Reopening Your Business During COVID-19

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

On This Page


Who can reopen?
  • With conditions improving, the province is allowing more businesses to reopen during COVID-19. This includes many businesses in Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes that can reopen with public health and workplace safety restrictions in place.
  • Read Ontario’s Stage 3 Framework for Reopening to get specifics on which businesses/services can open and what additional health and safety guidelines are in place.
  • If you have further questions about Stage 3 reopening, call Ontario’s Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659.
  • For resources on reopening in Stage 3, visit the Ontario government website.
  • Click here for specific COVID-19 reopening guidelines/rules for community centres, pools/splash pads/wading pools, playgrounds/play structures, team sports/live sporting events, restaurants/bars, performing arts centres and weddings.


Common Health and Safety Measures to Follow

To protect employers, employees and customers, the province is recommending common health and safety measures across all business sectors. They are listed below as general guidelines. You are strongly urged to review the sector-specific guidelines for your store/business to ensure you follow all the rules. Ontario has also released a new COVID-19 Workplace Safety Plan for employers to put in place specific controls to make the workplace safer for everyone. 

Physical Distancing
  • Limit face-to-face contact by encouraging physical distancing at work
  • Ensure that customers/clients and staff maintain a distance of 2 metres (6 feet) from each other as much as possible 
  • Control and restrict the number and flow of customers/clients at any one time in your store/business to maintain physical distancing 
  • Post signs to remind employees and customers/clients to maintain physical distancing 
  • Install partitions wherever possible to protect staff and customers/clients 
  • Provide online ordering services and contactless delivery wherever possible 
  • Ensure that workstations are 2 metres (6 feet) apart, install barriers or partitions, or rearrange workstations as needed  
  • Stagger employee start- and break-times. Consider changing the rotation of shifts 
  • Wherever possible, avoid sharing work stations, tools and equipment 
  • Postpone all non-essential tasks 
  • Allow employees to work from home wherever possible 
  • Hold meetings by teleconference or online instead of meeting in person 
  • If direct customer/client contact is essential, ensure employees wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) suitable for their jobs (for example: gloves, masks) 
Screening
Cleaning and Disinfecting
Hand Hygiene and Respiratory Etiquette
  • Encourage good hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette by providing handwashing supplies and appropriate facilities 
  • Post signs to remind employees to wash their hands with soap and water frequently 
  • Post signs to remind employees of respiratory etiquette (coughing into sleeves, etc.) 
  • Food buffets should be closed. Instead food should be prepared and packaged to limit possible contamination 
  • Provide hand sanitizer at entrances whenever possible 
Non-Medical Masks and Face Coverings
  • Non-medical masks and face coverings must now be worn in indoor public places in Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes. Get full details here.
  • Businesses are being directed to put in place a policy and post signs that direct customers/patrons to wear a mask upon entry. Certain age and medical exemptions do apply for wearing a mask.
  • Employees who work in areas that serve the public must also wear masks.

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

Information/Resources for Specific Businesses to Reopen

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

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

Reporting Workplace Health and Safety Concerns

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

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

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


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

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

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. 
  • Typically, you can stop self-isolating 14 days after you first had COVID-19 symptoms or when you tested positive (as long as you do not have a fever and any other symptoms are getting better). 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. 

Reopening Your Business During COVID-19

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

Who can reopen?

Common Health and Safety Measures to Follow

To protect employers, employees and customers, the province is recommending common health and safety measures across all business sectors. They are listed below as general guidelines. You are also strongly urged to review the sector-specific guidelines for your store/business to ensure you follow all the rules. 

Physical Distancing
  • Limit face-to-face contact  
  • Ensure that customers/clients and staff maintain a distance of 2 metres (6 feet) from each other as much as possible 
  • Control and restrict the number and flow of customers/clients at any one time in your store/business to maintain physical distancing 
  • Post signs to remind customers/clients to maintain physical distancing 
  • Install partitions wherever possible to protect staff and customers/clients 
  • Provide online ordering services and contactless delivery wherever possible 
  • Ensure that workstations are 2 metres (6 feet) apart, install barriers or partitions, or rearrange workstations as needed 
  • Post signs to remind employees to maintain physical distancing 
  • Stagger employee start- and break-times. Consider changing the rotation of shifts 
  • Wherever possible, avoid sharing work stations, tools and equipment 
  • Postpone all non-essential tasks 
  • Allow employees to work from home wherever possible 
  • Hold meetings by teleconference or online instead of meeting in person 
  • If direct customer/client contact is essential, ensure employees wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) suitable for their jobs (for example: gloves, masks) 
Screening
Cleaning and Disinfecting
  • Clean and disinfect all commonly touched or shared surfaces frequently 
  • Workstations, tools and equipment must be cleaned before use by another employee 
  • Follow these public health guidelines for cleaning/disinfecting public washrooms
Hand Hygiene and Respiratory Etiquette
  • Provide hand washing supplies and appropriate facilities 
  • Post signs to remind employees to wash their hands with soap and water frequently 
  • Post signs to remind employees of respiratory etiquette (coughing into sleeves, etc.) 
  • Food buffets should be closed. Instead food should be prepared and packaged to limit possible contamination 
  • Provide hand sanitizer at entrances whenever possible 

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

Information/Resources for Specific Businesses to Reopen

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

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

Reporting Workplace Health and Safety Concerns

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

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

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


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

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Follow us for COVID-19 Updates

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

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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

Garage Sales During COVID-19

Under Ontario’s Stage 3 reopening plan, garage sales can be organized. But the Health Unit strongly encourages organizers and attendees to take precautions during COVID-19.

Garage/Yard Sales

If you have concerns about your health or potential exposure to the coronavirus, you may want to hold off organizing a garage/yard sale at this time. If you decide to go ahead with a sale, take COVID-19 precautions..

If You Organize a Garage/Yard Sale
  • If you or anyone in your hold is feeling ill, DO NOT go ahead with organizing the sale.
  • Be aware of the limits on large gatherings currently in place during COVID-19. The limit for outdoor gatherings is up to 100 people, while the limit on indoor gatherings is up to 50 people.
  • Keep an eye on the number of people attending the sale, and consider staggering the number of people coming and going to allow for physical distancing, especially if the sales area is small.
  • Consider holding a sale outside on your driveway or in your garage, never in your home. It is safer to hold sales in outdoor or well-ventilated areas
  • Encourage attendees to practise physical distancing as much as possible. Remind them to stay 2 metres (6 feet) apart. Consider using signs, chalk or other markings to show buyers where to stand to keep a safe distance.
  • Space out sales items and tables to allow for/accommodate physical distancing.
  • Provide alcohol-based hand sanitizer for people. Encourage its use, especially after any exchange of money.
  • Ask people not to attend the sale if they are feeling sick or have symptoms of COVID-19
  • Wash your hands with soap and water (or hand sanitizer if soap/water is unavailable), especially after handling cash
  • Clean frequently-touched surfaces such as tables and counter-tops often with household cleaner or diluted bleach solution.
  • Ask potential buyers not to touch items unless they are making a purchase.
  • Reduce contact when exchanging money. Try to maintain 2 metres distance. If able, set up a contactless payment method, such as e-transfer.
  • Be aware of other safety considerations. For instance, baby walkers, infant self-feeding devices and other items are banned products in Canada. There are also common second-hand items like car seats, cribs, helmets, playpens, strollers, children’s jewellery and kids’ sleepwear that must meet certain federal regulatory requirements before they can be bought or sold in Canada
If You are Attending a Garage/Yard Sale
  • Stay home if sick.
  • If possible, shop for used items online and arrange for delivery or curbside pickup
  • Avoid unnecessary handling of items, unless you are going to buy it
  • Maintain physical distancing by staying 2 metres (6 feet) from others at all times
  • Wash hands with soap and water after attending a sale (or use hand sanitizer if soap/water is not available)
  • Consider wearing a non-medical (cloth) mask or face covering to sales, especially if physical distancing cannot be maintained
  • Pay with exact change if possible to reduce exchanging money multiple times
  • Clean and disinfect any items you purchase and wash hands after handling any goods. Avoid buying items that are difficult to clean.   
Second-Hand Items

Here are some more tips if you plan to buy second-hand essential items online during COVID-19: 

  • If you, or someone in your home has any symptoms of COVID-19 do not buy or sell any items.  Stay home and self isolate 
  • Stick to community-based online groups for buying and selling. Use groups or apps where it’s easier to confirm that people are who they say they are (such as linked to a personal profile of a social media account).  If in doubt, don’t engage 
  • If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Watch out for scams.  
  • Buy and sell with people that live in your community.  Avoid travel. 
  • Don’t provide your home address or visit anyone you do not know. If you do know the person, arrange for a curbside pickup or drop off. Never enter another person’s house or allow anyone to enter your home. 
  • If possible, use digital payment services rather than cash.  
  • Drop off or pick up goods during the day and in a public location.  
  • Avoid all close contact. Practise physical distancing and stay metres (6 feet) away from others at all times.  
  • After purchasing an item, thoroughly clean and disinfect it. Avoid buying items that are difficult to clean. 
  • Don’t touch your face and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling items or cash. 
Additional Resources

Community Gardens and COVID-19

Community gardens are allowed to open during COVID-19.

The Health Unit is offering recommendations to community gardens that operate in Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes to protect the health and safety of everyone during COVID-19. Below are the minimum standards that all community gardens must have in place before opening. 

Use these standards as a starting point to begin planning and developing specific COVID-19 policies and protocols for your community garden. Be sure to communicate these plans to all garden members. You are also required to update information with the Health Unit. 

Entrance Restrictions/Requirements
  • Members of the public are not allowed into the gardens. Only garden members are allowed (NOTE: Please find a downloadable, printable ‘Closed’ sign to put up in your community garden)
  • Garden members cannot visit the garden if they show symptoms of COVID-19, are feeling sick from something they ate or drank, or have been in contact with someone with COVID-19
  • Post signs around the garden on COVID-19 symptoms, physical distancing, and handwashing. Policies and protocols relating to the coronavirus should also be put up at all entrances and throughout the garden
  • Use a ‘sign-in and sign-out system’ to track who is in the garden each day 
  • Update the list of current registered members, staff and volunteers involved in the community garden. Track those who have agreed to participate under COVID-19 policies and protocols
Physical Distancing
  • Only allow a maximum of five people to work in the community garden at any one time (For example, develop a schedule where plots are numbered, and odd/even numbered plots come on different days)
  • Maintain physical distancing when two or more gardeners are present. Keep at least two metres (six feet) apart from others
  • If people plan to wear homemade/personal masks in the garden, follow this Public Health Ontario fact sheet on how to properly wear and throw away mask.
  • Remember wearing rubber gloves out in public does not reduce the risk of COVID-19. Handwashing with soap/water or hand sanitizer and not touching your face offer more protection 
  • If gardeners choose to wear mask and rubber gloves, wash hands before putting on the mask/gloves and after taking them off
  • Masks and rubber gloves must be disposed of in a lined garbage bin only
Hand Hygiene/Handwashing
  • Provide handwashing or alcohol-based hand sanitizer (with 60 to 90% alcohol content) stations
  • Encourage all gardeners to regularly wash/sanitize hands, especially before entering and after leaving the garden  
  • Gardeners should know that if their hands are visibly soiled, they must first wash them with soap and water or wipe them before applying alcohol-based hand sanitizer
Garden Equipment and Tools – Use and Cleaning Requirements
  • Ask garden members to bring their own tools, or assign select tools and tasks to individuals or smaller groups
  • Avoid sharing garden gloves. Gardeners should take their gloves home to wash after each use 
  • Use gardening techniques that reduce the need for frequent trips to the garden (For example: use mulch to reduce the need for watering/weeding, row covers to prevent pests, etc.)
  • Create and implement procedures to clean and disinfect all shared tools before and after garden work
  • Regularly clean gardening tools with soap and water to remove organic matter. First rinse off soap with water, then disinfect. Use either a mixture of 1 Tbsp. of household (5%) bleach and 1 litre of warm water (mix a fresh batch each day) with 10 minutes contact time OR commercial Lysol or Clorox disinfectant with contact time indicated on label for disinfecting
  • Ensure regular cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces such as doorknobs, padlocks, water spigots, gates handle, railings etc.
  • When bringing home garden produce, wash any vegetables and fruit under clean running water (not soapy water) before eating 
Notifying the Health Unit

You must notify the Health Unit of your plans to operate a community garden this growing season. Contact the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5006, or inspections@hkpr.on.ca to provide the following information:

  • Name and location of your community garden
  • Whether there are plans to open the community garden this year
  • Confirmation that you have received the Health Unit’s Checklist for Community Gardens and the Ontario’s Ministry of Health’s guidance document for operating a community garden 
  • Agreement that you will follow these directions open your garden  
Additional Resources

Farmers’ Markets and COVID-19


For Farmers/Vendors

During COVID-19, farmers who sell locally-grown and sourced foods in Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes must keep the health and safety of the community top of mind.  

During this pandemic, the Health Unit encourages local farmers’ markets to consider selling goods online. This is the best approach to use at this time. There are a number of e-commerce options to consider, including REKO Canada (a Finnish trade and fair consumption model used locally) and Open Food Network (an online partnership linked to the Farmers’ Markets Ontario). 

If you plan to organize a farmers’ market this season, you must first submit a detailed plan to the Health Unit. Public Health Inspectors will review and approve all submissions before any market can open or operate. Proposals must include details on how the market will maintain physical distancing, ensure proper handwashing, and follow appropriate cleaning/protocols. 

Criteria for E-Commerce/E-Market Proposals 

If your farmers’ market uses online payment options and lets customers drive or walk through to pick-up pre-ordered and prepaid food, you must include the following details in your proposal:    

  1. Confirmation that the landlord/property owner approves of the use for farmers’ market (Note: During COVID-19, many local municipalities are not allowing markets to set up on their property) 
  2. A written plan showing traffic circulation 
  3. A delivery plan based on the number of orders and drive-up customers. Consider staggering pick-up times based on a person’s last name (For example: People with last names starting with A-E can pick up from 9-9:30am, F-J from 9:30-10am, etc.)  
  4. Guidelines on how to ensure customers stay in their vehicles when picking up food 
  5. Plans to ensure customers walking to pick up orders maintain physical distance with vendors and other customers  
  6. Similar plans to ensure vendors/ volunteers maintain physical distancing 
  7. Locations where vendors/volunteers can access handwashing/alcohol-based hand sanitizing facilities  
  8. Written confirmation from vendors that they will not handle food or take part in the market if they are sick. Vendors will self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms 
  9. Types of products and how often they’re used to clean and disinfect surfaces where food orders are placed/organized (For example, after each order use household cleaners or diluted bleach solution of 1-part bleach to 9 parts water) 
  10. Ways that food products will be packaged so they are not loose 
  11. Process to ensure food orders are prepackaged in new, single-use boxes/bags and labelled with customer names or order numbers 
  12. Plans to ensure all refrigerated and frozen products are maintained at proper temperatures 
  13. A pledge to keep a list of vendors and all food products that each sell 
  14. Confirmation from each vendor that the food is obtained from an approved source:  
  • Meats ONLY come from an approved slaughterhouse and processed at approved facilities  
  • Dairy products ONLY made from pasteurized milk 
  • Perishable food requiring refrigeration during transport and distribution is maintained out of the danger zone (refrigerated) 

For questions or to submit your farmers’ market proposal, email the Health Unit at inspections@hkpr.on.ca. You can also call 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5006. 

A Public Health Inspector will review the proposal and respond to you. An inspection may also be needed to confirm the market is operating as outlined in the proposal. 

Additional Resources: 


For Shoppers/Customers
  • Follow the directions/guidance of food market organizers, especially if picking up food items in a ‘drive-through’ style market setting 
  • If picking up food items on foot, practise physical distancing by staying two metres (six feet) from other customers and vendors  
  • Minimize time at the market. Prepare a list for efficient shopping/pick up 
  • If possible, use alcohol-based sanitizer after pickup at each vendor 
  • Avoid touching your face 
  • Wear a non-medical mask or face covering if you want. It can help reduce the spread of COVID-19 to others. 
  • After returning home, wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds  
  • As always, wash produce with running water before eating or preparing food. And remember… there is no evidence that food or food packaging can spread COVID-19!  

Mask Use during COVID-19

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

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 on the mask use directive, including who is exempt, click here.

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 has instructed 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

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

Temporary Foreign Workers and COVID-19

The local Health Unit works closely with area farmers to ensure temporary (or migrant) workers can work safely during COVID-19.

Section 22 Order For Agriculture Farms Employing Migrant Workers

The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit has issued a Section 22 Class Order to all owners and operators of agricultural farms that employ migrant farm workers, participate in the federal Temporary Farm Worker (TFW) or operate any model of seasonal housing accommodations. The order applies to these agricultural farms in Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes.

The Order is effective from 12 pm (noon) July 9, 2020 and will remain in effect until the local Medical Officer of Health determines it is no longer required. The Order requires all owners and operators of agricultural operations to take additional steps to reduce the risk of COVID-19 for farm workers and local residents. Please read this Fact Sheet for more detailed information on the Order.


FAQs

Is this Order limited to seasonal housing accommodations for migrant workers or Temporary Farm Workers (TFWs) only?

This Section 22 Class Order applies to all owners and operators of agricultural farms that employ migrant farm workers, or participate in the federal Temporary Farm Worker (TFW) or operate any model of seasonal housing accommodations, including seasonal housing for non-migrant workers, which may include local residents, students or others.

Does this Order restrict a migrant worker from working at more than one farm or if they are staying in a seasonal accommodation at one of the farms they are working on?

Yes. Note that local workers such as students are also included in this Order and should only be working at one farm.

By working ‘exclusively at one workplace,’ does this Order prohibit a migrant worker from working at a roadside stand or farmer’s market?

No. The migrant worker would still be considered as working in the same workplace, just a different location (such as a different field). The intent is they are not working with other workers from a different farm. This is especially important to remember if working at a farmer’s market. Migrant and local workers from one farm should not interact with those from another agricultural operation.

Is there a difference between single unit accommodations versus group or multiple persons residing in the same accommodation?

No. They mean the same thing.


Additional Resource

Advice for Agricultural/Farm Owners and Operators – HKPR District Health Unit

Working With Farm Operators to Stop the Spread of COVID-19 on Farms – Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Health Unit Role

The Health Unit works to protect the health of workers and the well-being of the entire community by preventing the spread of the virus. This ensures area farms operate safely and by the rules, while allowing our local communities to stay well-fed and have access to quality, locally-produced food items.

During COVID-19, the Health Unit follows provincial directives and federal guidelines for temporary foreign workers. Throughout the growing season, our Public Health Inspectors work directly with local farmers and migrant workers to ensure these guidelines are followed to the letter of the law. Some of the provisions include: 

  • Regular housing/accommodation inspections
  • Requiring temporary workers to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival in Canada
  • Doing ongoing screening of workers for COVID-19 symptoms and putting in place provisions that they fully isolate themselves from others if they get sick
  • Making sure farmers do their part to protect the health of workers. This means: providing appropriate hygiene facilities/supplies, promoting physical distancing measures (such as making sure worker accommodations allow for at least 2-metre distance), and regular cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces.  

For more information on Health Unit efforts, call 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5006.

Advice for Agricultural/Farm Owners and Operators

How to Reduce the Spread of Illness
  • Workers should be educated on how to self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Encourage regular hand hygiene by following proper handwashing and hand sanitizing methods.
  • Post hand hygiene signs in visible locations (like in washrooms, above sinks, dispenser holders).
  • Alcohol-based hand rubs (ABHR) onsite should have an alcohol concentration between 70%- 90%.
  • Liquid handsoap, paper towels and ABHR dispensers should be checked regularly to ensure they are full. Single-use, disposable products are preferred. If using refillable dispensers, ensure they are cleaned first followed by disinfection between refills.
  • Post additional posters as needed in high-visible locations to reinforce the message not to spread germs and cover your cough. Find printable resources here.
  • Practise proper respiratory etiquette. This includes coughing/sneezing into your sleeve or a tissue (not your hand). Wash hands with soap and water or ABHR immediately afterwards.
  • Clean and disinfect commonly-touched surfaces regularly and more often when someone is ill. These include doorknobs, light switches, handrails, faucets, fridge handles, keyboards, and phones.
  • Never share items that come into contact with the mouth or nose such as toothbrushes, eating/drinking utensils, or cigarettes/smoking devices.
  • Personal grooming items should not be shared (like hand towels, combs, brushes, shaving equipment, and nail cutters). Personal items should be kept separate for each worker.
  • Only allow one person at a time to use shared spaces such as the kitchen, bathroom or TV room. If necessary, create a schedule for workers to use common spaces in shifts to maintain physical distancing (2 metres or 6 feet apart from others). Reconfigure common spaces so seating ensures physical distancing. These areas should be cleaned and disinfected after each use.
  • Workers should not eat together unless physical distancing is possible. Try to get them to eat at different times or have workers eat meals in their own rooms. Be sure to clean all surfaces between meal seatings.
  • Remove shared food containers from dining areas (like pitchers of water, salt and pepper shakers).
  • Encourage workers to remain in their room as much as possible. If rooms are shared, workers should keep as far apart from each other to maintain the 2 metre (6 foot) distance requirement.
  • Arrange for the delivery of groceries and other personal items to reduce the need for workers to leave the farm.
  • Contact the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5020, if any of your workers screen positive for COVID-19 during your daily active screening.
  • Notify the Health Unit immediately if any migrant worker needs to leave the farm/isolation location for ANY reason during the 14-day isolation period. This could include seeking medical attention.
What To Do if a Worker Becomes Ill
  • If a worker reports or shows symptoms of COVID-19 or may have been exposed to someone with the virus, immediately
    • Separate and self-isolate the individual from others
    • Call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5020, for further direction
  • The worker must be isolated for 14 days in separate, dedicated quarters used for isolating sick employees
  • If a private accommodation is not possible, a symptomatic individual must have his/her own private bedroom and bathroom. Ensure:
    • The room has good airflow (open windows as weather permits)
    • The ill worker can be kept 2 metres away from others who are not sick
    • Workers wear a surgical/procedure mask if they are to leave their room.
    • Meals are brought to sick workers. If possible, use single-use cutlery or dishes and properly dispose of them in a garbage bag. If re-usable cutlery or dishes are used, avoid touching the items directly (such as placing them on a tray). Wash your hands with soap and water and immediately wash the dishes as well
    • Hand sanitizer is present in the room. If the room must be shared by more than one individual with confirmed COVID-19, they are not required to wear masks.
  • If the worker must be tested at a COVID-19 Assessment Centre, arrange private transportation by having the worker wear a surgical/procedure mask, sit alone in the backseat and open the car windows if possible. The driver should wear a mask.
  • In most cases, sick individuals can recover on the farm. They should be monitored several times a day to ensure symptoms do not worsen.
  • If the unwell worker gets worse and needs to go to the hospital because of severe symptoms (like severe difficulty breathing, severe chest pain, difficulty waking up, confusion, loss of consciousness), call 9-1-1 and let responders know the person is suspected of having COVID-19.
Additional Recommendations for Agricultural Workplaces
  • Screen all workers upon arrival each day using screening criteria. Isolate any person with symptoms and conduct a further assessment.
  • Stagger meetings and breaks to minimize the number of workers in one place.
  • Designate travel paths so workers do not have to pass each other closely or have workers call out before entering a shared space.
  • Hold meetings outside or in a large area to allow people to stay apart 2-metres (6-feet).
  • Provide access to handwashing stations or hand sanitizer dispensers in prominent locations throughout the site. If hands are visibly dirty, they must be washed with soap and water.
  • Clean offices, washrooms, lunchrooms, trailers, workspaces and other shared spaces at least once a day. Focus on commonly touched surfaces such as pens, tools, radios, tables, chairs, handles, handrails, kettles, microwaves, and light switches.
  • Clean shared tools with alcohol or disinfectant wipes. Wear gloves if cleaning is not practical.
  • Assign one driver/operator per vehicle if possible. Clean and disinfect vehicles between uses (steering wheel, gear shift, controls, interior/exterior door handles, etc.)
  • Ensure farm employees are assigned to the same team/group/work pod that is separated from other individuals and teams.
  • Within the team/work pod, workers should maintain a 2 metre (6-foot) physical distance from others as best as possible. The need for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) should be based on a risk assessment. Speak to the Health Unit for more guidance on PPE.

Video Resources

COVID-19 Resources

Emergency Orders, Directives and Closures

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

HKPR District Health Unit
Local Medical Officer of Health Directive and Class Order

On April 14, 2020, the local Medical Officer of Health issued the following Class Order under Section 22 (5.01.1)  under the Health Protection and Promotion Act. This 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. 

Who is Affected

The order applies to ALL persons in Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes who:

  • are identified as a person diagnosed with COVID-19
  • have the signs and symptoms of COVID-19, have been tested for COVID-19 and are awaiting the results of their test
  • otherwise have reasonable grounds to believe they have symptoms of COVID-19,  or
  • are a close contact of a person identified in the above points.

What You Must Do

As of April 14, 2020 at noon, you must:

  • Isolate yourself without delay as instructed by the HKPR District Health Unit. This includes: remaining in your home or isolation facility. Do not go outside, unless on to a private balcony or enclosed yard where you can avoid close contact with others. You must not have any visitors into your home except as permitted by the Health Unit.
  • Remain in isolation until the expiry of a 14-day period that begins on the day on which you first show symptoms, are tested, or are diagnosed with COVID-19 (whichever is earliest, or on the last day of close contact). Follow these guidelines unless instructed otherwise by the Health Unit. 
  • During the self-isolation period, reduce exposure to others to prevent the spread of infection or potential infection from COVID-19. Follow infection control instructions on the HKPR District Health Unit website (www.hkpr.on.ca) or those given to you by the Health Unit or any other staff of a healthcare facility to which you may seek or receive treatment.
  • Keep away from vulnerable persons. Follow any further instructions provided by the Health Unit pertaining to COVID- 19. In particular, you should seek clinical assessment over the phone – either by calling your primary care provider’s office or Telehealth Ontario 1-866-797-0000. If you need additional assessment, your primary care provider or Telehealth Ontario will direct you to in-person care options.
  • Seek prompt medical attention if your illness worsens by calling 911 and telling reponsders of your COVID-19 related diagnosis or symptoms.

Please Note: Testing for Other Individuals

The Province of Ontario has indicated that people who are not displaying any symptoms of COVID may elect to be tested. The class order presently in place does not apply to individuals who do not show signs or symptoms of COVID, unless they have also been identified as a close contact of a person who has been diagnosed with COVID. If you are not a “close contact” AND are asymptomatic, the class order does not apply to you, and you do not have to self isolate while awaiting your COVID test results. However, if at any time before or after having your test, and/or receiving your COVID diagnosis, you experience COVID symptoms, the class order AND the obligation to self-isolate will apply.

Questions and Answers
Under what authority did the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge (HKPR) District Health Unit issue a Class Order related to the COVID-19 outbreak to require persons to self-isolate? 

 The Health Protection and Promotion Act authorizes the Medical Officer of Health to make a Class Order to address the risks presented by the potential spread of COVID-19 to residents of the City of Kawartha Lakes and Northumberland and Haliburton Counties.

Why did the Medical Officer of Health issue this Class Order?

Based on the continuing increase in the number of people contracting COVID-19 in the City of Kawartha Lakes, Northumberland and Haliburton Counties, and experiences in cities around the world, this is a targeted mandatory measure that will strengthen our ability to reduce the loss of life from COVID-19, and preserve and protect the capacity of our health care system to respond and to provide care for those who need it. 

While most people who have or may have COVID-19, as well as their close contacts, have been compliant with instructions from public health authorities to self-isolate, there are individuals who do not take these measures seriously enough. This Class Order is a legal tool to help us ensure that everyone who needs to self-isolate, complies.

Who is required to self-isolate under this Order?

All individuals who have been diagnosed with COVID-19; have signs and symptoms of COVID-19, have been tested for COVID-19 and are awaiting the results of their test; otherwise have reasonable grounds to believe they have symptoms of COVID-19; or are close contacts of those individuals, are required to self-isolate. A close contact is a person who is caring for or living in the same household with someone who has COVID-19 or is otherwise identified as a close contact by the HKPR District Health Unit.

When is the Order effective? How long must people self-isolate?

The order is effective from 12:00 p.m. (noon) on April 14, 2020, and will remain in effect until such time as the Medical Officer of Health determines it is no longer required. 

Self-isolation is generally for a period of 14 days from the first onset of symptoms. In some cases, public health officials may direct an individual to extend the period of isolation, depending upon symptoms, other new cases identified in a household and test results.

Are there any exceptions?

Close contacts who are asymptomatic and provide an essential service may continue to provide that essential service. In addition, the Order does not restrict a person from receiving essential medical services or treatments, whether or not related to COVID-19. Other exceptions may be made in compelling circumstances, for example, individuals who do not have suitable housing to self-isolate, or who are fleeing domestic violence. 

What does it mean to self-isolate under the Order?

Individuals who are affected by the Order are required to stay at home. If a person with COVID-19 is homeless, or where their home is otherwise unsuitable or unsafe for isolation purposes, they will be accommodated in an isolation facility to be determined. Self-isolation means not leaving home at all or having any visitors except as permitted by HKPR District Health Unit (for example, where a health care worker is visiting the home). People in self-isolation should arrange to have groceries and other necessities delivered to them. If you require any support with this, please notify HKPR District Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577 ext. 5020.

Image of the first page of the Class Order - click as a link
Image of the first page of the Class Order – click as a link

COVID-19 Class Order
Fact Sheet


Provincial Orders
  • The Ontario government is moving many parts of the province to Stage 3 of COVID-19 reopening, including Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes. As Ontario’s Stage 3 Framework for Reopening outlines, additional businesses and services are now allowed to reopen. 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.
  • High-risk places and activities are not yet safe to open, even if a region has entered Stage 3. This is due to the likelihood of large crowds congregating, difficulties with physical distancing, and challenges maintaining the proper cleaning and sanitation. As such, the following remain closed: amusement parks and water parks; buffet-style food services; dancing at restaurants and bars, other than by performers hired by the establishment following specific requirements; overnight stays at camps for children; private karaoke rooms, prolonged r deliberate contact while playing sports; saunas, steam rooms, bath houses and oxygen bars; and table games at casinos and gaming establishments.
  • Stage 3 reopening also means that the limit on people at social gatherings will also increase. Currently, indoor gathering limits of up to 50 people are allowed. Outdoor gatherings are limited to a maximum of 100 people (NOTE: Gathering limits are subject to physical distancing requirements). Public gathering limits apply to indoor and outdoor events such as: community events or gatherings, concerts, live shows, festivals, conferences, sports and recreational fitness activities, fundraisers, fairs, festivals or open houses.
  • Playgrounds and play structures are also allowed to reopen 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.
  • Ontario is now encouraging people to create a social circle during COVID-19. A family or social circle allows up to 10 people to interact closely with each other, without the need for physical distancing. Even under Stage 3 reopening, social circles are limited to 10 people at most. 
  • 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.
  • Places of worship in Ontario are now allowed to reopen with physical distancing in place and attendance limited to more than 30 per cent of building capacity to ensure the safety of worshipers.
  • The Province has announced plans to reopen schools in September for in-class instruction, with strict guidelines in place to protect against COVID-19. As of Sept 1, licensed child care centres will also be allowed to operate at full capacity. Get full details here.
  • The Ontario government is allowing family visits to resume 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.
  • Water recreational facilities such as outdoor splash pads, wading pools and swimming pools are now allowed to reopen. Beach access and additional camping at Ontario Parks is also allowed, as is camping at private campgrounds.
  • Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health has released an updated directive to allow the gradual restart of non-essential services provided by regulated health care providers like dentists, chiropractors and others.
  • Overnight summer camps will also not be permitted over coming months. 

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.

Parks, Recreational Facilities and Campgrounds

Getting outside to enjoy the nicer weather is even more important during COVID-19. But wherever you go, it’s important to practise physical distancing and stay 2 metres (6 feet) apart from anyone outside your household. 


Municipal Parks, Playgrounds and Outdoor Recreational Facilities 

More outdoor recreational amenities are now open, including playgrounds, outdoor sports facilities and multi-use fields (like tennis courts), off-leash dog areas, outdoor picnic sites, benches and shelters in parks and recreational areas. Many water recreational facilities such as outdoor splash pads, wading pools and all swimming pools are open as well. Many local beaches are also open for swimming.

You are encouraged to check with your local municipal government for specifics on what parks, trails and outdoor recreation facilities are open in your community and what restrictions may still be in place.


Private Seasonal Parks and Campgrounds

The Ontario government is allowing private campgrounds to open and operate this summer. Be sure to continue taking precautions, including practising physical distancing if spending time with people outside your household or social circle.

If you are unsure of whether a campground is open, call ahead to confirm and see if any additional restrictions are in place.


Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves

Provincial parks and conservation reserves are now open. Please visit Ontario Parks for the latest information on camping and day use during COVID-19.


National Parks and Historic Sites 

People are now allowed to use Parks Canada locations across the country. For the latest COVID-19 updates on camping and visitor services at Parks Canada locations, click here.

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.

Please Note:

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. 

Employee Health and Safety During COVID-19

As more businesses and services reopen, know your rights as an employee when it comes to health and safety during COVID-19.

Resources/Legislation

All levels of governments are taking steps to support/protect 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.

The Ontario government has also set out health and safety protections for workers during COVID-19. Some of the protections include: 

  • The Employment Standards Amendments Act (Infectious Disease Emergencies), 2020 sets out: 
    • Job-protected leave to employees in isolation or quarantine due to COVID-19, and to those who need to be away from work to care for children at home due to school/daycare closures
    • Employees will not be required to provide a medical note. 
    • Measures are retroactive to January 25, 2020.
  • As well, in a declared emergency, employees have the right to take an unpaid, job-protected leave if they are unable to perform job duties due to an emergency or other circumstances.  The Employment Standards Act Guide is being updated as more information becomes available.

The Occupational Health and Safety Act also:  

  • Gives workers the right to refuse work they believe is unsafe to them or co-workers. Workers who feel they are endangered by workplace violence may also refuse work.
    • Sets out a specific procedure that must be followed in any work refusal. 
    • 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
Additional Resources:

Download and print resources below:

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

Attention Staff
Poster

COVID-19 Testing & Assessment Centres

Download the COVID Alert Tracing App

Below are locations of the specific COVID-19 Assessment Centres in Northumberland County, Haliburton County and the City of Kawartha Lakes.

  • Click here for general information about Testing for COVID-19, including answers to who, what, when, why and how.

City of Kawartha Lakes

Ross Memorial Hospital (RMH) COVID-19 Assessment Centre

The RMH COVID-19 Assessment Centre runs as follows:

  • Location: Ross Memorial Hospital (10 Angeline St. N., Lindsay). Enter from Kent Street and exit (right turn lane only) on Angeline St. N.
  • Hours: Monday to Friday, 9:30 am – 5:30 pm
  • No appointment is necessary
  • Testing is a set up as a ‘drive-thru’ model, meaning you remain in your vehicle at all times.
  • Testing at the Assessment Centre is for ages 12 and older. For kids under age 12, please attend the hospital’s Emergency Department.

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.

Northumberland County

Northumberland Hills Hospital (NHH) COVID-19 Assessment Centre

NHH’s COVID-19 Assessment Centre is now located within the hospital, adjacent to the Emergency Department. To access it, use the Emergency Department entrance (not the main front doors of the hospital).

NHH’s COVID-19 Assessment Centre is open daily from 8 am to 4 pm. Call 905-377-7783 to book an appointment. While walk-ins are accepted, you are strongly urged to call ahead and schedule your assessment to minimize wait times and support physical distancing rules.

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

COVID-19 testing is now available for:

  • All those with at least one symptom of COVID-19, even if mild
  • Asymptomatic people who think they may have been exposed to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19
  • Asymptomatic people who may be at risk of exposure to COVID-19 through their employment.

Trent Hills

The Trent Hills COVID-19 Assessment Centre is open Mondays to Thursdays from 9 am to 5 pm. To book a COVID-19 test, call the local Assessment Centre directly at 705-395-1801. Please call to schedule your test in order to minimize wait times and support physical distancing requirements.

The Trent Hills COVID 19 Assessment Centre will be closed Friday, Saturdays and Sundays. Extra appointment times have been added Monday through Thursday so that there is no decrease in testing capacity.

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

Haliburton County

If you are a resident of Haliburton County and you meet one of the criteria below, you can get tested for COVID-19:

  1. If you have at least one symptom of COVID-19 (click here for a list of symptoms)
    OR
  2. If you are concerned you’ve been exposed to COVID-19 because you have been in contact with a confirmed or suspected case,
    OR
  3. If you are at risk of exposure to COVID-19 because of your employment, including essential workers (e.g. health care workers, grocery stores employees, other front-line workers.)

If you meet any one of these criteria, call the Haliburton County COVID-19 Community Assessment Centre at 705-457-1212 (press 6) during regular business hours or Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 to book an appointment for testing.

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.

Testing is by appointment only, however no Ontarian who is symptomatic or who is concerned they have been exposed to COVID-19 will be declined a test at an Assessment Centre.

Printable COVID-19 Resources

Download and print resources below:

Image of Screening Survey for Employees AODA compliant poster – click to download
Image of Screening Survey for Employees AODA compliant poster – click to download

COVID-19 Screening Survey for Employees

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

Attention Shoppers
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 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 AODA compliant 'Community Garden Provincial Orders' poster - click as a link
Image of AODA compliant ‘Community Garden Provincial Orders’ poster – click as a link

Community Garden Provincial Orders
Poster

Image of AODA compliant 'Stay Home During COVID-19' poster - click as a link
Image of AODA compliant ‘Stay Home During COVID-19’ poster – click as a link

Stay Home During COVID-19
Poster

Image of AODA compliant 'Doctors Orders' poster - click as a link
Image of AODA compliant ‘Doctors Orders’ poster – click as a link

Doctor’s Orders
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.
  • Stay connected with family and friends. Consider creating a social circle of no more than 10 people who you can interact without the need for physical distancing. If you are self-isolating, consider connecting through phone, social media or video chatting.
  • 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 healthcare workers are playing in supporting people affected with COVID-19.  
If You Are Self-Isolating 
  • Stay connected with friends and family by phone, social media or video calls. 
  • Ask for help from friends, family and neighbours to deliver necessities to your door. Many community groups (e.g. churches and service clubs) have volunteers to help those who are isolated. 
  • Even if self-isolating, keep up your personal daily routines at home or create new ones.  
  • Stay healthy. Be active, eat well and get enough sleep.  
If You Have Mental Health and Addiction Issues

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

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

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

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

Centre for Addition and Mental Health  

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

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

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

Wellness Together Canada – Mental health and substance use support.

World Health Organization 

Download and print resources below:

Physical Distancing at Work

With many workplaces reopening, it’s essential to keep your space from others to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Here’s what to do to follow physical distancing rules at work:


  • Staff and customers MUST maintain a distance of two meters (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 
  • 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 – Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Physical Distancing – Public Health Ontario

Download and print resources below:

Hand Hygiene/Respiratory Etiquette at Work

Protecting yourself, your staff and customers is important to prevent the spread of 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, as directed by the Health Unit.

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

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