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.

How You Will Be Notified

All high-risk contacts identified in Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes will be notified by an electronic letter. You must follow the direction in this letter.

Public health staff will only contact you if you receive a positive COVID-19 test, if you call to report symptoms, or if quarantine dates change based on the investigation.

What This Means for You
  • You MUST quarantine for 14 days. 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 Assessment Centre. More direction will be given to you in your official notification letter.
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 do not have COVID-19 symptoms, all household members must stay home except for essential reasons (such as work/school/childcare, getting groceries/medication)
  • If you have COVID-19 symptoms, all household members must quarantine until a negative test result is received

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.

Are You Eligible for COVID-19 Vaccine?

COVID-19 vaccinations are now available for eligible residents in Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes. The local Health Unit is following the Province’s vaccine distribution plan that list three phases. Currently, the province is in phase two of the vaccine distribution plan.

Are you born in 1961 or earlier? You are eligible for a vaccine, but MUST book a vaccination appointment through the provincial booking system or calling 1-888-999-6488. The Health Unit is NOT booking appointments.

Adults aged 50 and older who live in a “hot spot” community where provincial and local data demonstrate historic and ongoing high rates of COVID-19, death and severe illness due to COVID-19 are also eligible to book a vaccination appointment. This Health Unit region has NOT been identified as a “hot spot.”

Other individuals may be eligible to receive the vaccine in the current phase. If you think you are eligible for a vaccine now, read on to see how you can book your appointment.

Indigenous adults: Clinics are being held for Indigenous adults (18+) and their household members (18+).

Additional plans are being developed for local home-bound adults. Please check back for updates on vaccination clinics.

Are You Eligible for the Vaccine in This Phase?

Step One: Determine if you are eligible by clicking here: Determine if you are eligible to be vaccinated

  • If you are eligible, but unable to book a vaccination appointment through the provincial booking system due to your age, proceed to Step Two,
  • If you are unsure of your eligibility, call the Provincial Vaccine Information Line at 1-888-999-6488. If you are eligible, but unable to book a vaccination appointment through the provincial booking system because you are not 60 years of age or older, you will be directed to contact HKPRDHU.

Step Two: Send a message to HKPRDHU by clicking here: Click and Connect

  • Complete the information – name, phone number etc. and click NEXT.
  • Select COVID-19 Questions and then click NEXT.
  • Review your details and click NEXT.
  • Click on START QUESTIONAIRE and then click on Vaccine, immunization and eligibility. Click NEXT PAGE at the bottom of the page to proceed.
  • Answer YES to the question – Do you still have a question for the Health Unit?
  • In the box provided, type in “Need a Code.Also type in which priority population you belong to, your first and last name, a valid email address, your date of birth, your health card number and version code, and your phone number. Please note: If you do not provide this information, the Health Unit cannot process your request.
  • Please note: Not everyone who submits a request is eligible for the vaccine at this time.
  • If you are eligible and have provided ALL of the information required, your information will be sent to the Ministry of Health.
  • The Ministry of Health will email you with a personal invitation code. The email may be from vaccine@covax.ca. Please check your junk mailbox for the email if you do not see it.

Step Three: Use the provincial booking system to book an appointment

  • Visit www.ontario.ca/bookvaccine.
  • Use the personal invitation code from your email to book an appointment at an upcoming vaccination clinic in your area. Clinics will not appear in the booking system if they are filled. Please continue to check the system for additional clinic appointments that have been added.
  • If you cannot book online, call 1-888-999-6488.

Please bring the following to your appointment:

  • Employment identification and/or how you meet eligibility criteria.
  • Ontario Health Card
  • Personal identification with photo
  • A list of your medications (if applicable)
  • Confirmation code – You will receive a confirmation code when you have successfully booked your appointments. Please bring this code with you to the clinic as required to proceed with your appointment. If you do not have a confirmation code then please do not go to the clinic event as it means you do not have an appointment. Please instead revisit the online system or call the customer service desk to book your appointment and receive your confirmation code.
Related Resources

COVID-19 Vaccines

Vaccines are now here in the fight against COVID-19. Please read further for more information.

Video Resources

On This Page:

About COVID-19 Vaccine
  • Currently, four COVID-19 vaccines are approved for use in Canada. They include: the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, a vaccine developed by Moderna, the AstraZeneca vaccine, and the Janssen vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson. Other vaccine candidates are also currently under review by Health Canada.
  • Vaccines are safe, reliable and are shown to be effective against COVID-19.
  • Health Canada uses strict safety and quality requirements for regulating and approving vaccines. These same standards were applied to the COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Some of the approved COVID-19 vaccines require two doses given several weeks apart to provide full protection against the virus. They include: the Pfizer vaccine, Moderna vaccine and AstraZeneca vaccine. After completing the two-doses, it may take another one to two weeks to achieve maximum protection against COVID-19. The Janssen vaccine is a single-dose vaccine.
  • In Ontario, COVID-19 vaccines will be free to everyone. You are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated for COVID-19 when it is available. COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. When a large percentage of people become vaccinated against COVID-19, it stops the spread of the virus. That benefits everyone and means a quicker return to normal.
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Who Gets the Vaccine First – A Phased Approach

Due to limited supplies of COVID-19 vaccines currently available in Ontario, the Province has outlined a three-phase approach to provide vaccines to people.

  • In Phase One (currently underway), immediate priority for vaccines will be provided based on age and other factors. (NOTE: Indigenous adults are among the priority group in Phase One. Vaccinations are now available for Indigenous adults age 18+ and their household members age 18+ in Haliburton County, Northumberland County and Kawartha Lakes. Click here to book an appointment.
  • In Phase Two (April to June 2021), vaccines will be available to more people based on age, health conditions, where they live, and where they work. Timelines are subject to vaccine availability.
  • In Phase Three (July 2021 and beyond), COVID-19 vaccines will be widely available for anyone 16 years of age and older who wants to receive a dose.
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How COVID-19 Vaccines Work

Vaccines have saved millions of lives over the past century. COVID-19 vaccines will work similarly to protect millions more. Here’s how:

  • COVID vaccines work with your body’s natural defenses to build protection against coronavirus.
  • It does this by telling your body to make spike proteins.
  • Spike proteins are unique to the virus that causes COVID-1.9
  • Your immune system responds to the spike proteins by making antibodies that can protect you against COVID-19.

The result is that you build up immunity to the virus, allowing your body to fight off COVID-19 more easily.

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Facts on COVID-19 Vaccine
  • COVID-19 vaccine does not contain the coronavirus and cannot give you COVID-19. Instead, the vaccine offers a dose of protection!
  • Like other vaccines, it may take several days for your body to build full immunity against COVID-19.
  • This means if you come in contact with the virus just before or after you complete the vaccine series, you could still develop COVID-19. That makes it important to continue taking COVID-19 precautions until you are fully protected.
  • The Ontario Medical Association also offers additional facts about COVID-19 vaccine.
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Possible Side-Effects
  • Serious adverse reactions to vaccines are rare. They happen less than one time in a million (Source: Ontario Ministry of Health).
  • If you get any vaccine, minor side-effects may occur. These are usually mild and clear up within a few days. Some common side-effects include: pain at the site of injection (even redness and swelling), body chills, feeling tired or feeling feverish.
  • Vaccines are constantly monitored for potential reactions and safety measures are put in place if needed. You can be assured COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective!
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What You Can Do
  • Watch for more information from the Health Unit about when the COVID-19 vaccine is available in your community and when you can go to get vaccinated.
  • Until you are vaccinated, continue your efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19:
    • Stay home if sick.
    • Only leave home for essentials like groceries and medical matters.
    • Avoid all non-essential travel.
    • Wear a mask or face covering that covers your nose, mouth and chin when inside public places.
    • Practise physical distancing by staying 2 metres (6 feet) apart from anyone outside your immediate household
    • Wash hands frequently with soap and water.
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Additional Resources

Learn more about COVID-19 vaccine distribution, development and safety:

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

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.

COVID Alert Tracing App

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

This free, easy-to-use app will:

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

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

The more people who download COVID Alert, the more effective it is (as of late March 2021, 6.4 million Canadians had downloaded the free app). COVID Alert can reduce the spread of COVID-19 by more quickly identifying potential new cases and contacts.

To download or learn more, visit:

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