COVID-19 Vaccine – For Children Ages 5-11 Years

COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11 years old is now approved for use in Canada.


  • WATCH! – Learn from a panel of local health care providers about why COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective and recommended for children ages 5-11. Watch a recording of the Dec. 2 virtual information session called ‘Fast Facts on the COVID-19 Vacs for Kids.’

COVID-19 Vaccine and Children: What You Need to Know

Health Canada has approved the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5-11 and the Ontario government will begin distributing the vaccine once it become available. Two doses of the children’s Pfizer vaccine will be needed to be fully vaccinated, with the first and second doses being given eight weeks apart.

Parents can now book appointments at local vaccination clinics through the provincial booking system. Appointments should be made for children to be vaccinated but walk-ins will be accepted between 3:30 to 4:30 pm at clinics.

  • Click here to make appointment through Provincial Booking System
  • Call 1-833-943-3900 (TTY for people who are deaf, hearing-impaired or speech-impaired: 1-866-797-0007)

November 29 – the first date for appointments for 5 to 11 year old children at local vaccination clinics (dependent on the receipt of vaccine).

Click on the links below for more information:

How to Prepare Your Child for Vaccination
COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects in Children 
  • Possible side effects can include: sore arm, swelling, redness near the injection site, tiredness, headache, achy muscles/joints, fever and chills.  
  • Very rare cases of myocarditis and pericarditis (heart inflammation) have been reported.  The benefit of COVID-19 vaccination outweighs the very rare risk.  
  • For more preliminary research about side effects, click here.
Where to Get Your Child Vaccinated
Want to Talk to a Health Care Professional About COVID-19 Vaccine?

Reopening Businesses and Services – Current Restrictions

Find out the latest COVID-19 rules, as Ontario starts to lift restrictions. Click here for a timetable of what to expect in coming months, based on COVID-19 cases staying low and other key data remaining good.

Latest Situation
  • NEW! Capacity limits for outdoor organized public events (such as outdoor parades, outdoor memorial services, and other similar events) are now removed. However, masks must be worn at these events if two metre physical distancing cannot be maintained. NOTE: Limits on the number of people who can gather for outdoor social gatherings remains at no more than 100 people.
  • Capacity limits and physical distancing rules are no longer in place for restaurants, bars, gyms, casinos, bingo hall, and indoor meeting and event spaces. These are all settings where patrons must provide proof of vaccination to enter. Read the specific regulations here.
  • Other select businesses can see also have their capacity limits and physical distancing rules removed if they choose to require proof of vaccination for customers/patrons. The businesses that can opt in to this include: personal care services (barber shops, salons, etc.); indoor areas of museums, galleries, historical sites and other attractions; indoor areas of amusement parks, boat tours’ and indoor tour and guide services.
  • Places of worship and other locations where a wedding, funeral or religious service, rite or ceremony takes place can also choose to implement proof of vaccination requirements for these types of events. In exchange, capacity limits and physical distancing rules would also be lifted.
  • Capacity limits remain in place for other stores and retail settings. This will be reviewed in coming months to see if they can be lifted.
  • Specific COVID-19 restrictions can still be put in place on a local/regional basis if needed.
  • Social gatherings limits remain at up to 25 people indoors and up to 100 people at an outdoor gathering.
  • The province has announced plans/timetable to lift remaining COVID-19 restrictions by March 2022. This will be a slow and gradual process based on COVID-19 case rates and other key health care indicators (hospital admissions, ICU cases, etc.) staying stable and low. The Ontario government’s full announcement on the timing and gradual lifting of COVID-19 restrictions is available here.

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Proof of Vaccination to be Required in Certain Settings
  • Ontario requires proof of COVID-19 vaccination to attend select businesses and indoor settings. These settings include: restaurants and bars (excluding outdoor patios, as well as delivery/takeout), nightclubs, meeting/event spaces, gyms/fitness clubs, sporting events, casinos/bingo halls/gaming establishments, concerts, theatres, cinemas, and racing venues. Retail stores, grocery stores, banks and other essential businesses are not included in this new requirement.
  • Proof of vaccine may also now be required in other businesses. Personal care services (barber shops, salons, etc.), indoor areas of museums, galleries, historical sites and other attractions, indoor areas of amusement parks, boat tours, and indoor tour and guide services can choose to ask customers/patrons for proof of vaccination. In exchange, capacity limits and physical distancing rules in these businesses can be lifted.
  • Proof of vaccination rules may be lifted early in 2022 if the situation with COVID-19 activity in Ontario remains favourable.
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Specific Rules

Read on for more details on current COVID-19 restrictions.

Indoor and Outdoor Gatherings
  • Up to 25 people are allowed at indoor social gatherings and organized public events.
  • A maximum of 100 people is permitted for outdoor social gatherings.
  • Capacity limits are removed for any outdoor organized event (such as outdoor parades, outdoor memorial services and other similar events), but masks must be worn if a two-metre physical distancing cannot be maintained with others outside your household.
  • Retirement homes are exempt from gathering limits.
  • Stay home if sick. Do not attend any gatherings. Get tested if you have symptoms or are worried you were in contact with COVID-19. Click here for additional advice about gathering for holidays and celebrations.
  • Masks must be worn at organized indoor public events. Physical distancing (staying 2 metres apart from others outside your household) is also required at organized indoor public events.
  • Masks are not required to be worn at social gatherings inside private homes, but face coverings are required in common areas (hallways) in multi-unit dwellings like apartments, condominiums, etc. Wearing a mask indoors regardless of where you are can reduce the spread of COVID-19.
  • Ensure you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Ask others attending the gathering what their vaccination status is, so you can take appropriate precautions such as wearing a mask and staying two metres apart from others outside your household.
  • To reduce your risk of COVID-19, continue to practise physical distancing at any gathering you attend.
  • COVID-19 is less likely to be spread outdoors than in, so consider meeting others outdoors. If meeting inside, open windows and doors to allow for good ventilation.
  • Continue to stop the spread of COVID-19. Click here additional COVID-19 prevention measures.
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Religious Services, Weddings and Funerals
  • Indoor and outdoor weddings, funerals and religious services are allowed.
  • Places of worship and other locations where a wedding, funeral or religious service, rite or ceremony takes place can choose to implement proof of vaccination requirements for these types of events. In exchange, capacity limits and physical distancing rules would be lifted.
  • If proof of vaccination is not required, capacity at these services is limited to the number of people who can distance at least two metres.
  • Masks/face coverings must be worn inside. Mask use is also recommended outdoors if you cannot stay 2 metres apart from someone outside your household
  • Drive-in services, rites or ceremonies can still be offered
  • Consider livestreaming services for those who are unable or do not feel comfortable attending in-person
  • Receptions are permitted, with up to 25 people indoors and a maximum of 100 people outdoors.
  • Click here for more information on COVID-19 prevention measures at places of worship.
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Businesses and Services
  • All businesses must have a COVID-19 safety plan in place that is also posted in a visible location for people to see. Click here for a sample from the Health Unit. You can also use Ontario’s Workplace Safety Plan Builder (a free interactive tool to make it easier to create and update your COVID-19 safety plan).
  • Proof of vaccination is required to enter certain businesses.
  • Businesses must ensure anyone entering their premise wears a mask/face covering properly (unless exempted) and stays two metres apart from others
  • Cleaning and disinfecting of the business premise should be done as frequently as needed to maintain sanitary conditions.
  • Capacity at essential and non-essential businesses, stores and malls remains limited to the number of people who can maintain 2 metres physical distance. The maximum number of customers must be posted in a visible location. For a handy resource to help you figure out store capacity limits, use the Retail Council of Canada’s Store Capacity Calculator.
  • Capacity limits and physical distancing rules no longer apply for restaurants and bars. However, patrons/customers dining inside must provide proof of vaccination to enter. Restaurants must also continue to record the name and contact information of every customer who dines in.
  • Indoor food or drink establishments where dance facilities are provided, including nightclubs and ‘restobars’, can open up to 25% capacity or a maximum of 250 people (whichever is less). Capacity limits at these venues will be reviewed by the Province and may be lifted in mid-November.
  • All businesses must ensure physical distancing is in place for any customers lined up outdoors. Lineups inside are not allowed, unless the business ensures customers wear a mask and stay at least 2 metres apart from each other.
  • All staff/employees must be screened for COVID-19 prior to entry. Consider using the online Employee screening tool or download a copy (PDF) from the Ontario government website.
  • Signs must be posted in a prominent location, informing customers/patrons to screen themselves for COVID-19 before entering. You can also use the online screening tool designed for customers or download a copy (PDF) from the Ontario government website.
  • All personal care services (like hair salons and barbershops) are open, including those that require the removal of a face covering. Click here for full details.
  • Gyms and fitness clubs can reopen for indoor use, with all capacity and physical distancing limits removed. Patrons/members must provide proof of vaccination (or valid exemption) to enter. Gyms and fitness clubs must continue to record the name and contact information of every customer who enters the facility for the purpose of COVID-19 contact tracing.
  • Capacity limits are removed for the following settings:
    • Concert venues, theatres and cinemas.
    • Spectator areas of facilities for sports and recreational fitness (would not include gyms, personal training).
    • Meeting and event spaces (indoor meeting and event spaces will still need to limit capacity to the number that can maintain physical distancing).
    • Horse racing tracks, car racing tracks, and other similar venues.
    • Commercial film and television productions with studio audiences.
    • IMPORTANT NOTE: Other public health and workplace safety measures remain in place at these venues, including wearing of masks, screening and collecting of patron information to support contact tracing. Physical distancing requirements are being removed (with limited exceptions).
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Personal Care Services
  • Personal care services, including those provided by hair salons and barbershops, manicure and pedicure salons, aesthetician services, piercing services, tanning salons, spas and tattoo studios, can now have their capacity limits and physical distancing rules lifted. To do this, they must require proof of vaccination for customers.
  • If a personal care service does not opt for proof of vaccine, the number of customers allowed inside the business is limited to the number that can maintain 2 metres physical distance. A sign must be posted in a prominent location in the business that states the capacity limit.
  • Services that require the removal of a face covering are allowed.
  • Oxygen bars remain closed.
  • Persons who provide personal care services in the business must wear appropriate personal protective equipment (medical masks that cover nose, mouth and chin; goggles that provide eye protection).
  • Appointments are required. No walk-ins are allowed.
  • Employees and customers must be actively screened for COVID-19 before they enter the premises. Use the online employee screening tool (or download a copy) and the web-based version for customers (or \download a copy). You can also put up this COVID-19 screening poster for customers.
  • All personal care settings must have a COVID-19 safety plan in place that is also posted in a visible location for people to see. Click here for a sample.
  • Any music played inside the business must be set at a level that allows for a normal conversation to take place.
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Attractions
  • Capacity limits and physical distancing rules can be lifted for certain attractions if they choose to require proof of vaccination for patrons/customers. This option applies to indoor areas of museums, galleries, aquariums, zoos, science centres, landmarks, historic sites, botanical gardens, rural exhibitions, festivals, fairs and similar attractions
  • If these attractions do not choose to require proof of vaccination, capacity limits stay in place. Currently, indoor capacity for a seated event is limited to 50% of the usual seating capacity or 1,000 people (whichever is less).
  • NEW! Outdoor capacity limits are now removed for ski hills and other outdoor recreational amenities, as well as festivals and the outdoor areas of fairs and rural exhibitions.
  • Reservations are required for indoor and outdoor events.
  • Proof of vaccination is required in outdoor settings where the normal maximum capacity is 20,000 people or more to help keep these venues safe for patrons
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Activities and Amenities
  • Outdoor amenities like golf courses, tennis courts, skateboarding parks, sports fields, and basketball courts remain open with restrictions. Horse riding is also permitted, with restrictions. Anyone using these amenities must stay two metres apart from anyone outside their household.
  • Curling clubs can open, with physical distancing and other requirements in place. All curlers must be actively screened for COVID-19. Masks must be worn when entering, sitting down or walking around; masks do not need to be worn when playing curling if you can maintain 2 metres distance from others. Spectators must wear masks.
  • Indoor pools are allowed to reopen at 50% capacity, and with other restrictions in place. Outdoor pools, splash pads, spray pads, whirlpools, wading pools and water slides remain open, but with capacity limited to permit physical distancing of 2 metres.
  • Short-term rentals such as cottages, cabins, and resorts remain open. Along with outdoor pools, indoor pools, communal steam rooms, saunas/whirlpools and indoor fitness centres/recreational facilities at these sites are also allowed to reopen with restrictions.
  • Seasonal trailer parks can operate as usual, with no limit on how long you can stay there. Outdoor gatherings are limited to 100 people, while indoor gatherings are limited to 25 people. Outdoor pools can open (but must first be inspected by a Public Health Inspector with the Health Unit).
  • Hotels, motels and shared rental accommodations remain open. Amenities like indoor pools, communal steam rooms, saunas/whirlpools and indoor fitness centres/recreational facilities at these sites are also allowed to reopen with restrictions
  • Marinas can be open, including most indoor amenities. Some restrictions remain in place.
  • Community centres and multi-purpose facilities can reopen with restrictions
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Day and Overnight Camps
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Garage/Yard Sales

Garage and yard sales are allowed, but with the following COVID-19 restrictions in place: 

  • Up to 100 people are allowed for outdoor sales at one time 
  • People should keep 2 metres apart from anyone outside their household
  • It’s best to display sale items outdoors, not inside garages or other enclosed structures, as the risk of spreading COVID-19 outdoors is lower. If you decide to display items inside, no more than 25 people are allowed inside at one time (physical distancing must be maintained) 
  • Provide alcohol-based hand sanitizer and recommend its use 
  • Masks must be worn inside for any sales (except if all members of the same household) and are recommended outdoors if people cannot maintain 2 metres (6 feet) physical distance from anyone outside their household
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Vaccination Policies for Certain Settings

Certain businesses will need to have a vaccination policy for high-risk settings. The vaccination policy took effect on Sept. 7, 2021 and included employees/staff, contractors, students and volunteers.

At a minimum, the policy will require individuals to provide proof of one of three things:

  • Full vaccination against COVID-19;
  • A medical reason for not being vaccinated against COVID-19; or
  • Completion of a COVID-19 vaccination educational session.

Anyone who does not provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 will be required to undertake regular antigen testing. These settings will be required to track and report on the implementation of their policies to the provincial government. This is similar to the vaccination policy requirements currently in place for long-term care homes.

Vaccination policies apply to the following high-risk settings:

  • Hospitals and home/community care service providers  
  • Schools
  • Post-secondary institutions
  • Licensed retirement homes
  • Women’s shelters
  • Congregate group homes and day programs for adults with developmental disabilities, children’s treatment centres, and other services for children with special needs, and licensed children’s residential settings.

Even if your workplace is not covered by these requirements, local employers are encouraged to develop and implement a workplace vaccination policy to help protect their employees and the public from COVID-19.

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Additional Resources:

Click on the following links for additional support:

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Holidays, Family Gatherings and Celebrations

Visiting others for a holiday or special celebration? Stay safe during COVID-19, especially with rising cases and the new Omicron variant being detected in Ontario.


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Current Gathering Limits and Public Health Measures
  • Capacity limits for outdoor organized public events (such as outdoor parades, holiday events and other similar events) are now removed. However, masks must be worn at these events if two metre physical distancing cannot be maintained. Learn more here. NOTE: Capacity limits for indoor public events is capped at 25 people, unless an exception applies.

Ontario’s current COVID-19 restrictions still limit the number of people who can gather indoors and outdoors for private social gatherings. The following applies:

  • Up to 25 people are allowed at indoor social gatherings.
  • A maximum of 100 people is permitted for outdoor social gatherings.
  • Retirement homes are exempt from gathering limits.
  • Masks must be worn at organized indoor public events. Physical distancing (staying 2 metres apart from others outside your household) is also required at organized indoor public events.
  • While masks do not have to be worn at social gatherings inside private homes, face coverings are required in common areas (hallways) in multi-unit dwellings like apartments, condominiums, etc. Wearing a mask indoors if you are gathering with people outside your household is a good idea, as it can reduce the spread of COVID-19.
  • To further reduce your risk of COVID-19, continue to practise physical distancing at any gathering you attend.

If you are still uncertain or have concerns about gathering with others, consider celebrating virtually or connect by phone instead.


General Tips for Holidays, Celebrations and Family Gatherings

COVID-19 remains a risk. If gathering for the holidays with others outside of your household, be sure to stay safe. Limiting the size and frequency of contact with others outside your household is the best way to stop the spread. This means you may want to limit the number of people who gather at one time, or restrict guests to only those who are fully vaccinated. Here’s what to do:

Before Attending a Social Gathering:
  • Get vaccinated if not already. Find a list of COVID-19 vaccination clinics in your region.
  • Stay home if sick. Use Ontario’s online COVID-19 assessment tool to help determine if you need further care.
  • Encourage everyone to screen themselves for COVID-19 symptoms prior to attending.
  • If you start to feel symptoms of COVID-19, and are hosting a gathering, cancel or postpone to a later date or until you have tested negative and have not had any symptoms of COVID-19 for at least 24 hours.
  • Ensure you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Ask others attending the gathering what their vaccination status is, so you can take appropriate precautions at the event such as wearing a mask and staying two metres apart from others outside your household.
  • If you’re hosting a visit, and have decided to only allow people who are fully vaccinated, let your guests know well in advance. This ensures there are no surprises and everyone is clear about the rules.
  • Before visiting, consider your health status and those of your guests. Insist on vaccination or additional prevention measures if you or your guests are at higher risk of COVID-19 due to age or medical reasons.
  • Be aware of the number of people you invite over, ensuring you stay within current gathering limits. Consider keeping contact information for your guests, just in case it is needed by public health.
  • If you feel uncomfortable attending a holiday gathering, stay home and instead connect virtually or by phone with friends and family.
If Gathering Outdoors:
  • COVID-19 is less likely to be spread outdoors than indoors
  • If gathering outdoors with a group of fully vaccinated individuals, no face covering or physical distancing is necessary (although you may want to still take precautions if you feel more comfortable doing so)
  • If gathering outdoors with people from multiple households who are unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, or vaccination status is unknown, consider wearing masks if physical distancing cannot be maintained
If Gathering Indoors:
  • If gathering indoors with a group of fully vaccinated individuals, you may consider removing masks if everyone is comfortable doing so.
  • Masks should be worn indoors if people from multiple households are unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, or vaccination status is unknown. In these situations, you should also stay two metres apart from anyone outside your household who is unvaccinated.
  • If gathering inside (and if possible), open windows and doors to allow for good ventilation.

REMEMBER: Regardless of the setting, you can wear a face covering and physically distance if you feel it’s right for you. This is especially true if you or others are immunocompromised or at high-risk of severe disease and/or exposure to COVID-19.


If Hosting an In-Person Gathering:
  • Smaller is better for social gatherings, especially to limit COVID-19 spread. Remember that gathering limits of 25 people indoors and 100 people outdoors still apply.
  • Tell guests not to attend if they have COVID-19 symptoms, even if mild.
  • Encourage everyone to frequently wash their hands. Provide all necessary supplies, including hand sanitizer, soap and water
  • Open windows if possible.
  • Make a list of guests attending in case public health needs it for contact tracing.
  • Insist that guests wear a face covering and physically distance if there are people from multiple households at the gathering, and some of them are unvaccinated, partially vaccinated or their vaccine status is unknown.
  • Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces.
  • Follow food safety tips if preparing a meal for a gathering of friends or family. Wash hands before and during food prep and serving.
  • If going out to eat at a restaurant with family or friends, follow all rules and requirements at the eatery. This includes providing proof of COVID-19 vaccination, which is now required in Ontario if eating indoors at a restaurant or accessing other non-essential businesses and indoor settings.
If Attending an In-Person Gathering:
  • Ask the host in advance if they will be putting COVID-19 prevention measures in place. If in doubt or uncomfortable, do not attend.
  • Wear a face covering and physically distance if there are people from multiple households at the gathering, and some of them are unvaccinated, partially vaccinated or their vaccine status is unknown.
  • Do not attend if you have any COVID-19 symptoms, even if they’re mild.
  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer regularly throughout the event.
  • ‘Visit’ virtually with family and friends, if you believe it is a safer way to connect. Pick up the phone or chat via social media and/or video-conferencing. Consider using these platforms to hold a virtual holiday party/celebration. If technology is not your thing, send a card or write a letter to a loved one.
  • Look after your mental health and that of your loved ones, especially people who may be alone and feel cut off from others.
  • If exchanging gifts with other people outside your household, wash your hands after handling or opening gifts.
Planning for Overnight Stays
  • Consider whether you, someone you live with, or anyone you plan to visit with is at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. This can help determine whether to stay overnight in the same residence or to stay elsewhere.
  • Plan ahead for what to do if you, or someone else, gets sick during the visit, even with mild symptoms (such as plans for self-isolation, health care and travel home)
  • Hosts and guests from multiple households who are unvaccinated, partially vaccinated or vaccination status is unknown should not sleep in the same bedroom and should use separate washrooms (if possible).
  • Avoid singing or shouting, especially indoors.
  • Monitor for COVID-19 symptoms (both hosts and guests)
If Travelling For the Holidays (including university students returning home for the holidays)
  • Ensure you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 if travelling inside or outside Canada. It’s best to avoid non-essential travel if unvaccinated or only partially vaccinated.
  • Be aware of the COVID-19 situation in your travel destination. Follow any COVID-19 restrictions that are in place there.
  • Continue to follow important public health measures, such as wearing masks, physical distancing and frequent handwashing.
  • If returning from a trip and experiencing symptoms (even mild ones), get tested for COVID-19 and stay home.
  • Follow all of the federal government’s current COVID-19 travel guidance and quarantine rules.
Additional Resources:

Service Providers Working With Vulnerable Clients

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

General Tips
  • Access  short Health Unit video modules  on how to keep your workplace/organization safe during COVID-19. 
  • Screen your staff/ volunteers and clients for COVID-19 symptoms before they start work or enter the building. Use these online Provincial COVID-19 Screening Tools for Employees/Workers and for Customers/Clients. You can also use this screening tool from the HKPR District Health Unit.
  • Encourage your staff and volunteers to get their COVID-19 vaccine so they are fully protected against the virus.
  • Maintain a clean and safe environment 
  • Staff and volunteers MUST stay home when sick 
  • Post signs on wearing a mask/face covering, washing hands with soap and water, and covering sneezes/coughs.
  • Practise physical distancing 
  • Increase surface cleaning/ disinfection especially on high-touch surfaces 
  • Clients/participants MUST NOT share items (e.g. drinking cups, utensils) 
  • Develop an organizational plan to protect your staff, volunteers and clients from getting COVID-19. Consider how to: provide isolation for those who require it, modify service delivery based on staff capacity, and reduce fears, barriers and stigma around COVID-19 by providing credible information.
  • Prepare and plan for operations with reduced staff and fewer volunteers. Also consider services that may need to quickly decrease or ramp up depending on the situation.
  • Contact 211 Community Support to find/search government and community-based services during COVID-19.  Call or text 2-1-1 day or night to find support for all of life’s challenges. Live Chat also available Monday to Friday from 7 am to 9 pm. 

For Homeless Shelters and Service Providers 

For Food Banks/Food Program Providers 

If you are feeling ill, stay at home and away from others

Vaccine

Physical Distancing: 

  • Change the layout of your centre so there is enough space for staff, volunteers and clients to maintain physical distance
  • Remove client wait areas. Get people to wait outdoors (weather permitting). Use pylons or tape spaced 2 metres apart to guide clients on where to stand in line. 
  • Mark or assign work stations so that staff/volunteers can maintain a 2-metre distance apart.
  • Limit the number of clients in the centre at one time.
  • Stagger arrivals and departures to reduce client contact.
  • Allow staff and volunteers to fill out any forms or paperwork on behalf of clients. (NOTE: Clients must be able to view and verbally verify the information documented is correct. Staff and volunteers cannot sign on behalf of a client.)  
  • Extend hours or open on additional days so clients can be spread out.  

Hand Hygiene and Respiratory Etiquette 

  • Wash hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer often. Do this before and after receiving items and making packages for delivery.
  • Provide alcohol-based hand sanitizer (60-90% concentration) and tissues at all entrances and work stations.
  • Remind staff, volunteers and clients to sneeze or cough into the bend of their elbow or into a tissue. Used tissue must be thrown  into the trash. Wash or sanitize hands after.

Masks/Face Coverings

  • Wear a mask or face covering. NOTE: Face coverings must be worn inside all public spaces (unless exempted due to age or health reasons)
  • Develop a policy and protocols for your organization on mask use.
  • Educate staff and volunteers on proper use and disposal of masks.

Cleaning and Disinfecting

  • Increase surface cleaning and disinfecting on high-touch surfaces (E.g. doorknobs, light switches, all phones, counters, handles on cabinets, fridges, utility or grocery carts, pens, computers stations, etc.) 
  • Use only disinfectants that have an 8-digit Drug Identification Number (DIN). The DIN means a product is approved by Health Canada for use in this country. Click here for a specific list of hard-surface disinfectants that are known to be effective against COVID-19. Chlorine bleach may also be used as a disinfectant.
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions for the safe use of products for cleaning or disinfecting. This includes ensuring disinfectants are left on surfaces/items for the proper length of time to be effective.  

Food Distribution Considerations: 

  • Contact the client ahead of time to arrange a delivery/pickup time.
  • Let staff and volunteers handle the food for clients. Pre-pack food boxes or bags based on clients’ wishes and pass out food at the door. Food boxes or bags may need to be smaller or lighter for easier delivery/carrying.
  • If delivering packages for clients:
    • Wash or sanitize hands before the delivery.
    • Drop off the package at the client’s door without entering their home.
    • If staff/volunteer must enter the home, put on a mask before entering.  Avoid touching surfaces in the client’s home.  Maintain 2m distance from other people in the home. Wash or sanitize hands when leaving the client’s home. 

Additional Resources

Download and print resources below:

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

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 
  • Get tested if: 
  • You can also call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5020, for more advice 
  • COVID-19 Assessment Centres can test and assist people who are suspected of having COVID-19. Please note these centres only operate on an appointment basis (no walk-ins are allowed).  
  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19, have been exposed to someone with the virus, or have been directed by the Health Unit, you MUST remain in isolation (or quarantine) and monitor your symptoms. If at any time you develop symptoms or they get worse, contact the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5020. If you have a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.  
  • You can check your COVID-19 lab results online at the Ontario government website. To get results, you will need your OHIP card number and address. If you cannot get your results online, please contact the COVID Assessment Centre where you were tested.
  • Follow this link for follow up instructions after you’ve been tested for COVID-19.
If You Test Positive for COVID-19 
  • You MUST continue to isolate if you test positive for the virus. Public health 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 these questions is essential to protect the health of others in the community.   
  • PLEASE NOTE: Due to workload issues, Public Health Ontario and the Ontario Ministry of Health’s Provincial Work Force (PHO) are assisting the Health Unit in following up with COVID-19 case and contacts in Northumberland County, Haliburton County and the City of Kawartha Lakes. You may be contacted by public health staff from any of these organizations. Please follow their guidance to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
  • You will receive regular contacts from public health staff to see how you are doing and to monitor any symptoms you have. Public health staff will also ensure you are staying in self-isolation at home and 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. 
Close Contacts 
  • Public health staff (either Health Unit or Public Health Ontario staff) 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 
  • Public health will follow up with these close contacts and give instructions on what they need to do (like quarantining) to slow the spread of COVID-19. Public health will also do regular phone calls with close contacts to check in on them and ensure they follow public health directions. 

COVID-19 High-Risk Contact – Video explains what to do if you are identified as a ‘high-risk’ contact.

Mask Use during COVID-19

On This Page:

Wearing masks/face coverings is an 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.

NOTE: 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. For complete details, click here.

The Province now recommends wearing a mask or face covering outdoors when you can’t maintain 2 metres physical distance from others outside your household. 

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

Medical masks provide extra protection to stop the spread of tiny droplets when you cough or sneeze. The Public Health Agency of Canada recommends medical masks be worn by:

  • Anyone who has tested for or has symptoms of COVID-19.
  • People caring for someone who has tested positive or has symptoms of COVID-19.
  • People who live in an overcrowded setting with someone who has tested positive or has symptoms of COVID-19.
  • People who are at risk of more severe disease or outcomes from COVID-19.
  • People who are at higher risk of exposure to COVID-19 because of their living situation.

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 Ontario government is now mandating that masks have to be worn in all indoor public places across the province (with some exceptions).

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

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

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

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

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

  • Children under age 2 years, or a child under the age of five years either chronologically or developmentally
  • A person who is unable to remove a mask without assistance
  • Anyone who cannot safely wear a non-medical mask or face covering due to medical reasons such as, but not limited to, respiratory disease, cognitive difficulties or difficulties in hearing or processing information

Click here for specific information on mask use regulations currently in effect in Ontario.


Double Masking

Double-masking means wearing one face mask on top of another. An example is wearing a disposable mask underneath a cloth mask.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new research that found wearing a cloth mask over a surgical mask offers more protection against the coronavirus, as does tying knots on the ear loops of surgical masks. This resulted in new CDC guidelines for Americans on improving mask fit, which includes adding layers of material to a mask (either by using cloth masks with multiple layers of fabric, or by wearing a disposable mask under a cloth mask).

This change comes as new, more contagious COVID-19 variants are circulating. So far, the Public Health Agency of Canada has not changed its recommendations on mask use in Canada. In November 2020, PHAC did update its recommendations to say non-medical masks should be made of at least three layers, with the middle layer being a filter-type fabric.

Currently in Ontario, you must wear a non-medical mask or face covering that covers your nose, mouth and chin inside any business or public place. Properly wearing a mask inside public spaces and maintaining 2 metres physical distance from others are important measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Masks will not stop you from getting COVID-19, but can help protect others.

While there is no instruction to ‘double mask’ in Canada, consider doing so if it makes you feel more comfortable (taking care to ensure it does not make breathing difficult). Add an extra layer to your cloth mask or try wearing a cloth mask over a disposable mask.

The best advice to prevent COVID-19 remains staying home as much as possible and avoiding contact with other people you do not live with.


How to Properly Use a Homemade Mask/Face Covering:  
  • Wash your hands immediately before putting it on and immediately after taking it off (use good hand hygiene while wearing it too)
  • Masks should fit snugly, but comfortably against your face (non-gaping) allowing you to breathe without restriction. Masks should be secured with ties or ear loops and have multiple fabric layers
  • Do not share cloth masks with others
  • Remember not to touch or rub your eyes while wearing it
  • Avoid moving, adjusting or touching your mask while using it, as it could become contaminated on the outside. 
  • Change face coverings if they get slightly wet or dirty
  • Wash the cloth mask after each use as it can get damp or dirty:
    • Put it directly into the washing machine or a bag that can be emptied into the washing machine and then disposed of
    • Cloth masks can be laundered with other items using a hot cycle, and then dried thoroughly.
    • Wash your hands with soap and water after putting the mask into the laundry.
  • Homemade masks that cannot be washed should be thrown out in a properly lined garbage bin as soon as they get damp, dirty or crumpled. Do not throw used masks on the ground or in a shopping cart. Immediately after wash your hands with soap and water.
  • For ideas on making your own homemade cloth masks, visit this Public Health Agency of Canada masks resource page.

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

Do:

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

Do Not:

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

General COVID-19 Video Resources

COVID-19 Resources

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


On This Page


COVID-19 Vaccines

Testing Positive for COVID-19 – What To Do Videos

General COVID-19 Prevention Videos

Emergency Orders, Directives and Closures

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, different levels of government have put in place the following directives, orders and closures. Please read on for further details.

On This Page:

HKPR District Health Unit

Provincial Orders
  • Ontario has announced plans to lift remaining COVID-19 restrictions by March 2022. This will be a slow and gradual process based on COVID-19 case rates and other key health care indicators (hospital admissions, ICU cases, etc.) staying stable and low. The Ontario government’s full announcement on the timing and gradual lifting of COVID-19 restrictions is available here.
  • Find out the current COVID-19 restriction in place by clicking here.
  • Ontario has released an enhanced vaccine certificate (with QR code) and new Verify Ontario mobile app (that allows businesses to easily scan COVID-19 proof of vaccination for customers and patrons). Get full details here.
  • Ontario is providing third doses of COVID-19 vaccines to certain vulnerable, high-risk groups.
  • Anyone 12 years of age and older is now eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines. Click here for the latest information on where and how to get COVID-19 vaccination in Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes.

Federal Orders 

Designated Officers

The following video resources have been produced for Emergency Services Designated Officers and/or designates.

HKPR encourages you to review the videos and the HKPR “Infectious Reference Guide for Designated Officers” Guide.

The Guide is available in a PDF format and can be requested from HKPR, free-of-charge, by emailing a request to outbreaks@hkpr.on.ca or by calling the HKPR Communicable Disease Intake line at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 1232.

Employee Health and Safety During COVID-19

Know your rights as an employee when it comes to health and safety during COVID-19.

Resources/Legislation

All levels of governments are providing support and protection for people affected by coronavirus. The following resources can help you understand your rights. (Information is current at the time of this posting; please check official government websites for the most recent updates):   

Ontario Human Rights Commission FAQs 
Explains your rights during COVID-19 in series of questions and answers.

Ontario Government

The Ontario government has set out health and safety protections for workers during COVID-19. All workers have the right to refuse unsafe work. Some of the protections are included in the following: 

If you have identified a health and safety issue at your workplace, contact your manager or supervisor, your Joint Health and Safety Committee representative, and/or your union representative.  

For Additional Complaints/Concerns
  • If you’re unable to resolve concerns, or want to report a workplace health and safety incident, critical injury, fatality, or work refusal, call the Health and Safety Contact Centre at the Ministry of Labour to report your issue.  You can speak to a representative at 1-877-202-0008.
  • For less urgent health and safety issues, file an online complaint now.  The Health and Safety Contact Centre will review and respond in due course. 
  • If you’ve been fired or punished for exercising your rights under the Ontario Health and Safety Act, you can file a reprisal complaint with the Ontario Labour Relations Board.
Business Questions

Local COVID-19 Testing & Assessment Centres

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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 operate on an appointment-basis 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.

Please Note: If you are having difficulty accessing your COVID-19 testing results, please follow up with the Assessment Centre where you were tested.

City of Kawartha Lakes

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

The RMH COVID-19 Assessment Centre is now located at Ross Memorial Hospital (10 Angeline St. N.) in Lindsay. Testing is by appointment 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 anytime and leave a message.
  • Do not leave multiple messages or submit multiple forms. Someone will get back to you as soon as possible (within 1-2 business days).
  • Appointments are available Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 4:15 pm

When arriving for your appointment:

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

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

Northumberland County

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

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

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

The NHH COVID-19 Assessment Centre will screen patients, test (if deemed appropriate) and direct patients to proceed as required. Through a temporary arrangement, 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.

Trent Hills COVID-19 Assessment Centre in Campbellford

The centre is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. To book an appointment for COVID-19 test, call the local Assessment Centre directly at 705-395-1801. Leave a message if directed to so and someone will get back to you. Please do not go to the Assessment Centre without first calling to book an appointment. Please do not call Campbellford Memorial Hospital.

The Trent Hills COVID 19 Assessment Centre is located at Campbellford Memorial Hospital (146 Oliver Rd., in Campbellford) on the basement level in the former paramedic bay and offices. Access to the site is through a 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.

Haliburton County

Haliburton County COVID-19 Community Assessment Centre

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

  • You have at least one COVID-19 symptom.
  • You have been exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 case, as informed by your public health unit.
  • You are a resident or worker in a setting that has a COVID-19 outbreak, as identified and informed by your local public health unit.
  • You are eligible for testing as part of a targeted testing initiative directed by the Ministry of Health or Ministry of Long-Term Care.

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. This 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. All appointments for testing must be pre-booked. No Ontarian who is symptomatic or has been exposed to COVID-19 will be declined a test at the Assessment Centre.

COVID-19 Testing at Pharmacies

The Ontario government is now allowing select pharmacies to provide COVID-19 testing, including some in the local Health Unit area. Testing at pharmacies will be free, by appointment, and available to anyone, including people with COVID-19 symptoms and close contacts. Pharmacies will be required to follow stringent infection prevention and control measures to protect staff, patients and customers from the virus.

Printable COVID-19 Resources

Download and print these COVID-19 resources below:

Image of AODA compliant 'Keep Your Distance on Elevators' poster - click as a link
Image of AODA compliant ‘Keep Your Distance on Elevators’ poster – click as a link

Keep Distance on Elevators
Poster

Prevention poster for customers or visitors to a workplace
Prevention Customers

Prevention for Customers
Poster

Prevent the spread poster which can be used in the community
Prevention Community

Prevention in the Community
Poster

Prevention poster for tenants
Prevention for Tenants

Prevention for Tenants
Poster

Image of maximum occupance poster – click as a link

Max Occupancy – Businesses
Poster

COVID-19 – We’re All in This Together

Image of staff member Sue Shikaze

Sue Shikaze
Health Promoter
HKPR District Health Unit

I’m a big music fan, and Canadian artist Sam Roberts is one of my favourites. His song, ‘We’re All in This Together’, seems like a perfect soundtrack for the current COVID-19 situation, as we try to understand how best to cope and stay healthy. 

We all play a part in preventing the spread of COVID-19 by: washing our hands, practising social distancing, and staying home if sick. 

While no one is immune to COVID-19, some people are more likely to feel stressed because they are:

  • Alone and isolated.
  • Trying to care for and occupy children who are off school.
  • Fearful of finances because they’re off work and not getting paid. 
  • Have an existing illness or compromised immune system that puts them at greater risk of COVID-19. 

That’s when Sam Roberts’ message that ‘we’re all in this together’ really strikes a chord. Even with social distancing, we can build a sense of connection that comes from acts of kindness and generosity, both large and small. It’s heartening to see community-minded actions already happening here. Area libraries are offering online story time. Local Rotary Club members are volunteering to deliver grocery orders to those unable to get out. 

These acts can inspire us to assist others too. Let’s: 

  • Donate food and other essential household items to a local food bank, which faces increasing demand as more people are home from work and may not be getting paid.
  • Call a neighbour who lives alone and provide reassurance and support.
  • Offer to get groceries and other supplies for a neighbour in need. We can leave items on their porch or by the front door for them to pick up. 
  • Volunteer with local community groups who may be delivering groceries or frozen meals.

Doing good in times of need does us good too… so it’s time we change our tune and remember those key lyrics: we’re all in this together!


Mental Health and COVID-19

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

  • Maintain routines as you’re able, keeping in mind the importance to take precautions such as physical distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19.
  • Earn peace of mind by getting both doses of COVID-19 vaccine, to ensure you are fully protected against the virus.
  • Seek professional help. If you’re overwhelmed, talk by phone to a health professional or counsellor. If you have coverage for a counsellor through work, access your Employee and Family Assistance Plan.  
  • Eat well 
  • Stay active: Doing fun and healthy activities outdoors makes it easier to keep physical distance.  
  • Get enough sleep 
  • Look back at challenging situations and see how you successfully coped with them 
  • Limit your daily dose of COVID-19-related news to reduce anxiety and worry. Fight fear with facts about the pandemic by turning to credible sources of information. 

Supporting Others 

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

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

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

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

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

Centre for Addition and Mental Health  

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

Guidance for Mental Health Resources for Camp Operators and Staff (Ontario Ministry of Health) provides a list of resources on how to talk to children and youth about the COVID-19 pandemic and seek mental health supports.

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

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

Wellness Together Canada – Mental health and substance use support.

World Health Organization 

Physical Distancing at Work

Keep your distance at work to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Here’s how to practise physical distancing at work:


  • Staff and customers MUST maintain a distance of two metres (six feet) wherever possible. 
  • Offer alternatives to customers such as delivery or pick up services. Consider partnering with a non-profit group to provide delivery options for vulnerable clients/customers who may have a hard time accessing your services. 
  • Post self-screening signage at entrances to tell customers to delay their visit  if they are sick.
  • Implement strategies to help eliminate customer lineups, such as extended shopping hours 
  • Stagger employee use of common break spaces 
  • Replace face-to-face meetings with tele- or video-conferencing options 
  • Postpone or cancel non-essential work travel.
  • Wear non-medical masks or face coverings, as directed by the Health Unit. This is especially important in situations where physical distancing is difficult.
Additional Resources:

Fact Sheet – COVID-19 and Physical Distancing – Public Health Ontario

Download and print resources below:

Hand Hygiene/Respiratory Etiquette at Work

Health is in your hands! Protect yourself, your staff and customers from COVID-19. Here’s what to do:


  • Provide hand sanitizer and tissues at all entrances and work stations 
  • Encourage employees to wash their hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water. If soap and water aren’t available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Encourage everyone at work to cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Put the used tissue in the garbage.
  • If someone doesn’t have a tissue, they should cough or sneeze into their upper sleeve or elbow, never their hands.
  • Wear a non-medical mask or face covering.
  • Encourage and provide time for people to get their COVID-19 vaccine.

Download and print resources below:

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

Are You Sick?
Poster

Image of Attention Staff AODA compliant poster – click to download
Image of Attention Staff AODA compliant poster – click to download

Attention Staff
Poster

Image of Attention Visitors AODA compliant poster - click to download
Image of Attention Visitors AODA compliant poster – click to download

Attention Visitors
Poster

Image of Attention Shoppers AODA compliant poster – click to download
Image of Attention Shoppers AODA compliant poster – click to download

Attention Shoppers
Poster

Watch our videos on YouTube

Places of Worship during COVID-19

On This Page:


Latest Situation

NEW! – As of Oct. 25, places of worship and other locations where a wedding, funeral or religious service/rite/ceremony takes place can choose to implement proof of COVID-19 vaccination requirements for people attending these events. In exchange, current capacity limits and physical distancing rules can be lifted.

Under Ontario’s current COVID-19 restrictions, the following is allowed:

  • Indoor and outdoor weddings, funerals and religious services can take place.
  • Capacity at these services is limited to the number of people who can distance at least two metres. NOTE: This limit is removed if the venue hosting the service implements proof of COVID-19 vaccination.
  • Masks/face coverings must be worn inside. Mask use is also recommended outdoors if you cannot stay 2 metres apart from someone outside your household
  • Drive-in services, rites or ceremonies can still be offered
  • Consider livestreaming services for those who are unable or do not feel comfortable attending in-person
  • Receptions are permitted, with up to 25 people indoors and a maximum of 100 people outdoors

Read on for additional ways to protect the health and safety of your members and congregants by taking measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.


COVID-19 Vaccination
  • Encourage members to get both doses of their COVID-19 vaccines, so they are fully protected against the virus.
  • Consider helping members arrange a vaccination, especially if they find it challenging or difficult to navigate their way to get a dose. Click here for COVID-19 vaccination clinic information in the area.

Use of Non-Medical Masks Face Coverings During Religious Services

Everyone must wear a mask at all times when indoors attending a place of worship. The only exceptions are anyone who:

  • Is younger than two years of age;
  • Has a medical condition that inhibits their ability to wear a mask or face covering
  • Is unable to put on or remove a mask or face covering without help from another person.
  • Needs to temporarily remove their mask or face covering while in the indoor area, as it may be necessary for the purposes of health and safety.
  • Is being reasonably accommodated in accordance with the Human Rights Code or the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (2005).
  • Performs work for the business or organization, is in an area that is not accessible to members of the public, and is able to maintain a physical distance of at least two metres (6 feet) from every other person while in the indoor area.

This last point may allow priests, ministers or other worship leaders to remove their mask during the mass (or service) when preaching to the congregation from a lectern or pulpit, so long as the area is separated by at least four metres from other people.

The priest, minister or worship leader must wear a mask when greeting people as they come in or leave the place of worship, and during communion.

A place of worship should consult with its local police service or municipal bylaw enforcement, as they may have a different interpretation and require a priest, minister or worship leader to wear a mask at all times.


Weddings and Funerals

The following measures apply to weddings and funerals:

  • Indoor and outdoor weddings, funerals and religious services are allowed.
  • Capacity at these services is limited to the number of people who can distance at least two metres. NOTE: Capacity limits are removed if the venue hosting the service implements proof of COVID-19 vaccination.
  • Receptions are permitted, with up to 25 people indoors and a maximum of 100 people outdoors.
  • Mask use and physical distancing rules apply.
  • Drive-in services, rites or ceremonies are permitted, with certain conditions
  • Virtual services are allowed

Proof of Vaccine Requirements for Weddings and Funerals

  • Proof of COVID-19 vaccines are not required to attend a funeral service or wedding ceremony, but venues hosting these types of events may choose to require proof of vaccination for attendees.
  • Proof of vaccination or a valid exemption is now required to attend any wedding reception in Ontario (including those held in conference/conventions centres and places of worship)
  • For a reception or gathering associated with a funeral, the following applies:
    • Proof of vaccination is not required if the event is held in a place of worship, funeral home, crematorium, or similar establishment
    • Proof of vaccination or valid exemption is required if the event is held in meeting or event spaces (like conference or conventions centres)

General COVID-19 Preventive Tips for Places of Worship
  • Encourage everyone to get their COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Maintain physical distancing by staying two metres (six feet) apart at all times.
  • Anyone who is feeling sick must stay home and not attend a service.
  • Encourage everyone to wash their hands. Ensure hand-cleaning stations and alcohol-based sanitizer dispensers are available at entrances to your place of worship. 
  • Ensure everyone wears a mask or face covering at all times, including when seated during the worship service.
  • Do NOT shake hands or hug.  
  • Remind people to cough/sneeze into their sleeves. 
  • Discourage group singing. Use audio or video recordings instead.
  • Review the sharing of items during special religious sacraments/rites, at least while COVID-19 continues to circulate. You may want to consult further with your parish/diocese/denomination/national body. 
  • Maintain a clean and safe space through regular cleaning and disinfecting. High-touch surfaces should be cleaned twice a day or following each service (whichever is more frequent).
  • Have a traffic flow plan in place, such as one-way enter/one-way exit.
  • Encourage members/parishioners who are more vulnerable to COVID-19 (including those over age 70 and people with compromised immune systems) to take part in virtual services or hold a dedicated service solely for this group.
  • Consider keeping a record of all attendees for contact tracing in case of a COVID-19 outbreak.

Stay Connected to Members/Congregants in Other Ways
  • Continue to offer virtual or live-streamed services, especially for people who may still feel uncomfortable attending a service in-person.
  • Keep in touch by phone or via social media/email/text. Share credible information – like what’s on this website on how people can protect themselves from COVID-19. 

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 “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, ext. 5020.

Cleaning and Disinfection for Public Spaces

Cleaning and disinfecting public spaces is essential to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Follow this guidance on cleaning and disinfecting in public spaces and workplaces in Ontario.


On This Page:


What you should know
Icon image of a tub of cleaning supplies
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces twice per day
  • In addition to routine cleaning and disinfecting, high-touch surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected twice per day and when visibly dirty.
  • High-touch surfaces include, but are not limited to: doorknobs, elevator buttons, light switches, toilet handles, counters, hand rails, touch screen surfaces and keypads.
  • In addition to routine cleaning and disinfecting, check with your organization for any specific protocols for cleaning and disinfecting for COVID-19.
Select products
Cleaners
  • Break down grease and remove organic material from the surface.
  • If used separately, always use cleaner to clean the surface area before applying disinfectants.
  • Can be purchased with cleaner and disinfectant combined in a single product. These products are called ‘cleaner disinfectants.’
Icon of a sponge filled with bubbles
Disinfectants
Icon of a spray bottle of disinfectant
Disinfectant Wipes
  • Have combined cleaners and disinfectants in the same wipe.
  • May become dry due to fast drying properties. They should not be used if they become dry.
  • Ensure surfaces are saturated with cleaner disinfectant while using wipes.
  • 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 for specific contact time)
    • wear gloves when handling cleaning or disinfecting 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: COVID-19 Cleaning and Disinfection for Public Settings

How to Clean/Disinfect a Carpet to Eliminate COVID-19

The best option is to cover the carpet with vinyl or other material that can be easily cleaned and disinfected. If that’s not possible, do the following:

  • For regular cleaning and disinfecting, use a steam cleaner (the temperature is high enough to eliminate COVID)
  • For situations involving a biological spill, follow these steps:
    • Gather disposable towels, cleaners, disinfectants and other supplies you need to deal with the spill.
    • Don’t allow access to area until the spill is cleaned, disinfected and completely dry.
    • Put on gloves and facial protection (such as mask and eye protection, or face shield). If there is a possibility of splashing, wear a gown too.
    • Mop up as much of the spill as possible with disposable towels
    • Disinfect the entire spill area with a Health Canada approved disinfectant, allowing it to stand for the length of time of time recommended by the manufacturer. Do not use spray for this step.
    • In a waste receptacle, safely dispose of the gloves, disposable towels, and other materials used to wipe up the spill.
    • Remove gloves and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water.
    • Steam clean the carpet.
Additional Resources:

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Physical Distancing

Practise physical distancing as much as possible anytime you’re outdoors or in the community. This is important to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Current Situation
  • Click here for current COVID-19 restrictions in Ontario.
  • Capacity limits are removed for any outdoor organized event (such as outdoor parades, outdoor memorial services and other similar events), but masks must be worn if a two-metre physical distancing cannot be maintained with others outside your household.
  • Currently, up to 100 people are allowed at outdoor social gatherings. Be sure to maintain 2 metres physical distance from anyone you do not live with. You must wear a mask if you are within 2 metres of a person who is not part of your household.
  • Currently, small indoor gatherings of up to 25 people are allowed (including those from different households). Consider wearing masks, especially depending on your comfort level and the vaccination status of attendees.
Tips for Physical Distancing:
  • Keep a minimum two-metre (six-foot) distance between yourself and others. That’s roughly the length of a hockey stick or a pool noodle.
  • When out in the community, practise physical distancing.
  • Wear masks inside all public places. Consider mask use outdoors too, when unable to maintain physical distance from those outside your household.
  • Get outside to exercise and be active, but try to maintain a physical distance of at last 2 metres (6-feet) from others.
  • Get both doses of your COVID-19 vaccine when eligible.
  • Greet people with a wave, bow or nod, instead of handshake or hug. After being outside, wash your hands with soap and water.
  • Work from home if possible. Talk to your supervisor, manager, or employer about options. Cancel in-person business meetings. Instead, look at teleconferencing or video chat options.
  • If you are sick, stay home and use Ontario’s online COVID-19 Screening Tool to see what additional care you may need.
  • Sanitize/wash your hands when entering or exiting building. Avoid long lineups. Use tap to pay instead of handling money.
  • Do NOT use public transit if you are sick. Self-isolate at home right away.
  • If you must use public transit, wash hands often, keep a two-metre distance between other passengers, wear a non-medical mask and aim to travel in non-peak hours.

Remember: While you may not feel sick, and while these measures may seem inconvenient, they are important to reduce the spread of COVID-19.


Additional Resources:

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