COVID-19 Vaccine Certificates

Get your enhanced vaccine certificate. Businesses can download the Verify Ontario app. These are needed because proof of full COVID-19 vaccination is now required to enter select, non-essential businesses and indoor settings in Ontario.

On This Page:

Get Your Proof of Vaccination
If You Received Your COVID-19 Vaccine in Ontario:

Access Ontario’s new enhanced vaccine certificate QR code. Visit the Province’s COVID-19 vaccination portal or call 1-833-943-3900 to print or download your proof of vaccine. This enhanced vaccine QR code makes providing proof even easier to enter certain businesses. IMPORTANT NOTE: Ontario’s enhanced vaccine certificate can also be used as a proof of vaccination for travel outside of Canada (you do not need a separate federal document showing this).

NOTE: Old proof of vaccine receipt (without an official QR code) are still valid and will continue to be accepted. But you are encouraged to download the enhanced vaccine certificate with a QR code as an easier, more secure and convenient way to have proof of vaccination verified.

If You Were Vaccinated Outside of Ontario:

You will need to register your receipt of vaccination. Click here and follow the steps below. Please note: This service is for residents of Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes only. Individuals who do not live in the HKPR region must register their out-of-province vaccine receipt with their local health unit.

  • Step 1: Click ask a question and complete information
  • Step 2: Click ‘Next’
  • Step 3: Click ‘COVID-19 Question’
  • Step 4: Click ‘Next’
  • Step 5: Review all of your information is correct and ensure you have entered your email. Click ‘Next’
  • Step 7: Click ‘Start Questionnaire’
  • Step 8: Select ‘Out of Province Vaccination Receipts’. Click ‘Next Page’
  • Step 9: Click ‘I would like to send my out of province vaccine information to the Health Unit’
  • Step 10: Click ‘Take/Choose a picture’ and upload a clear image of your vaccine receipt. Click open
  • Step 11: Enter your Full Name, Date of Birth, Health Card Number and where the vaccine was received
  • Step 12: Click Next Page

Instructions on providing information – HKPR video

A secure individualized URL link will be emailed to the address on file. Please check your spam folder.

If you have a green Ontario Health card, you can also check your vaccination status by clicking Ontario COVID-19 vaccination portal Please allow 10 business days before checking.

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Information for Businesses and Organizations

Access these resources or read further down this page for more information.

Verify Ontario App

Download Ontario’s new digital app to verify a person’s COVID-19 vaccination status. Simply use the free Verify Ontario Mobile app to scan COVID-19 proof of vaccination for customers and patrons.

Additional Resources for Businesses

Businesses and organizations can also submit additional questions to the Ontario Ministry of Health

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Affected Businesses/Indoor Settings

You must provide a COVID-19 vaccine certificate if you want to enter any of these businesses/public settings:

  • Indoor areas of restaurants, bars, and other food and drink establishments without dance facilities
  • Indoor and outdoor areas of food or drink establishments with dance facilities, including nightclubs and restaurants, clubs and other similar establishments
  • Indoor areas of meeting and event spaces
  • Indoor areas of facilities used for sports and recreational fitness activities, including waterparks, and personal physical fitness training with limited exemptions:
    • Includes gyms, fitness/sporting/recreational facilities, pools, leagues, sporting events, waterparks, and indoor areas of facilities where spectators watch events
  • Indoor areas of casinos, bingo halls, and other gaming establishments
  • Indoor areas of concert venues, theatres, and cinemas
  • Indoor areas of bathhouses, sex clubs and strip clubs
  • Indoor areas of horse racing tracks, car racing tracks and other similar venues
  • Indoor areas where commercial film and TV productions take place with studio audiences.

As of Oct. 25, other select businesses can also choose to require proof of vaccination for customers/patrons. In exchange, their capacity limits and physical distancing rules can be lifted. Businesses that can choose to require proof of vaccines 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.

Limited Exemptions

People who enter an indoor area for short periods to use a washroom, access an outdoor area, pay their bill, place or pick up a takeout order, or purchase an admission do not need to show proof of vaccination. Get a full list of who is exempted from these rules here.

Weddings and Funerals

  • Proof of COVID-19 vaccines are not required to attend a funeral service or wedding ceremony, although locations that host these events may choose to implement proof of vaccination requirements.
  • Proof of vaccination or a valid exemption is required to attend any wedding reception in Ontario (including those held in conference/conventions centres and places of worship)
  • For a reception or social 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 a valid exemption is required if the event is held in meeting or event spaces (like conference or conventions centres)

Businesses Not Affected

NOTE: Proof of vaccination is also not required for retail shopping and outdoor dining or to enter workplaces, grocery stores, places of worship, pharmacies, banks and other essential settings. 

Proof of Vaccines for Travelling on Trains and Planes

As of October 30, 2021, the federal government will require all air passengers departing from Canadian airports, travellers on VIA Rail and Rocky Mountaineer trains, and travellers on non-essential passenger vessels on voyages of 24 hours or more, such as cruise ships, to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination. Get full details here.

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Exemptions to Vaccine Certificates

The following individuals are exempt from the new rules:

  • Children under age 12 (who are not currently eligible to get COVID-19 vaccines)
  • Individuals who cannot receive the COVID-19 vaccine due to limited medical exemptions. To enter a premise, these individuals must provide a doctor’s/nurse practitioner’s note that explains the medical reason and the effective time-period in which it’s covered.
  • Someone who enters an indoor area solely for the following purposes: to use a washroom; to access an outdoor area that can only be accessed through an indoor route; to make a retail purchase; to place or pick up a takeout order; to place a bet or pick up winnings (in the case of a horse racing track); while paying for an order; to purchase admission; or for the purposes of health and safety
  • Youth under age 18 years of age who are participating in an indoor organized sport (including training, practices, games and competition)
  • Workers, contractors, repair workers, delivery workers, students, volunteers, inspectors or others who are entering the business or organization for work purposes and not as patrons/customers.
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Penalties for Not Complying
  • If you do not provide proof of being fully vaccinated, you will not be allowed into the business or setting.
  • Individuals and businesses could also face a fine of about $750 and $1,000, respectively, for non-compliance.
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COVID-19 Proof of Vaccination Q&A

Please note: information provided is not legal advice and is to be used for guidance purposes only.

What businesses and organizations are covered by the new Proof of Vaccination regulation?
  1. The indoor areas of restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments where dance facilities are not provided, but not with respect to takeout and delivery service.
  2. The indoor and outdoor areas of food or drink establishments where dance facilities are provided, including nightclubs, restoclubs and other similar establishments, but not with respect to takeout and delivery service.
  3. The indoor areas of meeting and event spaces, including conference centres or convention centres, but not including places described in subsection 4 (2) of this Schedule.
  4. The indoor areas of facilities used for sports and recreational fitness activities, including waterparks and personal physical fitness trainers, including, for greater certainty, the indoor areas of facilities where spectators watch events, but not including places described in subsection 16 (4) of Schedule 2.
  5. The indoor areas of casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments.
  6. The indoor areas of concert venues, theatres and cinemas.
  7. The indoor areas of bathhouses, sex clubs and strip clubs.
  8. The indoor areas of horse racing tracks, car racing tracks and other similar venues.
  9. The indoor areas of places where commercial film and television production takes place, where there is a studio audience. For the purposes of this paragraph, a member of the studio audience is considered to be a patron of the production.
What qualifies as an event venue and conference centre?

Any indoor areas of meeting and event spaces including banquet halls, conference centres or convention centres. Although, the regulations do not apply if the space is rented out to overnight camps for children, licensed childcare, social services, court, government operations, or government services.

What if a business or community organization wishes to hold an event at their place of business, i.e., a museum or retail store?

Proof of vaccination would be required as it would be an indoor meeting or event space.

Are there any types of events that are exempt, for example: workshops or meetings where people remain masked, socially distanced and no food and drink are served?

The Proof of Vaccination regulation does not apply where a patron is entering an indoor area solely,

  1. to use a washroom, to access an outdoor area that can only be accessed through an indoor route, to make a retail purchase, while placing or picking up an order (including placing a bet or picking up winnings in the case of a horse racing track), while paying for an order, to purchase admission, or as may be necessary for the purposes of health and safety.
  2. who are under 18 years of age, and who are entering the indoor premises of a facility used for sports and recreational fitness activities solely for the purpose of actively participating in an organized sport, in accordance with guidance published by the Ministry of Health on its website for the purposes of this provision.
  3. who provide a written document, completed and supplied by a physician or registered nurse in the extended class, that sets out, in accordance with the Ministry’s guidance.
  4. who are entering the indoor premises of a meeting or event space, including a conference centre or convention centre, solely for the purposes of attending a wedding service, rite or ceremony or a funeral service, rite or ceremony, but not an associated social gathering.
  5. who are entering the indoor premises of a meeting or event space that is located in a place of worship or in a funeral establishment, cemetery, crematorium or similar establishment that provides funeral, cemetery or cremation services and that is operated by a person licensed under the Funeral, Burial and Cremation Services Act, 2002, for the purposes of attending a social gathering associated with a funeral service, rite or ceremony; or
  6. who are entering the indoor premises of a meeting or event space other than a place described in clause (e), including a conference centre or convention centre, for the purposes of attending a social gathering associated with a wedding service, rite or ceremony or a social gathering associated with a funeral service, rite or ceremony, on or after September 22, 2021, but before October 13, 2021, as long as the patron produces the results of an antigen test administered within the previous 48 hours establishing that the person is negative for COVID-19 to the person responsible for the establishment.
What if a venue has a request for a private party and they wish to include their unvaccinated family and friends? Is this allowed if it is a completely private event?

The person responsible for a business or an organization that is open shall require each patron who enters an area of the premises, at the point of entry, proof of identification and of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Essentially, private event or not, the venue hosting will still be required to obtain proof of vaccination.

What is the liability of the event venue if, despite best efforts, the renter does not properly manage the situation with their patrons?

The business owner and/or organization are still responsible for complying with the proof of vaccination requirements. If the renter cannot properly manage gathering proof of vaccination, the responsibility then falls on the owner/organization.

Can a business allow entry to someone who does not want to comply with the regulation?

All businesses listed must comply. Patrons who decide to “boycott” a business would not be allowed into the business without proof of vaccination. Patrons should keep in mind that businesses will face serious fines and risk being shut down should they not follow the regulations.

What will the fines be for businesses and patrons who do not comply?

Business will be fined $1,000 plus surcharge, individuals will be fined $750 plus surcharge.

Is a naturopathic doctor acceptable for a medical exemption letter?

A naturopathic doctor is acceptable for a medical exception letter if they are registered with College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. Friendly reminder that only certain medical exemptions will apply.

Will the enforcement officers be visiting establishments unannounced and checking patrons’ proof of immunization or will it be based on complaints?

HKPRDHU will first provide education to owners and organizations. Once given time to implement, law enforcement may decide to do unannounced check-ins to ensure the regulation is being properly enforced.

What is going to be done to assist seniors, those with developmental delays or cognitive challenges, and people without accessible technology with navigating these new systems?

HKPRDHU has been working with local partners such as libraries to assist people with finding proof of vaccination and encourages anyone in need of assistance to call 1-866-888-4577 ext. 5020.

Have you been provided with any guidance about what kind of data or framework must be met for the mandates to end? Such as case numbers, vaccination stats, hospitalizations, etc.

None as of September 21, 2021.

In regards to member-based organizations, there is concern about the cost in volunteer or staff time to check vaccination status every single time a member enters the building. As a compromise one organization suggested they could check each person once and then give the member a card to show on future visits rather than the more onerous vax cert. process. Will this be acceptable?

A business or organization cannot provide a “Fast Pass.” The government is currently working on an approved vaccination passport.

Does proof of vaccination apply to staff/employees?

Proof of vaccination only applies to patrons, not to staff. Although, employers are encouraged to implement immunization policies for their staff. Information can be found at and ministry websites.

Are Provincial Offence Officers (by-law, police Ministry of Labour inspectors, public health inspectors) required to provide proof of vaccination?

No, while on duty conducting business, they would not be deemed to be a patron.

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Reducing Harm When Using Drugs

Do you use substances or other drugs? Reduce your risk of harm to avoid overdoses and infections. Read on for more information.

On This Page:

Safety Tips if Using Drugs:
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Extra Precautions During COVID-19
  • If you are feeling sick, do not leave home. Ask a buddy to pick up supplies including naloxone from harm reduction sites or outreach workers. Arrange to have the supplies dropped off at your door, being sure to practise physical distancing 
  • Do not share supplies (cigarettes, joints, pipes, injecting equipment, containers for alcohol, utensils, and other supplies). Use your own mouthpiece and keep it only for YOUR use
  • Avoid handshakes, hugs, kisses, and other close contact
  • Wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer before preparing, handling, or using drugs. Prepare your own drugs
  • If you cannot wash your hands with soap or use hand sanitizer, use alcohol-based hand wipes
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or use tissues. Throw tissues away immediately and wash your hands
  • It’s strongly recommended you clean surfaces with soap and water, alcohol wipes, bleach, or hydrogen peroxide before preparing drugs
  • If you share a washroom with others, clean and disinfect surfaces like knobs, taps, and flushers. Use soap and water, bleach, hydrogen peroxide or alcohol-based wipes (70%) after every use. Do not mix different types of cleaning solutions
  • Buddy up if using drugs, but be safe! COVID-19 is passed by droplets, so you must stay 2 metres (six feet) – roughly the length of a hockey stick – from your buddy to avoid passing the virus
  • Using with a buddy is safer than using drugs alone, but remember to keep your physical distance! Buddies may be able to bring food, harm reduction supplies, medicine, and substances so that you can stay well. You can also be a buddy to others who need support. Check in on your buddies regularly and have them do the same for you
  • Carry naloxone and have an overdose plan. If necessary, you can perform chest compressions. Do not do rescue breathing due to COVID-19 concerns
  • If you must use drugs by yourself, call a buddy to have him/her regularly check in on you.
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What to Do if You See or Experience a Drug Overdose
  • If you see someone overdosing, call 9-1-1 and give the person naloxone.
  • The Good Samaritan Act offers legal protection for someone to help in an emergency. The Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act protects anyone on scene of an overdose from being charged for possessing/using drugs

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

  • Stimulate: try and rouse the person, encourage them to take breaths
  • If no response: call 9-1-1, give naloxone and perform chest compressions. DO NOT try doing rescue breathing
  • When using a naloxone kit: put gloves on, but do not use the face shield/breathing barrier for rescue breaths (not advised given COVID-19 situation)
  • After responding, properly remove gloves and throw them in the garbage. Wash/clean hands thoroughly
  • If chest compressions are needed, place a towel or a piece of clothing over the person’s nose and mouth to protect yourself from droplets.
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Why Harm Reduction Works
  • Harm reduction is a term that applies to any program, service or action that reduces the risk of injury and illness. If you have applied sunscreen or buckled up a seatbelt, you’ve embraced harm reduction.
  • When it comes to substance use, harm reduction provides strategies and ideas to reduce the consequences of drug use and other health risks. Harm reduction meets people where they’re at in their substance use and provides programs and services to help them enhance their skills and knowledge to live safer and healthier lives.
  • Harm reduction works! Learn more.
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Additional Resources
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Preventing Swimmer’s Itch

Going for a swim in a local lake or waterway? Reduce your risk of Swimmer’s Itch that can surface without warning.

NOTE: The Health Unit’s beach water testing program is completed for another year. It will resume in Summer 2022.

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What is Swimmer’s Itch?
  • A skin rash that causes itching and redness. You can get it while swimming
  • There is no treatment required for Swimmer’s Itch. While the rash is uncomfortable, itching symptoms may continue for several days, before disappearing within several days
  • People are encouraged to avoid scratching if at all possible. Applying skin lotions to the affected areas of the body can provide some relief
  • Swimmer’s Itch affects people of all ages, but children are most often affected since they play or swim in shallow water where the parasite that causes Swimmer’s Itch is most likely to be found
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What is the Cause?
  • Usually caused by a parasite called Shistosomes, which commonly affects birds, semi-aquatic mammals, and snails
  • Parasite will penetrate the skin of people who swim in water infested with Schistosomes (typically in shallow water close to shore). These invisible parasites burrow under the skin and quickly die, causing an allergic reaction (Swimmer’s Itch)
  • It’s hard to predict when and where Swimmer’s Itch will occur. The presence of parasites that cause the condition is based on a number of biological and environmental factors.
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Preventing Swimmer’s Itch
  • Check for warning signs at public beaches, lakes and picnic areas for notices stating swimmer’s itch may be present
  • Before swimming, create a water-proof barrier by applying baby oil, creams containing DEET, Swimmer’s Itch Guard, or similar products on exposed skin to prevent parasite larvae from burrowing into your skin
  • Swim away from the shoreline where the parasite that causes Swimmer’s Itch is most likely to be found. If you are unsure about the water, avoid areas with lots of weed growth (there may be more snails and larvae around aquatic plants)
  • Use a pier or dock to enter the water to help reduce your exposure to parasites near the shore. Make sure these structures are approved for swimming and do not dive into unknown waters
  • Rub your skin with a rough towel as soon as you get out of the water. If water is left to dry on the skin, there is a greater likelihood of developing Swimmer’s Itch.
  • Have a shower with clean water as soon as you leave the lake or river. NOTE: Showering will not remove any larvae that have already burrowed into your skin.
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Additional Resources
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What to Do if You Are a COVID-19 High-Risk Contact

Have you been identified as a high-risk contact? This means you have had close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

What to Do if You Are a COVID-19 High-Risk Contact – HKPR District Health Unit Video

How You Will Be Notified

All high-risk contacts identified in Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes will be contacted by public health and provided direction on what to do.

  • Note: Isolating and quarantining rules may be revised or shortened if you are fully vaccinated against the virus and test negative for COVID-19. You are considered to be fully vaccinated when 14 days have passed since you received your second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Your vaccination status will be verified by public health staff, who can also give you further direction on what to do.
What This Means for You
  • You may need to quarantine for 10 days. However, if you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (or were previously positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days) and have no symptoms, you do not need to quarantine. Instead, you must instead self-monitor for 10 days from the time you last had close contact with a positive COVID-19 case.
  • If public health directs you to quarantine, you must do so. Quarantine is a legal requirement to stop the spread the COVID-19 under a Section 22 Order issued under the Health Protection and Promotion Act.   Click here for more specifics:
    • Do not go to work or school.
    • Do not leave your home (you will need to arrange to have someone get you groceries, medication, and other essentials)
    • Separate yourself from others in your home. Stay in a separate room and use a separate bathroom if possible.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water
    • Cough/sneeze into your sleeve or tissue
    • Wear a mask that covers your nose, mouth, and chin. Other people should also wear a mask when they are in the same room as you.
    • No visitors allowed.
  • Do not leave your property unless it is to go for COVID-19 testing or to seek medical attention.
  • You are recommended to go for testing at your nearest COVID-19 Testing and Assessment Centre.
Monitor Yourself for Symptoms
  • During your quarantine, monitor yourself every day for COVID-19 symptoms.
    • If you start to feel very sick (such as severe chest pain or difficulty breathing), call 9-1-1 or seek immediate medical attention.
What This Means for People You Live With

If you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and:

  • Do not have COVID-19 symptoms, members of your household do not need to self-isolate.
  • Have COVID-19 symptoms, unvaccinated or previously COVID-positive members of your household need to self-isolate while awaiting test results. Fully vaccinated or previously asymptomatic members of your household do not need to self-isolate while awaiting test results.

Questions? Need to report symptoms in yourself or household members? Call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 1540.

Meet Our Medical Officer of Health

Dr. Natalie Bocking is the Medical Officer of Health for the Haliburton, Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health Unit. She joined the agency in April 2021.

Prior to her arrival here, Dr. Bocking spent four years working as a public health physician with Thunder Bay District Health Unit and Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority. In her role, she supported the development of a community-based, First Nations-governed public health system for 31 rural and remote First Nations. This included overseeing tuberculosis and hepatitis C programming, population health assessment, and maternal and child health support.

In addition to her work in public health, Dr. Bocking has worked as a locum family physician in northwestern Ontario. She has published in peer-reviewed scientific journals and presented at provincial and national conferences.

“I went into public health because I thought that some of the issues or health problems I was seeing in family medicine really could have been addressed so much more effectively at a population level and that was really where public health fit for me,” she says.

Dr. Bocking is a Public Health and Preventive Medicine Specialist and was certified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in 2015, following the completion of her specialty training at the University of Toronto. Dr. Bocking’s academic training also includes a Medical Doctorate from McMaster University and Master’s in International Public Health from the University of Sydney, Australia.

Currently, Dr. Bocking lives in the City of Kawartha Lakes with her husband and two children.

Annual Report 2019 – Strong Roots in Our Communities

What does the Health Unit do? It’s a question we often hear… and the simple answer is that our public health staff:

  • Provide programs and services that help people stay healthy.
  • Provide information to help local residents prevent illnesses and injury.
  • Carry out work that helps protect people from diseases.
  • Encourage people to make healthier choices to benefit their well-being.

Our work often goes unnoticed, but if you have eaten at a restaurant, been vaccinated against disease, gone into the water at a public beach or had a visit from a nurse after having a baby, you have benefited from public health programs.

In our Annual Report 2019, the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit is pleased to share our promotion, protection and prevention efforts in Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes. We are pleased to be your health partner for life, working closely together to foster healthy communities!

Read on to learn more on what we do (click on the Annual Report image for a printable PDF file). You can also click here to connect with us.

Large image marked 2019 Annual Report. The image features a tree image with leaves on it, detailing different programs and services offered by the Health Unit

Halloween Safety During COVID-19

Don’t let COVID-19 be scary. You can enjoy Halloween safely this year. Read on for tips on how to trick or treat and hold gatherings. Be sure to continue taking precautions to stop the spread of COVID-19.

On This Page:

Going Out Trick-or-Treating
  • Stay home if sick, even if symptoms are mild.
  • Trick-or-treat outdoors as much as possible. Be sure to wear a face covering, ensuring it fits well and covers the nose, mouth and chin.
  • If trick-or-treating indoors maintain physical distancing as much as possible and wear a face covering, especially when physical distancing is a challenge.
  • Be creative and build the face covering into your costume (cloth face masks can be made out of different fabrics to allow them to be part of a costume). Remember that a costume mask is not a substitute for a face covering.
  • A costume mask should not be worn over a non-medical mask or face covering. This is dangerous as the costume mask makes it hard to breathe.
  • Do not crowd doorsteps. Take turns and go one at a time to get candy. Line up 2 metres apart if waiting.
  • Do not sing or shout for your treats.
  • Keep interactions brief with those giving out treats. Maintain physical activity as much as possible
  • Bring alcohol-based hand sanitizer with you to use while trick-or-treating. Use hand sanitizer often, especially before and after handling your face covering and after touching frequently touched surfaces
  • Wash hands with soap and water when you arrive home from trick-or-treating, and before and after handling or eating treats.
  • There is no need to clean or disinfect pre-packaged treats.

Handing Out Treats
  • Decide if you feel comfortable handing out candy. Print and display an appropriate poster to tell neighbours if you are handing out treats. Select either the Welcome Trick or Treaters poster or Sorry See You Next Year version
  • Do not participate in Halloween festivities if you are sick, even if symptoms, are mild.
  • Keep interactions with trick-or-treaters short. Encourage them to move along after receiving their treat from you.
  • Wear a face covering when physical distancing cannot be maintained. If you are dressing up, consider including the face covering as part of your costume.
  • Give out only purchased and packaged treats.
  • Do not ask trick-or-treaters to sing or shout for their treats.
  • Clean your hands often throughout the evening using soap and water or with handsanitizer.
  • Consider setting up a table or chair at the end of your walk or driveway to make handing out candy easier.

Halloween at Home

If you prefer to stay home for Halloween, consider these alternatives to trick-or-treating:

  • Buy treats for your children and enjoy them at home while watching a scary movie together.
  • Decorate for Halloween inside and outside your home and have children carve pumpkins to add to the festive display.
  • Showcase Halloween craft projects on your porch and in your front windows for your neighbours to enjoy.
  • Craft a countdown calendar – pick a fun Halloween activity to do each day or each weekend in October leading up to the big day.
  • Plan your own monster mash or ‘Halloween-at-home’ party. Get children to dress up in costume to mark the festivities.
  • Make your own spooky treats such as: clementine jack-o-lanterns, monster mix, or ghostly cookies.
  • Organize a Halloween scavenger hunt where children are given holiday-themed items to look for around your home or property. You can also hide treats in different spots and get children to find them.
  • Do an ‘at-home’ version of trick-or-treating by setting up treat stations around your home that children can visit for goodies.
  • Pick out some Halloween themed books to read together.
  • Set up a piñata at home filled with your favourite Halloween treats.
  • Host a virtual party – set up video chats with friends and family members who can’t celebrate with you. Encourage children to show off their costumes and talk about their favourite treats.
  • Take photos of children dressed in Halloween costume and email/share with grandparents and older relatives who can’t be there in person.  

Halloween Social Gatherings
  • While Ontario’s current gathering limits are 25 people indoors and 100 people outdoors, you should:
    • Have the fewest number of people possible at your party or gathering to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
    • Use outdoor spaces whenever possible.
  • Provide all the necessary supplies, including hand sanitizer, soap and water.
  • If gathering inside, open windows and doors, if possible, to allow for good ventilation.
  • Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces.
  • If you’re hosting a visit, and have decided to only allow people who are fully vaccinated, let your guests know in advance so they are clear about the rules. Remind them of the COVID-19 precautions to follow during the event.
  • Ask guests to not attend if they are sick, even if symptoms are mild.
  • Make a list of guests attending in case public health needs it for contact tracing.
  • 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 or only partially vaccinated. In these situations, you should also stay two metres apart from anyone outside your household who is unvaccinated.
  • If you choose to serve food or drinks at your party, you should:
    • Wash your hands before and frequently during preparation and serving
    • Have everyone wash their hands before and after eating

Apartments and Multi-Unit Dwellings

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


Handwashing and Respiratory Etiquette

Cleaning and Disinfecting

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

Mask Use

Physical Distancing

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

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

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

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