear a mask?

People who are responsible for a place of business or facility that is indoors and open to the public and currently operating during Stage 3 should have a policy to ensure public is informed of the requirement to wear a mask or face covering that covers their nose, mouth and chin when entering or remaining in an indoor public space.

People in an enclosed public space who remove their mask for extended periods of time, will receive a verbal reminder of the requirement to wear a mask under these instructions.

Who is exempt from this instruction?

The following people are exempt from the instruction to wear a mask while inside a commercial establishment. Please note: a person refers to any customer, patron, employee, or visitor who enters the premises:

  • The Person is a child under the age of two years; or a child under the age of 5 years either chronologically or developmentally and he or she refuses to wear a face covering and cannot be persuaded to do so by their caregiver
  • The Person is unable to remove their mask without assistance
  • For any other medical reason, the Person cannot safely wear a non-medical mask or face covering such as, but not limited to, respiratory disease, cognitive difficulties or difficulties in hearing or processing information
  • For any religious reason, the Person cannot wear a non-medical mask or face covering or cannot cover the face in a manner that would properly control the source.

Do I have to disclose my medical condition if I don’t wear a mask?

No one is required to disclose a medical condition or reason why they are exempt from wearing a mask. All a person has to say is that: “I am not able to wear a mask.”

People who are responsible for a place of business/facility that is indoors and open to the public should respect this answer. For privacy reasons, owners/operators are not allowed to ask specifics on why someone cannot wear a mask. All that owners/operators are required to do is make patrons and members of the public aware of the mask use requirement.

It is recognized there are a variety of reasons why a person cannot wear a mask and people are asked to continue to be kind to each other and support everyone in the community as we work together to stop the spread of the virus. 

The requirement to have people wear masks within a place of business or facility that is indoors and open to the public is not meant to stigmatize people who are unable to wear a mask due to medical reasons or their age.

No one should be denied service if they cannot wear a mask.

Why can’t mask use be a voluntary decision?

Although there has been information and messaging shared on the public health benefits of wearing a mask when physical distancing is a challenge, many people will still not wear a mask. Many of the people who are now testing positive for COVID-19 are asymptomatic and do not realize they are ill. If they do not wear a mask in public, they can easily spread the virus to other, more vulnerable people within the community.

These instructions to wear a mask within a place of business or facility that is indoors and open to the public are meant to serve as a reminder to everyone who can wear a mask, that they should be doing so to help protect others.

Where can I find a mask if I can’t afford to buy one?

We are working with our community partners to connect people in need with masks. People can call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5020, to learn more about accessing a mask. Another option is to use what you have at home – if someone cannot afford a non-medical mask, they are requested to use a bandana or scarf as a face covering.

Are places of business or facilities that are indoors and open to the public required to purchase masks or have them on hand for customers?

No, under the instructions issued by the Health Unit, places of business or facilities that are indoors and open to the public are not required to provide non-medical masks or face coverings to customers. If a customer does not have a non-medical mask, they can wear other face coverings, including a bandana or scarf.

How is this being enforced?

Every owner/operator of a place of business or facility that is indoors and open to the public will have a policy requiring members of the public wear a mask or face covering when entering public areas of the enclosed public space.

Employees and operators will provide a verbal reminder to any customer entering the premises without a mask that the customer should be wearing a mask as a result of this directive.

Implementation of the policy will be enacted and enforced in ‘good faith’ and will be primarily used as a means to educate people on mask use in public spaces. 

No one should be denied service if they cannot wear a mask.

Public Health Inspectors from the HKPR District Health Unit, as well as municipal bylaw and local police officers will be involved in providing additional education and enforcement to operators of commercial establishments.

What are the fines?

As per the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, those who do not comply with the above noted requirements may be liable for a fine of $750 – $1,000 for an individual owner/operator of a commercial establishment, to a maximum of $100,000 or in the case of a corporation, not more than $10,000,000 for each day or part of each day on which the offence occurs or continues.

Are both businesses and customers subject to fines?

As noted above, implementation of the policy will be enacted and enforced in ‘good faith’ and will be primarily used as a means to educate people on mask use in public spaces.

As per the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, those businesses that do not comply with the instructions may be liable for a fine of $750 to $1,000 for an individual, to a maximum of $100,000, or in the case of a corporation, not more than $10,000,000 for each day or part of each day on which the offence occurs or continues.

What would be the best way for store owners to address the issue if patrons don’t have or refuse to wear a mask for both reasons that are legitimate and those that are not?

People who are responsible for a place of business or facility that is indoors and open to the public are asked to use their “best effort” to ensure patrons and members of the public wear a mask while in the commercial premise. This means offering a verbal reminder to the patron that mask use is required within the establishment or a verbal reminder about mask use if the person removes the mask while in the premise. 

No one should be denied service if they cannot wear a mask.

For privacy reasons, if you are someone who is responsible for a place of business or facility that is indoors and open to the public, you cannot ask patrons the reasons they cannot wear a mask. All you are required to do is make patrons and members of the public aware of the mask use requirement.

Do people need to wear masks when on a restaurant patio? Do the servers need to wear masks?

No, customers do not need to wear a mask while on a restaurant patio as this is outside and is an exception to the instructions issued by the Health Unit. Servers who are interacting with the customers in the commercial establishment are required to wear face masks.

Do people need to wear a mask while at a hotel or bed and breakfast?

Hotels and Bed and Breakfasts offer services and would be considered commercial. This would be limited to areas that the hotels/B&Bs interact with the public, like the reception area, but not in private rooms or during outdoor dining. Masks are also not required when swimming in an indoor or outdoor public pool or using a public spa.

Is it mandatory that employees working in retail stores are required to wear masks?

Yes, while in areas that are servicing the public.

Are staff and customers still required to wear a mask if there is a plexiglass barrier between them?

Yes, a barrier is not sufficient to stop the droplet transmission of the virus. When both parties are wearing a mask, it protects both the staff and the customer from the potential spread of the virus.

Can I remove my mask or face covering if physical distancing is not a concern in the establishment or enclosed public space I am visiting?

Members of the public are permitted to temporarily remove a mask for the following reasons:

  • Receiving services (including eating or drinking when dine-in services are allowed), 

OR

  • While actively engaging in an athletic or fitness activity including water-based activities.

Ensure you wash your hands using soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer before and after removing your mask or face covering.

What should store owners and staff do if a customer does not/cannot wear a mask?

Owners/operators and staff of commercial establishments are asked to use their “best effort” to ensure patrons and members of the public wear a mask while in the commercial premise. This means offering a verbal reminder to the patron that mask use is required within the establishment or a verbal reminder about mask use if the person removes the mask while in the premise.

No one should be denied service if they cannot wear a mask.

I work in a hot commercial kitchen/warehouse. Do I need to wear a mask?

If you work in a commercial establishment, a mask should be worn when interacting with the members of the public inside. You are not required to wear a mask if you do not interact or serve members of the public, but it is still recommended that you wear a mask if you cannot maintain a physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet) from a co-worker.

Who do I call if I want to report a business not requiring customers to wear a mask?

To report a non-complying business, or for more information on the Health Unit’s instructions to places of business or facilities that are indoors and open to the public to require the use of masks by patrons, call the Health Unit toll-free at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5020.

Can a person be refused service for not wearing a non-medical mask or face covering?

The implementation of the policy should be enforced in “good faith” and any person not wearing a mask will receive a verbal reminder from the staff of the establishment.

No one should be denied service if they cannot wear a mask.

Where is the science/proof that masks work?

COVID-19 is a new virus and we are continuing to learn more about the virus, how it affects people and how it is spread. Evidence is showing that wearing a mask, together with staying home when sick, physical distancing, washing hands thoroughly and frequently, and covering coughs and sneezes is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of the virus.

Here is a paper from Public Health Ontario on the scientific evidence known at this point about masks.

Why was this not done in March when the pandemic started? Why now?

Although we have seen a decline in the number of COVID-19 cases in our area, we want to be sure we continue to see a decrease as we move towards the reopening of more businesses within the province. This is even more true as we enter Stage 3 of Ontario’s reopening plan. 

The risk for the ongoing spread of the virus remains as the process of reopening continues throughout the province. The use of non-medical masks or face coverings in public places, along with continued handwashing, physical distancing and staying home if sick, are some of the best public health measures to protect us from the virus.

How do I choose a non-medical mask or face covering?

In choosing a non-medical mask, ensure it is:

  • Made of 2+ layers of tightly woven fabric (such as cotton or linen)
  • Well-fitted with ear loops or ties
  • A comfortable fit against your face and allows you to breathe easily without having to adjust it
  • Large enough to completely cover the nose and mouth without gaping
  • Durable to allow you to frequently wash and dry it without losing its shape

Other options for non-medical masks include wearing a bandana or scarf, or making one out of a T-shirt or a bandana. The Public Health Agency of Canada also offers instructions on how to make a homemade face coverings.

Are face shields allowed?

A face shield is not a substitute for wearing a face mask as it does not filter respiratory droplets. A face shield may provide additional protection for the wearer against droplets expelled from another person, however these droplets may still be inhaled around the shield. Respiratory droplets expelled by the wearer may escape around the sides of the face shield, which therefore provides less protection to others. If you choose to wear a face shield, we recommend – if possible – to wear it in addition to a properly fitted cloth masks.

If I can’t wear a mask, can I wear a face shield?

A face shield would not be considered an equal substitute for a face mask as it does not provide filtering capacity. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) supports the use of face shields as a “better than nothing” alternative to face masks if there is a shortage of non-medical masks or for populations who are not able to properly wear non-medical masks, such as individuals with a respiratory condition that prevents them from wearing a mask. The WHO makes note that face shields are inferior to face masks at preventing the spread of an infection through droplets and at a minimum should extend below the chin and cover the sides of the face. 

How to Properly Use a Non-Medical Mask or 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.

Watch this How to Use a Cloth Mask Video for additional tips. 


Additional Resources

Posters For Businesses/Commercial Establishments

Sample Policy For Businesses – Mask Use in Commercial Establishments

How to Use/Wear a Cloth Mask Video – HKPR District Health Unit Video

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. 

Travellers and COVID-19


Travelling Abroad

If you have travelled abroad, you MUST immediately self-isolate/quarantine and stay home for 14 days. This is due to the Canadian government putting in place an Emergency Order under the Quarantine Act.

These quarantine measures apply to all travellers arriving in Canada and is aimed at slowing down the spread of COVID-19 in Canada. The only exceptions are essential workers, including those who ensure the continue flow of goods and essential services across the border.

Violating any instructions provided to you when you entered Canada could lead to up to 6 months in prison and/or $750,000 in fines.

Travellers Arriving in Canada
as of April 14, 2020
With Symptoms 
Without Symptoms 
MANDATORY Isolation MANDATORY Quarantine/Self-Isolation
Go directly to the place where you will isolate, without delay, and stay there for 14 daysYesYes
You must wear a non-medical mask or face covering while traveling to the place you will isolate/quarantineYesYes
Go to your place of isolation using private transportation only, such as your personal vehicle. You cannot arrange a pickup/ride with another personYes
Do NOT go outsideYes
Do not leave your place of isolation unless it is to seek medical attentionYesYes
Do not go to school, work, other public areasYesYes
Do not use public transportation such as buses and taxisYes**
Stay in a separate room and use a separate bathroom from others in your home, if possibleYes
Do not have visitorsYesYes
Limit contact with others in the place of isolation, including childrenYesYes
Do not isolate in a place where you will have contact with vulnerable people, such as older adults age 65+ and individuals with underlying medical conditionsYesYes
If your symptoms get worse, immediately
contact your health care provider or public health authority and follow their instructions
Yes
Arrange to have someone pick up essentials like groceries or medication for youYesYes
Keep a distance of at least 2 arms lengths (approximately 2 metres) from othersYesYes
Stay in a private place like your yard or balcony if you go outside for fresh airYes
Monitor your health for symptoms of COVID-19Yes

** If no symptoms: You can only take public transportation to get to your place of self-isolation after you arrive in Canada, but must wear an appropriate non-medical mask or face covering while in transit. You must not stop on the way home, and practise physical (social) distancing at all times.

If you have symptoms but do not have a place to isolate, you will be required to isolate for 14 days in a facility designated by the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada.

If you develop symptoms within 14 days:

  • Isolate yourself from others
  • Immediately call a health care professional or public health authority and:
    • describe your symptoms and travel history
    • follow their instructions carefully
  • Please note: The 14-day quarantine period restarts from the time you develop COVID-19 symptoms OR you are exposed to another returning traveller covered under this Order who has COVID-19 symptoms

If you do not develop symptoms after 14 days OR if you no longer have a fever and your symptoms are improved:

  • You can stop isolating, but for your protection, stay home except for essential trips (like groceries or 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 14 days, contact Telehealth Ontario or your health care provider for further direction.


Travelling in Canada

Travelling Between Provinces

During the pandemic, some parts of Canada have placed limits on travel between provinces. This includes the requirement that some people arriving must self-isolate for 14 days. If you are planning an out-of-province trip, check first with the destination you are headed to see if any travel restrictions are in place that could affect your trip.

Federal Rules 
  • Temperature screenings are now required for any passengers arriving or flying out of Canadian airports. This applies to international and domestic flights.
  • As of April 20, new measures mean all air passengers travelling in Canada must wear a non-medical mask or face covering over their mouth and nose during travel.  
  • When travelling domestically by ferry, rail or bus, travellers are strongly encouraged to wear non-medical masks or face coverings whenever possible. They may need to use a non-medical mask or face covering to cover their mouth and nose when they cannot maintain physical distance from others. 

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

Apartments and Multi-Unit Dwellings

NOTE: 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). Please ensure you follow this new requirement. Failure to do so could lead to fines for the event host and people attending the function.

FURTHER NOTE: Social circles (or bubbles) are now on pause in Ontario. People are encouraged to only have close contact with others in their immediate household. Maintain 2 metres (6 feet) physical distancing from everyone else. Individuals who live alone may consider having close contact with another household.

If you own or manage a multi-unit building, it’s important to protect your tenants from COVID-19. Proper screening, cleaning, physical distancing and other measures are essential to reduce the spread of illness. Here’s what you need to do:

Screening

Handwashing and Respiratory Etiquette

Cleaning and Disinfecting

  • Increase cleaning and disinfecting, especially in common areas. High-touch surfaces (like doorknobs, light switches, phones, elevator buttons, stairwells, shared washrooms and garbage facilities) should be cleaned and disinfected at least twice per day, and when visibly dirty.
  • Be careful when handling waste, and ensure you wash hands thoroughly afterwards with soap and running water. Line garbage cans with plastic bags if possible and avoid direct contact with soiled items in the garbage
  • For Shared Laundry Rooms: Both sick and healthy households need to use laundry rooms to wash dirty laundry.  Clean and disinfect the machine controls frequently.  You may also need to put up limits to the number of people in the laundry room at a time, to ensure physical distancing. Put up this poster for tips on using shared laundry facilities.

Mask Use

  • The Ontario government is now mandating that face coverings/non-medical masks MUST be worn in common areas, hallways, lobbies, etc. when you cannot keep 2 metres (6 feet) apart from others.

Physical Distancing

  • Promote physical distancing in your building. Urge people to keep 2 metres (6 feet) apart – roughly the length of a hockey stick. Put up this poster in all common areas to send a clear message.
  • Put in place measures at your building to reinforce physical distancing. Stagger times to use laundry facilities, limit the number of people gathering in shared spaces, and move furnishings like chairs further apart to create more space.  
  • Limit capacity on elevators to ensure physical distancing. Post a sign indicating no more than two or three people should use the elevator at once. 

What to do If Tenants/Residents Show COVID-19 Symptoms

  • Individuals in a private unit who show COVID-19 symptoms MUST self-isolate for the required period and not leave home, unless they need medical care. If possible, check in with them by phone, email or text. Offer to get food/supplies and leave items at their doorway, ensuring no close contact.
  • If someone with COVID-19 symptoms lives in a shared space, support them to safely self-isolate by ensuring they stay in a separate room, use a separate washroom (if possible) and keep a 2 metre distance from others. If this isn’t possible, review this link 
  • If someone experiences severe COVID-19 symptoms, seek immediate medical care. 
  • Be a good neighbour. Check in on people who may need assistance with getting groceries if they are self isolating. This reduces the need for them to leave their apartment.

Remembrance Day and COVID-19

Due to COVID-19, Remembrance Day ceremonies will be much different this year.

Many of the usual Remembrance Day services and events in this area are being cancelled, reduced in size or limiting participants to only those invited. To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, please consider watching events or services on television or attending a virtual ceremony. Please check with your local municipality or Royal Canadian Legion Branch for information about Remembrance Day ceremonies in your community.

On This Page:

Marking the Day at Home

While participating in Remembrance Day ceremonies is a cherished tradition, you can still reflect and mark it in your own way:

  • Take time at home with your immediate household members to recognize veterans and remember those who died. Be sure to reflect and mark two minutes of silence at 11 am on November 11.
  • Watch a Remembrance Day service on television or via the Internet
  • Mark Remembrance Day virtually by discovering memories and moments from those who fought and died for freedom:
  • Show and share your thanks online by using #RemembranceDay
Attending a Ceremony

If you choose to attend a Remembrance Day event in person, attend an outdoor event rather than one held indoors. Always do the following:

  • Stay home if you are sick or if you have symptoms – even if you have mild symptoms.
  • Maintain two metres (six feet) of physical distancing from anyone you do not live with and limit close contact to members of your household only.
  • Wear a non-medical mask or face covering indoors and wear one outdoors if physical distancing is a challenge.
  • Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Do not attend a ceremony if you have not been invited.
  • Consider participating virtually or not attending the event if you are at a higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19. This includes people who are 70 years or older and individuals who are immunocompromised or have underlying medical conditions.
Organizing a Ceremony

If you are organizing a local Remembrance Day service, you are allowed an upward limit of 100 people to attend the outdoor event (as per Ontario Regulation 364/20 Rules for Areas in Stage 3) provided the following restrictions are in place:

  • Encourage the public to take part in the ceremony virtually.
  • Organizers should invite only specific people to attend in-person to maintain physical distancing and gathering requirements.
  • Get all attendees to wear face coverings/masks outdoors where a 2 metre (6-foot) distance cannot be maintained.
  • Rope off the ceremony area for only invited guests to maintain crowd control. Have volunteers stand by the entrance and exit of the roped off area. If seating is provided, chairs should be arranged so they are 2 metres apart.
  • Request invitees who are sick to stay home.
  • Keep a list of all invited guests and their contact information

If you have further questions about your Remembrance Day event, call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5020.

Selling Poppies

The safer way to sell poppies is through donations boxes that are unstaffed (such as ones set up at store checkouts). If you choose to sell poppies in-person:

  • Wear a non-medical mask or face covering.
  • Have hand sanitizer and use it regularly.
  • Wash or sanitize your hands every time after handling cash.
  • Consider not selling if you are at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19, including if you are 70 years or older, are immunocompromised or have underlying medical conditions.

COVID-19 and Schools

School is back in session with additional preventive measures in place to protect against COVID-19. The Health Unit is working closely with local school boards and other public health units to ensure a safe return for all students, staff and families.

On This Page

For School Board Staff

Click on the following resources for guidance on safe school reopening during COVID-19:

Protocols For Individuals/Schools with COVID-19
Guidance/Checklists for Reopening Schools
Student Nutrition Programs – Guidance and FAQs
For School Bus Drivers/Operators

For Parents
Return to School Protocol for Students with COVID-19 Symptoms
Screening Your Child for COVID-19 Symptoms
Provincial Resources

Guidance documents and resources:

Local School Board Resources

Learn how your local school board is working to support a safe return to class:


Frequently Asked Questions

Should I have my child tested for COVID-19 before they return to school?

Testing your child before returning to school is generally not recommended if they do not have COVID-19 symptoms, unless they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

What if my child shows symptoms before going to school or while at school?

As per the Ministry of Education Guide to Reopening Ontario Schools, all students and staff must self-screen every day using a checklist before arriving at school. If a student or staff member is experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, they must stay home from school and should seek testing and appropriate medical attention.

If a student or staff member feels sick, or develops symptoms while at school, schools will follow the following protocol:

  • Students or staff who develop COVID-19 symptoms will immediately be separated from others, and the family will be contacted to arrange pick-up.
  • Staff and students with symptoms will be directed to seek medical advice including the recommendation of testing for COVID 19 as appropriate or as advised by their medical provider. Check out local COVID 19 Assessment Centre locations, and book an appointment for COVID- 19 testing.
  • Siblings/staff of ill individual can remain in school until further medical advice is received and should self-monitor for symptoms.
  • Staff and/or students who receive an alternative diagnosis than COVID-19 can return to school once they are symptom-free for 24 hours.

Can I go to work if I don’t have any symptoms but my child is ill and we are waiting on results from their COVID-19 test?

If your child is symptomatic and has been tested for COVID-19, you and your family, including siblings, should self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. You can continue to go to school and/or work if you have no symptoms.

  • If while self-monitoring symptoms of COVID-19 develop, self-isolate and be tested for COVID-19 (and no longer attend work and school).
  • If any members of your household test positive for COVID-19, you will be contacted by Public Health directly with more detailed advice.

What if there is a positive case in my child’s school?

If a COVID-19 positive case is identified in a school, staff from the Health Unit will provide further instructions on who else in the school may need testing and/or monitoring/isolation at that time. Staff/children who are being managed by public health (e.g. confirmed cases of COVID-19, household contacts of cases, etc.) must follow the instructions provided by the HKPR District Health Unit on when they can return to school.

What if a parent/guardian tests positive for COVID-19?

Parents/guardians are not required to report their test results to their school, however it is recommended. Members of your household are required to self-isolate and should not attend work or school. If your child is at school, your child should be picked up immediately. Staff from the HKPR District Health Unit will be in contact with you for assessment and provide further direction.

Who will declare an outbreak at the school?

The Heath Unit will declare an outbreak after identifying two or more lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases in students and/or staff (or other visitors) in a school with an epidemiological link where at least one case could have reasonably acquired their infection in the school (including transportation and before/after school care).

Examples of reasonably having acquired infection in school include:

  • No obvious source of infection outside of the school setting; OR
  • Known exposure in the school setting

HKPR District Health Unit staff will work closely with the school to determine close contacts of the case and will provide direction on isolation and facilitate testing.


Additional Resources

Click on the following for additional support:


Changes to Health Unit Services in Schools Due to COVID-19

Due to the pandemic, the following services in schools are being impacted:

  • School-Based Immunization for Grade 7/8 students will not take place this fall due to COVID-19. Normally, the Health Unit provides vaccines for Hep B, HPV and Meningococcal. You can still ensure your Grade 7/8 student is vaccinated for these illnesses, as the Health Unit is offering appointment-based clinics at its offices (with full COVID-19 prevention measures in place). Book your child’s vaccination appointment by calling 1-866-888-4577, ext. 1507.
  • Dental Screening for students in schools has been postponed until further notice. If your child has a toothache or cavity AND you are unable to pay for dental treatment, the Healthy Smiles Ontario (HSO) program may be able to help pay for dental care costs. For help to enroll your child in the HSO program, call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 1247.
  • Vision Screening for SK students has been cancelled for the 2020/21 school year. It’s recommended you call an optometrist to book a FREE eye examination for your child. To find an optometrist in your area, visit the College of Optometrists of Ontario or call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 1216.

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For Students

Check out these resources to help stay safe at school during the pandemic:

About COVID-19
Washing Hands
Fighting Germs
Wearing Masks
Mental Health Support

COVID-19 Q&A

COVID-19 (or the novel coronavirus) is a new, but serious illness. Read these FAQs for additional information on how to stay safe. If you still have questions, call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5020, or email info@hkpr.on.ca.


Learn About COVID-19
If You Feel Sick
Protect Yourself From COVID-19
Stay Safe in Your Home
Stay Safe at Your Work
Stay Safe in Your Community
Mask Use in Commercial Establishments

How many COVID-19 cases are there locally?

Click here for the latest COVID-19 data in Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes. Click here to learn why the Health Unit reports local COVID-19 data as it does.


How does COVID-19 spread?

COVID-19 is spread mainly from person to person through close contact. 

Human coronaviruses cause infections of the nose, throat and lungs. They are most commonly spread from an infected person through:

  • respiratory droplets that are spread when you cough or sneeze
  • close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • touching something with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Symptoms of COVID-19 range from mild to severe. You may not know you have symptoms of COVID-19 because they are similar to a cold, flu or other conditions.

Symptoms may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to COVID-19. Common symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • Fever (temperature of 37.8 C or higher)
  • New or worsening cough
  • Shortness of breath

Other symptoms of COVID-19 can include:

  • Sore throat
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Smell/tasting disorder
  • Nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain
  • Runny nose or nasal congestion

In certain cases, complications from COVID-19 can include serious conditions like pneumonia or kidney failure, and sometimes death.

Less common symptoms of COVID-19, especially in children, older persons and people living with a developmental disability, can include: unexplained fatigue or malaise, delirium (altered mental status and inattention), falls, acute functional decline, worsening of chronic conditions, chills, headaches, croup, pinkeye (conjunctivitis), decreased blood pressure, tachycardia (heart rate over 100 beats per minute), hypoxia (below-normal oxygen level in your blood), lethargy, poor feeding and multi-system inflammatory vasculitis in children.

If you start to feel unwell, you should go home and self-isolate. Use the Ministry of Health self-assessment tool to help determine if you need to seek further care or call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5020. 

If your symptoms are worsening or you are having a medical emergency (for example, problems breathing, chest pain, fainting, confusion, lips turning blue/grey), call 9-1-1.


When it comes to COVID-19, what does ‘asymptomatic’ mean? And does it matter? 

Asymptomatic is a term to describe people who may have been exposed to, or have, COVID-19, but do not have any symptoms. 

Most often, COVID-19 is spread by people with symptoms. However, the virus can also be spread by individuals who have COVID-19 but are asymptomatic. Because they do not show any obvious signs of the virus, these individuals may be unaware they have COVID-19 and can infect others without knowing it.  

To prevent COVID-19, be sure to practise physical distancingregularly wash hands with soap and water, follow respiratory etiquette, and do proper cleaning and disinfecting of common surfaces

If you’ve been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or you begin to feel unwell, self-isolate immediately and use Ontario’s COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool to see what additional care you need. 


What is the risk of getting sick and who is most vulnerable?

COVID-19 is a serious health threat. Given the growing number of cases locally and in Canada, the risk is high and it’s essential to take steps to slow the spread. Generally anyone can be susceptible to COVID-19. In some cases, older adults and people with compromised immune systems may be at higher risk from the virus and should take additional precautions.


Is there a treatment or vaccine for COVID-19?

For now, there is no specific treatments for COVID-19. Most people will recover on their own. Your health care provider may recommend steps you can take to relieve symptoms.

In terms of a vaccine, none is currently available in Canada although multiple efforts are underway globally to develop one.


Will the flu shot protect me from COVID-19?

No, the viruses are very different and distinct. The annual flu shot will not provide any protection against COVID-19 (though it is highly recommended to get an annual flu shot to prevent influenza, a serious infectious disease in its own right).


How long does the COVID-19 virus live on surfaces?

According to the World Health Organization, it’s uncertain how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on surfaces, but it seems to behave like other coronaviruses. Studies suggest coronaviruses can live on surfaces from a few hours up to several days. Often, it’s based on conditions like type of surface, temperature or humidity of the environment.

Current evidence shows the main way COVID-19 spreads is through person-to-person direct contact.

If you think a surface may be infected with the COVID-19 virus, clean it with simple disinfectant to kill the virus and protect yourself and others. Clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose.


Due to COVID-19, is it safe to eat unpackaged fruit and vegetables? If so, how do I safely wash and eat these foods?

The rules for washing unpackaged fruit and vegetables are the same, even with COVID-19. That means, washing hands with soap and water before handling any food, then thoroughly washing fruits and vegetables under cold running water. To be extra careful, consider washing your hands with soap and water after you handle/wash unpackaged fruit and vegetables too.


What should I do if I get sick, or think I have symptoms of COVID-19, or been in contact with someone who does?

Anyone who begins to feel unwell with COVID-19 symptoms MUST go home and self-isolate immediately.  You should also use the Ministry of Health self-assessment tool to help determine if you need to seek further care. 


How do I self-isolate?

Read Response Here.


Can I access COVID-19 assessment centres? Where are they located in the area?

Read Response Here.


What can I do if I’ve completed my period of self-isolation without showing symptoms?

Read Response Here.


I’ve been tested for COVID-19, so where can I get results?

You can go online to the Ontario government website to quickly access your test results. You’ll need to provide your health card number, name, date of birth and postal code to confirm your identity. If you’re experiencing problems with the online portal or do not have Internet access, call toll-free at 1-866-250-1554.


How can I protect myself?

Follow these steps to protect yourself and prevent the spread of COVID-19: 

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth unless you have just washed your hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands. 
  • If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your sleeve or arm. 
  • Practise physical distancing by avoiding close contact with others outside your household. This means keeping a minimum distance of 2 metres (6 feet) from others. 
  • When going out in the community, keep COVID-19 precautions in mind at all times. Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health is currently 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.
  • Wear a non-medical mask or face covering inside public places, as directed by the Health Unit. The Ontario government is 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.
  • Stay home if you or a family member are ill. This is essential to prevent the spread of illness. This poster can give you additional information on how to help your family stay healthy.
  • If you are an older adult or someone with a compromised immune system, you may be more susceptible to COVID-19. Take extra precautions to protect yourself from the virus.
  • If you are ill and must visit a hospital emergency department, clinic or healthcare provider, call ahead or tell them right away when you arrive that you have a respiratory illness and wear a mask while waiting to be seen. 
  • If visiting people in hospitals or long-term care homes, check first with the facility to see what guidelines are in place. Be sure to follow instructions as directed.
  • Consider the risks before attending any large gathering. Follow the rules too if hosting your own social gathering. Currently, the Ontario government limits private social gatherings to no more than 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors.
  • Watch these video resources on how your organization/workplace can prepare for COVID-19. These print resources may also be useful.
  • Be prepared by planning ahead, but do so within reason and recognizing that everyone is in this together.

What if I have just returned to Canada after travelling outside the country?

Read Response Here.


What is the best way to wash my hands?

Washing your hands properly and regularly can remove the germs that make us sick. We need to wash our hands many times through the day: before eating meals/snacks, before and after preparing food, after going to the washroom, after touching an animal, and after handling garbage. Wash your hands with clean, running water and soap. If soap and water is not available, or our hands aren’t visibly dirty, you can use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.


What is physical distancing?

Read Response Here. 


Should I wear a non-medical mask or face covering?

Face coverings have become the new normal during COVID-19. It’s important to know when and where to wear a mask properly.

The Health Unit is directing that non-medical masks or face coverings be used in all commercial establishments in City of Kawartha Lakes, Northumberland County and Haliburton County. For complete details on mask use directive, including who is exempt, click here. The Ontario government is also now 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.

Face coverings will not protect you from getting COVID-19. However 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.

When wearing a cloth mask/face covering, follow this Public Health Ontario fact sheet on how to properly wear and throw away masks. You can also watch this Health Unit video for further guidance on properly using/wearing cloth masks.

Be sure to save medical masks (like surgical and N-95 varieties) for health care providers and those providing direct care to someone with COVID-19.


Should I wear rubber gloves outdoors to reduce my risk of COVID-19?

Wearing rubber gloves out in public does NOT reduce your risk of COVID-19. Regular handwashing with soap/water and not touching your face offer more protection. Even if you wear gloves, you can still pick up COVID-19 if you touch your face with the dirty gloves, and this could then spread the contamination and infect you.

The fact is people don’t need to wear gloves unless they are providing direct care to someone infected with COVID-19.


How should I throw out disposable gloves, given the current COVID-19 situation?

Safely disposing of used gloves anytime is important to reduce the risk of illness, so casually tossing them aside when you’re done with them is not advised. When removing the gloves, it’s essential to avoid contamination of your hands and arms and clothing (etc.). Public Health Ontario offers a five-step process for safely taking off gloves  and encourages you to properly wash your hands afterwards.

Used gloves should be disposed of in a proper garbage can for safe disposal. Never stuff used gloves into your pocket or purse. Gloves should NEVER be re-used.


How can I cope with fears of COVID-19?

COVID-19 is affecting people in many ways. Taking care of yourself – and your mental health – is even more important now, so click here for resources.


Should I use public transit given the current COVID-19 situation?

If you are sick, do not ride public transit. Instead self-isolate at home, do not go out, and use the Ontario government’s COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool to see what further care you may need.

If you need public transit to get to your destination, consider these tips:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly after using any kind of public transportation.
  • Practise physical distancing. Aim to ride transit during off-peak hours to avoid crowds; avoid close contact with other passengers; and maintain a 2-metre distance apart.
  • Wear a non-medical mask or face covering.
  • If you use a taxi or rideshare service, sit in the back and open a window for air circulation.

Please remember that public transit agencies have implemented enhanced cleaning measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19.


Is it safe to open mail and other packages?

There is no known risk of COVID-19 entering Canada on parcels or packages coming from other parts of the world.


What if I’m attending, or my group is organizing, an event/meeting with a large gathering of people?

Read Response Here. 


What is physical distancing at work?

Read Response Here.


What are my rights as a worker during COVID-19?

Read Response Here.


What supports/resources are available to help workplaces fight COVID-19?

Watch these video resources on how your organization/workplace can prepare for COVID-19. These print resources may also be useful.


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.


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.

If you cannot wear a mask, 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. 2050.
  • Isolate for 14 days beginning when your symptoms started.
  • After 14 days, you can stop isolating if you:
    • No longer have a fever and your symptoms have improved
    • Did not develop any symptoms. You MUST continue with physical distancing measures.
  • If you are still unwell at 14 days, 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:

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
  • Stage 3 of COVID-19 reopening remains in place in Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes. However, new public health restrictions are in place in COVID-19 hotspots — Toronto, Ottawa, Peel Region and York Region. The new measures in these four regions include: prohibiting indoor dining at restaurants and bars, and closing gyms, movie theatres and casinos. These restrictions will be in place for the next 28 days. Local businesses are not impacted by these new restrictions. 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 

Reducing Harm When Using Drugs

Washing hands, covering your cough, self-isolating, and practising physical distancing are all needed to slow the spread of COVID-19. If you currently use substances or other drugs, there’s added urgency to be safe. Not only is it important to avoid overdoses and reduce the risk of infections like HIV and hepatitis, you also need to reduce harm from COVID-19.  

Please note: During COVID-19, if you need harm reduction supplies, please order ahead if possible by calling the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 3000. Ring or knock at the office door when you come to pick up and the order will be brought to the door for you. 

General Tips (For Those Not Self-Isolating/Showing No COVID-19 Symptoms) 
  • Do not share supplies (cigarettes, joints, pipes, injecting equipment, containers for alcohol, utensils, and other supplies). Use your own mouthpiece and keep it only for YOUR use 
  • Avoid handshakes, hugs, kisses and other close contact 
  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before preparing, handling or using drugs. Prepare your own drugs 
  • If you cannot wash your hands with soap or use hand sanitizer, use alcohol-based hand wipes 
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or use tissues. Throw tissues away immediately and wash your hands 
  • It’s strongly recommended you clean surfaces with soap and water, alcohol wipes, bleach or hydrogen peroxide before preparing drugs 
  • If you share a washroom with others, clean and disinfect surfaces like knobs, taps, and flushers. Use soap and water, bleach, hydrogen peroxide or alcohol-based wipes (70%) after every use. Do not mix different types of cleaning solutions 
  • Buddy up if using drugs, but be safe! COVID-19 is passed by droplets, so you must stay 2 metres (six feet) – roughly the length of a hockey stick – from your buddy to avoid passing the virus  
  • Using with a buddy is safer than using drugs alone, but remember to keep your physical distance! Buddies may be able to bring food, harm reduction supplies, medicine, and substances so that you can stay well. You can also be a buddy to others who need support. Check in on your buddies regularly and have them do the same for you  
  • Carry naloxone and have an overdose plan. If necessary, you can perform chest compressions. Do not do rescue breathing due to COVID-19 concerns  
  • If you must use drugs by yourself, call a buddy to have him/her regularly check in on you 
If Self-Isolating (With or Without COVID-19 Symptoms)  
  • Do not leave your home! Ask a buddy to pick up supplies including naloxone from harm reduction sites or outreach workers. Arrange to have the supplies dropped off at your door, being sure to practise physical distancing  
  • Try to have the substances you need to stay well. Know that carrying large amounts may land you in trouble with the law. Consider alternatives to your drug of choice, especially if supplies are difficult to get and you face withdrawal symptoms 
  • Have a backup plan and be cautious of new supplies you may need to get  
  • Try to have the medications you need. Refills may be available through your pharmacist or by phone without having to see your doctor. If you’re feeling sick and require medications, call your pharmacy in advance 
  • Health Canada is working on exemptions to ensure access to OAT (Opioid Agonist Therapy) and other medicines 
  • For more information, contact your health care provider  
Responding to an Overdose During COVID-19 

If using a naloxone kit, refer to the Five Steps to Respond to an Opioid Overdose sheet inside. Take these extra precautions too:  

  • Stimulate: try and rouse the person, encourage them to take breaths 
  • If no response: call 9-1-1, give naloxone and perform chest compressions. DO NOT try doing rescue breathing 
  • When using a naloxone kit: put gloves on, but do not use the faceshield/breathing barrier for rescue breaths (not advised given COVID-19 situation) 
  • After responding, properly remove gloves and throw them in the garbage. Wash/clean hands thoroughly 
  • If chest compressions are needed, place a towel or a piece of clothing over the person’s nose and mouth to protect yourself from droplets 

Reminder: The Good Samaritan Act offers legal protection for someone to help in an emergency. The Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act protects anyone on scene of an overdose from being charged for possessing/using drugs 

Additional Resources  

Workplace COVID-19 Video Resources

Watch these videos for tips on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in your workplace.


From the HKPR Youtube Channel

Visit us on Youtube for more videos, or click here for general COVID-19 prevention videos.


COVID-19 – Cleaning With Disinfecting Wipes at Work

Cleaning and Disinfection for Public Spaces

Cleaning and disinfecting public spaces is essential to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect people in the community.

The following information provides guidance on cleaning and disinfection of public spaces and workplaces in Ontario.

What you should know
  • Commonly used cleaners and disinfectants are effective against COVID-19. Click here for a specific list of hard-surface disinfectants that are known to be effective against COVID-19.
  • Frequently touched surfaces are most likely to be contaminated.
  • Use only disinfectants that have a Drug Identification Number (DIN). A DIN is an 8-digit number given by Health Canada that confirms it is approved for use in Canada.
  • Check the expiry date of products you use and always follow manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Follow these public health guidelines for cleaning/disinfecting public washrooms
Icon image of a tub of cleaning supplies
Clean frequently touched surfaces twice per day
  • In addition to routine cleaning, high-touch surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected twice per day and when visibly dirty.
  • High-touch surfaces can include: doorknobs, elevator buttons, light switches, toilet handles, counters, hand rails, touch screen surfaces and keypads.
  • In addition to routine cleaning, check with your organization for any specific protocols for cleaning for COVID-19.
Select products
Cleaners
  • Break down grease and remove organic material from the surface.
  • Used separately before using disinfectants.
  • Can be purchased with cleaner and disinfectant combined in a single product
Icon of a sponge filled with bubbles
Disinfectants
Icon of a spray bottle of disinfectant
Disinfectant Wipes
  • Have combined cleaners and disinfectants in one solution.
  • May become dry due to fast drying properties. Should be discarded if they become dry.
  • Not recommended for heavily soiled surfaces.
Prepare products for use
  • Where possible, use pre-mixed solution.
  • Read and follow manufacturer’s instructions to:
    • properly prepare solution
    • allow adequate contact time for disinfectant to kill germs (see product label)
    • wear gloves when handling cleaning products including wipes
    • wear any other personal protective equipment recommended by the manufacturer.
Watch our video on YouTube

This information is based on the Public Health Ontario fact sheet: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Cleaning and Disinfection for Public Settings

Additional Resources:

Download and print resources below:

Cleaning and Disinfecting During COVID-19

It is essential to clean and disinfect common surfaces to reduce the spread of illnesses like COVID-19. Here’s what to do:


What you should know
  • Commonly used cleaners and disinfectants are effective against COVID-19.
  • Frequently touched surfaces are most likely to be contaminated.
  • Check the expiry date of products you use and always follow manufacturer’s instructions.
Icon image of a tub of cleaning supplies
Clean frequently touched surfaces often
  • In addition to routine cleaning, surfaces that have frequent contact with hands should be cleaned and disinfected.
  • Examples include doorknobs, kitchens, light switches, toilet handles, counters, remotes, touch screen surfaces and keypads.
Icon image of a finger touching a surface

Select products

Cleaners
  • Break down grease and remove organic material from the surface.
  • Used separately before using disinfectants.
  • Can be purchased with cleaner and disinfectant combined in a single product
Icon of a sponge filled with bubbles
Disinfectants
Icon of a spray bottle of disinfectant
Disinfectant Wipes
  • Have combined cleaners and disinfectants in one solution.
  • May become dry due to fast drying properties. Should be discarded if they become dry.
  • Not recommended for heavily soiled surfaces.
Prepare products for use
  • Where possible, use pre-mixed solution.
  • Read and follow manufacturer’s instructions to:
    • properly prepare solution
    • allow adequate contact time for disinfectant to kill germs (see product label)
    • wear gloves, if you have sensitive skin, when handling cleaning products including wipes or wash your hands after use
Watch our video on YouTube

This information is from the Public Health Ontario fact sheet “Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Cleaning and Disinfection for Public Settings”

If you have questions about COVID-19, contact your health care provider, Telehealth 1-866-797-0000 or the HKPR District Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577 x5020.

Halloween Safety During COVID-19

Halloween is a popular celebration, but due to COVID-19, play it safe. Many traditional Halloween activities can be high-risk for spreading illness, so continuing with them in the middle of COVID-19 is not recommended. The key is to find a balance between keeping safe while trying to maintain some sense of normalcy.

This Halloween, consider safer alternatives that can be done close to home. You and your family can still celebrate the season in ‘spooktacular’ fashion – along with peace of mind.


On This Page:


Trick-or-Treating
  • The Health Unit recommends rethinking the usual door-to-door trick-or-treating this year due to COVID-19 concerns. Instead, find creative ways to celebrate the season at home.
  • Print and display an appropriate poster to tell neighbours if you are handing out treats. Select either the Welcome Trick or Treaters poster or Sorry See You Next Year version.
  • If you want to hand out candy to hearty trick-or-treaters, plan for success. Ideally, do so outside being sure to wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Consider setting up a table or chair at the end of your walk or driveway to make handing out candy easier. Do NOT leave treats in bucket or bowl for kids to graband-go in order to avoid kids crowding around the treats.
  • Wear a face covering and use tongs or similar tools (even the end of a hockey stick) to safely hand out candy (or individually-wrapped goodie bags) while ensuring you maintain a 2-metre (6 foot) distance from trick-or-treaters.
  • Drop treats on your neighbour’s doorsteps, ring the bell, and run away! Make sure to include a spooky note letting your neighbour know they’re from you.
  • If your children are going out trick-or-treating, be sure everyone takes COVID-19 precautions:
    • Do NOT allow your children to go out if they are ill. Parents should also stay home if they are sick.
    • Only go out trick-or-treating with members of your direct household.
    • Only go trick-or-treating outdoors.
    • Maintain a physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet) from others at all times while trick-or-treating. Do not congregate or linger at doorsteps. Line up 2 metres (6-feet) apart if waiting. Avoid high-touch surfaces and objects.
    • Ensure your child wears a proper face covering while trick-or-treating. Choose a costume that makes wearing a mask or face covering easy for your child. Ensure the mask fits well and covers the nose, mouth and chin. Consider building the face covering into your child’s costume (cloth face masks can be made out of different fabrics to allow them to be part of a costume) .NOTE: A costume mask is not a substitute for a face covering. Do not put a costume mask over a face covering as this makes breathing difficult.
    • Wash hands with soap and water before trick-or-treating, when you return home and before snacking.
    • Bring alcohol-based hand sanitizer with you to use while trick-or-treating.
    • Leave any treats you collect for at least 24 hours. Have some ready-to-enjoy favourites set aside for children to enjoy when they return from trick-or-treating.
Halloween at Home

Consider these safer alternatives to do at home:

  • Buy treats for your children and enjoy them at home while watching a scary movie together.
  • Decorate for Halloween inside and outside your home and have children carve pumpkins to add to the festive display.
  • Showcase Halloween craft projects on your porch and in your front windows for your neighbours to enjoy.
  • Craft a countdown calendar – pick a fun Halloween activity to do each day or each weekend in October leading up to the big day.
  • Plan your own monster mash or ‘Halloween-at-home’ party. Get children to dress up in costume to mark the festivities.
  • Make your own spooky treats such as: clementine jack-o-lanterns, monster mix, or ghostly cookies.
  • Organize a Halloween scavenger hunt where children are given holiday-themed items to look for around your home or property. You can also hide treats in different spots and get children to find them.
  • Do an ‘at-home’ version of trick-or-treating by setting up treat stations around your home that children can visit for goodies.
  • Pick out some Halloween themed books to read together.
  • Set up a piñata at home filled with your favourite Halloween treats.
  • Organize and hold a socially distanced costume parade with a few of your neighbours and keep the treats at home to enjoy afterwards.
  • Host a virtual party – set up video chats with friends and family members who can’t celebrate with you. Encourage children to show off their costumes and talk about their favourite treats.
  • Take photos of children dressed in Halloween costume and email/share with grandparents and older relatives who can’t be there in person.  
Social Gatherings
  • Avoid attending Halloween parties or social gatherings — especially those indoors. While Ontario does allow small indoor gatherings of 10 or fewer people and large outdoor gatherings of up to 25 people, being in a social setting with others increases your risk of COVID-19. With cases on the rise in Ontario, it’s best not to take any chances.
  • Do not attend costume parties at other people’s homes. Instead, organize your own at home.
  • Avoid indoor haunted houses where people may be crowded together and screaming, increasing your risk of COVID-19.
  • If you do decide to attend a social gathering, follow COVID-19 precautions. Stay home if sick. Keep a 2 metre (6 foot) physical from others. Wear a mask or face covering. Wash your hands with soap and water, or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable.
Additional Resources

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: As of now, the Ontario government is 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 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.

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

COVID-19 Testing

Resources

COVID-19 testing is fundamental to help stop the spread of the virus. Click here for resources and links on how, where, when and why you should be tested.


Public Settings – Safe Reopening During COVID-19

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

Please note that the Health Unit has also put in place instructions on the use of non-medical masks or face coverings inside public places. The Ontario government is also making face coverings mandatory in all indoor public places (masks must cover the mouth, nose and chin).

PLEASE NOTE: 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. Existing rules, including public health and workplace safety measures for these businesses and facilities, continue to be in effect.

ADDITIONAL NOTE: Social circles (or bubbles) are now on pause in Ontario. this means you can only have close contact with people in your immediate household. Keep 2 metres (6 feet) physical distancing from everyone else.

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

On This Page

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

Community Centres
  • These facilities are for sports and recreational activities, including gyms and fitness studios
  • Physical distancing must be maintained, except if playing a team sport or as needed for personal training
  • Gyms and fitness facilities can now have up to 50 patrons for each indoor sport or fitness room, but must ensure physical distancing of at least two metres is in place.
  • 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.
  • As of Aug. 21, the current indoor gathering limit of 50 people will now apply on a per meeting room or event space basis at professional meeting and event facilities. These include convention centres, hotels, motels, resorts, banquet halls and conference centres.
  • 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.
  • Community rooms at these facilities are subject to the same physical distancing measure and gathering limits as noted above. In addition:
    • Table games/activities that do not allow for a safe 2-metre (6 foot) distance are not allowed
    • Communal kitchens and interior dining spaces in a community centre stay closed
    • Food concession stands may open
  • 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.
  • 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
Day Camps
Pools, Splash Pads and Wading 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)
  • A pool, splash pad, spray pad, wading pool or whirlpool 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 now 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 or social circle.
    • 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
Team Sports/Live Sporting Events
  • Prolonged or deliberate contact while playing sports is not allowed.
  • Team sports (like wrestling, judo) in which body contact is common or integral are not yet permitted, unless measures are in place to prevent prolonged or deliberate physical contact
  • Amateur and recreational sports leagues may resume as long as they do not allow prolonged or deliberate physical contact between players OR if measures are in place to avoid physical contact between players
  • Leagues can have no more than 50 participants in total. If a league goes over this limit, it may divide into smaller groups of no more than 50. Currently, players are not allowed to compete against others outside of their league/group.
  • Spectators at indoor sporting events (including professional sports) are limited to 50 people, while a maximum of 100 people are allowed at outdoor events (these totals do not include players or event participants). Physical distancing measures must be in place, with assigned seating where possible
  • 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.
  • 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
Restaurant/Bars
  • Restaurants, bars, food trucks, concession stands, and other food/drink establishments may open for dine-in eating. No buffet-style service may be provided. Patrons must be seated when eating or drinking.
  • 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).
  • Capacity limits for dine-in eating are based on the ability of patrons to maintain a physical distance of at least 2 metres (6 feet) from others. Establishments must take appropriate measures to ensure a 2-metre distance between tables (unless they are separated by plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier)
  • Nightclubs are not allowed to open, except to serve food or drinks to patrons (must follow same rules that apply to restaurants/bars).
  • Singing or music may be performed by a person or group at the restaurant/bar with restrictions, such as physical distancing measures and barriers being put up between performers and patron.  Dancing may only be performed by someone working at the establishment with restrictions.
  • Physical distancing of 2-metres between patrons from different households also applies to food trucks, food courts, concession stands and tours (including tasting at wineries, breweries and distilleries)
  • For outdoor patios or dining areas, seating must be configured to allow at least 2-metres distance between tables. Patrons do not need to wear non-medical masks on patios.
  • Restaurants and bars must keep client logs (name and contact information) for every patron who frequents the business over the past 30 days. This information must be provided to the Health Unit for COVID-19 contact tracing purposes. NOTE: Food courts and cafeterias are exempt from this rule provided seating is set up to allow for 2 metre distance between patrons.
  • When it comes to the use of non-medical masks or face coverings in restaurants/bars:
    • Patrons who come for dine-in eating must wear a mask upon entering and exiting the premises. Masks also need to be worn if they get up for anything during their meal (including using the washroom). Masks are not required when seated at a table
    • Restaurant servers who interact with customers must wear masks.
Live Shows, Performing Arts and Movie Theatres
  • Spectators at indoor events (like concerts and theatrical performances) are limited to 50 people, while a maximum of 100 people are allowed at outdoor events. Physical distancing measures must be in place, with assigned seating where possible. (NOTE: Employees/performers are not included in the crowd size)
  • Drive-through and drive-in venues are not subject to gathering limits.
  • 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.
  • Singers and brass/wind instrument players must be separated from any spectators by plexiglass or another impermeable barrier.
  • Every performer or employees of the performing arts centre/theatre must maintain a physical distance of at least 2-metres from every other person, except for:
    • Performances and rehearsals
    • The purchase of tickets/admission, food or beverages
    • Health and safety reasons
  • 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
  • Movie theatres should stagger 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.
  • Arcade/game rooms are prohibited.
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 50 people, while a maximum of 100 people is allowed at outdoor weddings. NOTE: These crowd limits apply if a wedding is held at a private home. If a wedding is held in a public hall, building or structure, the gathering must not exceed 30% of the capacity of the particular room
  • 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.
  • When it comes to the use of non-medical masks or face coverings at weddings:
    • Guests must wear a non-medical mask upon entering/exiting the venue. Masks can be removed when seated.
    • Guests who need to get up for anything during the service or meal (such as going to the washroom) must re-mask.
    • The bride and groom are not required to wear a mask during wedding vows. The officiant (priest/minister) is not required to wear a mask if he/she maintains 2-metre physical distance
    • Guest are not required to wear mask outdoors if they can maintain a 2-metre physical distance
    • Servers who interact with guests must wear masks.
Personal Service Settings
  • These include businesses providing hairdressing and barbering, tattooing, aesthetics and piercing and other body modifications
  • Follow Ontario’s guidance documents for health and safety during COVID-19.
  • Oxygen bars, bath houses, steam houses and saunas are not permitted at this time.
  • 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

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