Community Gardens and COVID-19

Planning to operate or take part in a community garden this growing season?

The Health Unit is offering these recommendations to those involved in community gardens 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.


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Entrance Restrictions/Requirements
  • Members of the public are not allowed into the gardens. Only garden members are allowed. Post these printable signs in your garden as reminders:
  • Anyone attending the garden should first complete the online COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool and follow its recommendations.
  • Garden members MUST NOT visit the garden if they show symptoms of COVID-19 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 COVID-19 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 the number of people that can maintain 2 metres at all times (to a maximum of 100 people) to work in the community garden at once. To do this, consider developing 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 masks/face coverings 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. Consider disinfecting the handles of any tools that are shared. 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 indoor 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 

There is no need to contact the Health Unit prior to opening your community garden. But if you are an organizer, you must ensure that all participants are aware of the regulatory requirements and public health measures that must be followed to stop the spread of COVID-19.


Additional Resources

Farmers’ Markets and COVID-19

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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, farmers have more options to get their products to consumers. Besides operating the classic farmers’ market on site, local farmers can also consider selling goods online. 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. Organizers must ensure they are in compliance with the requirements of the respective regulation (depending on which colour stage of reopening the region is in) under the Reopening Ontario Act. 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. 
  2. A written plan showing traffic circulation 
  3. A delivery plan based on the number of orders and drive-up customers. 
  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. Consider using the Province’s online COVID-19 Screening Tool or use this Health Unit screening resource.
  9. Types of products and how often they’re used to clean and disinfect surfaces where food orders are placed/organized (For example, 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. Bacteria can grow in the danger zone between 4 °C and 60°C (40°F to 140°F). Keep cold foods cold at or below 4°C (40°F) and keep hot foods hot at or above 60°C (140°F).
  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.

Travellers and COVID-19

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Travelling Abroad

Enhanced Travel Restrictions

Due to COVID-19 and the risk of new variants, Canadians are strongly advised to cancel or postpone any non-essential travel plans outside of the country until further notice. They should also avoid all travel on cruise ships for the time-being.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: On Feb. 12, the Federal Government announced sweeping new restrictions on international travel to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including variants of it. These measures includes COVID-19 testing and a 14-day quarantine period, and impact people arriving in Canada as follows:

  • Arriving in Canada by Land: Anyone crossing the land border for non-essential reasons will have to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within the last three days. Essential workers such as truckers and emergency service providers, as well as cross border communities, will be exempt from this requirement. There will also be 16 specific points of entry where testing will be run.
  • Arriving in Canada by Air: All air travelers (with some exceptions) will have to undergo a mandatory COVID-19 test at their expense at the airport, followed by quarantine in a government-approved hotel for up to three days while awaiting their test results. All international flights can now only arrive at one of four Canadian airports: Toronto, Montreal, Calgary or Vancouver.
  • Anyone arriving by land or air in Canada will also be required to submit their travel and contact information, including a suitable quarantine plan, electronically via ArriveCAN before crossing the border or boarding a flight.

Read this Federal Government Backgrounder for Full Details on these Restrictions

The federal mandatory isolation/quarantine measure was put in place by Canadian government through an Emergency Order under the Quarantine Act. These measures apply to all travelers arriving in Canada and are aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19 in Canada. The only exceptions are essential workers, including those who ensure the continue flow of goods and essential services across the border. Violating any instructions provided to you when you entered Canada could lead to up to 6 months in prison and/or $750,000 in fines.

Mandatory Quarantine

If at any time over your 14-day quarantine, you develop COVID-19 symptoms, do the following:

  • 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

You must begin isolating for an additional 14 days from the date of your positive test result or onset of symptoms.

Mandatory Isolation

Follow any additional directions provided you by public health staff. After your mandatory quarantine/isolation period ends, continue following important public health measures like: staying home if sick, practising physical distancing, wearing masks or face coverings, and frequently washing hands with soap and water.

Additional Ontario Government Travel Measure

As of Feb. 1, 2021, the Ontario government is also making it mandatory that all international travelers arriving at Pearson Airport in Toronto get tested for COVID-19. Ontario is also exploring additional testing measures at Pearson International Airport and land border crossings in the coming weeks.


Travelling in Canada

Travelling Between Provinces
  • As of April 19, the Ontario government is imposing new travel restrictions. Travel between Ontario and the provinces of Manitoba and Quebec will be restricted, except for the purposes of such things as work, health care services, transportation and delivery of goods and services or exercising Aboriginal or treaty rights.

Physical Distancing

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

Tips for Physical Distancing:
  • Stay at home as much as possible, and only go out for essentials.
  • Keep a minimum two-metre (six-foot) distance between yourself and others. That’s roughly the length of a hockey stick.
  • When out in the community, practise physical distancing every step of the way!
  • Wear masks inside all public places. Consider mask use outdoors too, when unable to maintain physical distance from those outside your household.
  • Get outside to exercise and be active, but try to maintain a physical distance of at last 2 metres (6-feet) from others.
  • Greet people with a wave, bow or nod, instead of handshake or hug. After being outside, wash your hands with soap and water.
  • Work from home if possible. Talk to your supervisor, manager, or employer about options. Cancel in-person business meetings. Instead, look at teleconferencing or video chat options.
  • If you are sick, stay home and use Ontario’s online COVID-19 Screening Tool to see what additional care you may need.
  • Sanitize/wash your hands when entering or exiting building. Avoid long lineups. Use tap to pay instead of handling money.
  • Do NOT use public transit if you are sick. Self-isolate at home right away.
  • If you must use public transit, wash hands often, keep a two-metre distance between other passengers, wear a non-medical mask and aim to travel in non-peak hours.

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


Additional Resources:

Download and print resources below:

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:

Screening

Handwashing and Respiratory Etiquette

Cleaning and Disinfecting

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

Mask Use

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.

Holidays, Family Gatherings and Celebrations

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Key Message: Stay Safe, Stay Home, Limit Gatherings

NOTE: As of 12:01 am on Thursday, April 8, a provincial State of Emergency and Stay-at-Home Order is in place in Ontario to stop the spread of COVID-19. All of Ontario, including Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes, is covered by these measures. See how these measures affect you.

The Stay-at-Home Order means you must only leave your home for essentials (like groceries, medical appointments, COVID-19 vaccinations). All indoor and outdoor organized social gatherings and organized public events are not allowed, except with members of the same household (the people you live with). Travel between different parts of Ontario is also discouraged.

Staying home remains the best way to protect yourself and others. COVID-19 is still a health risk, and with coronavirus variants now circulating locally and in Ontario, illness can more easily be spread between people.

Protect yourself and your loved ones:

  • Do not gather with anyone outside your household. During the Provincial State of Emergency, indoor and outdoor gatherings are not allowed.
  • Celebrate virtually or connect by phone with other family and friends. This is the best and safest way to mark holidays and celebrations. A return to normal will come once more COVID-19 vaccines are available, helping to better control the spread of the virus.
  • Avoid all non-essential travel, including out-of-province.

General Tips for Holidays, Celebrations and Family Gatherings
  • Stay home if sick. Use Ontario’s online COVID-19 assessment tool to help determine if you need further care.
  • Avoid non-essential trips to any other part of Ontario.
  • Do not gather indoors or outdoors with anyone outside your household. If you live alone, you can celebrate with one other household.
  • Follow food safety tips if preparing a meal for your immediate household.
  • Do NOT visit visit loved ones whom you do not live. Instead, connect virtually with family and friends. Pick up the phone or chat via social media and/or video-conferencing. Consider using these platforms to hold a virtual holiday party/celebration. If technology is not your thing, send a card or write a letter to a loved one.
  • Look after your mental health and that of your loved ones, especially people who may be alone and feel cut off from others.
  • Avoid the “3 C’s” – closed spaces, crowded places and close faces. 
  • Practise physical distancing as much as possible. Keep a 2 metre (6-foot) distance from anyone who is outside your household.
  • Wear a mask or face covering inside public places. Ensure face coverings are tightly fitted to cover the nose, mouth and chin (scarves and bandanas are insufficient). NEW: Wearing a mask or face covering is now recommended outdoors when you can’t physically distance more than two metres from others outside your household. 

Places of Worship during COVID-19

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Current Situation

Ontario has implemented new restrictions to control the surge in COVID-19 cases. For places of worship, this means that — as of 12:01 am on April 19 — reduced limits are in place for religious services, weddings and funerals

  • No more than 10 people are allowed to gather indoors or outdoors for weddings, funerals and religious services. Physical distancing must be maintained, and attendees must wear masks or face coverings.
  • Social gatherings associated with these services (such as receptions) are not allowed, except for members of the same household.
  • Virtual services are permitted — and may be the best option at this time.
  • Drive-in services, are permitted.

Protect the health and safety of your members and congregants by taking measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Read on for further information and resources, including the Health Unit’s COVID-19 Guidance for Reopening Places of Worship. You can also click here for specific Guidelines on Health and Safety for Places of Worship During COVID-19 from Workplace Safety and Prevention Services.


Use of Non-Medical Masks Face Coverings During Religious Services

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

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

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

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

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


Weddings and Funerals

As of 12:01 am on April 19, the following new measures apply to weddings and funerals:

  • No more than 10 people are allowed to gather indoors or outdoors for weddings and funerals. Physical distancing must be maintained, and attendees must wear masks or face coverings.
  • Social gatherings associated with these services (such as receptions) are not allowed, except for members of the same household.
  • Drive-in services, are permitted.

General COVID-19 Preventive Tips for Places of Worship
  • Maintain physical distancing by staying two metres (six feet) apart at all times.
  • Anyone who is feeling sick must stay home and not attend a service.
  • Encourage everyone to wash their hands. Ensure hand-cleaning stations and alcohol-based sanitizer dispensers are available at entrances to your place of worship. 
  • Ensure everyone wears a mask or face covering at all times, including when seated during the worship service.
  • Do NOT shake hands or hug.  
  • Remind people to cough/sneeze into their sleeves. 
  • Discourage group singing. Use audio or video recordings instead.
  • Review the sharing of items during special religious sacraments/rites, at least while COVID-19 continues to circulate. You may want to consult further with your parish/diocese/denomination/national body. 
  • Maintain a clean and safe space through regular cleaning and disinfecting. High-touch surfaces should be cleaned twice a day or following each service (whichever is more frequent).
  • Have a traffic flow plan in place, such as one-way enter/one-way exit.
  • Encourage members/parishioners who are more vulnerable to COVID-19 (including those over age 70 and people with compromised immune systems) to take part in virtual services or hold a dedicated service solely for this group.
  • Consider keeping a record of all attendees for contact tracing in case of a COVID-19 outbreak.
Stay Connected to Members/Congregants in Other Ways
  • Encourage members/congregants to only go out for essentials (like groceries or prescriptions)
  • Continue to offer virtual or live-streamed services
  • Keep in touch by phone or via social media/email/text. Share credible information – like what’s on this website on how people can protect themselves from COVID-19. 
Additional Resources:

Download and print resources below:

Emergency Orders, Directives and Closures

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

On This Page:

HKPR District Health Unit

Provincial Orders
  • To further stop the surge in COVID-19 cases, the Ontario government is extending its State of Emergency and Stay-at-Home Order until at least May 20. Strengthened control restrictions are also now in place. All of Ontario, including Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes, is covered by these measures. Learn more how these measures affect you.
  • Due to rapidly rising COVID-19 cases, all elementary and secondary schools in Ontario will shift to teacher-led, remote learning on April 19. No date for a return to in-person learning has been set.
  • Child care for non-school aged children will remain open, but before and after school programs will be closed. Free emergency child care for the school-aged children of eligible health care and frontline workers will be provided. 
  • The Ontario government is now recommending that masks or face coverings be worn outside when 2-metres physical distancing is not possible.
  • The Province has created a COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Taskforce to plan logistics for mass vaccination across Ontario when COVID-19 vaccines are available. Click here for the latest information on booking a COVID-19 vaccine appointment in Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes
  • The Ontario government is making it mandatory that all international travelers arriving at Pearson Airport in Toronto get tested for COVID-19. Ontario is also exploring additional testing measures at Pearson International Airport and land border crossings in the coming weeks.
  • The Ontario government is mandating the use of face coverings in all public indoor settings across the province, such as businesses, facilities and workplaces, with limited exemptions, including corrections and developmental services. Masks must also now be worn throughout religious services at places of worship.

Federal Orders 

COVID-19 News/Media Releases

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Media Releases

2021

April 2021

March 2021

February 2021

January 2021


2020

December 2020

November 2020

October 2020

September 2020

August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

January 2020


Follow us for COVID-19 Updates

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

If you have questions about COVID-19, you can contact the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577 x5020 or email at info@hkpr.on.ca

Provincial State of Emergency and Stay-at-Home Order in Effect

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Latest Update:

  • The Provincial State of Emergency and Stay-at-Home Order put in place on April 8 are now being extended an extra two weeks (to at least May 20). This is part of new enhanced measures announced by the Province on April 16 to stop the spread of COVID-19. All of Ontario, including Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes, is covered by these measures.
  • As part of the Stay-at-Home Order, you must stay home as much as possible, except to go out for essential purposes. This includes: going to the grocery store/pharmacy, accessing health care services (including getting vaccinated for COVID-19), outdoor exercise, or for work that cannot be done remotely. Under the updated restrictions, police and other provincial offences officers will have new temporary powers to enforce the Stay-at-Home Order. This includes: being able to ask people where they live and why they aren’t at their home, and having the discretion to issue $750 tickets if the person declines to respond to questions or provide a valid reason.
  • Additional measures announced on April 16 by the Province include:
    • Closure of all outdoor amenities like golf courses, playgrounds, basketball courts, soccer fields and tennis courts (with limited exceptions).
    • Reducing capacity limits to 25% in all retail settings where in-store shopping is permitted. This includes supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, and pharmacies (which before could operate at 50% capacity)
    • Banning all outdoor social gatherings and organized public events except with members of the same household. (NOTE: people who live alone can have exclusive contact with one other family).
    • Shutting down all non-essential workplaces in the construction sector.
    • As of Monday (April 19), limiting indoor and outdoor gatherings for religious services, weddings and funerals to no more than 10 people. Social gatherings associated with these services are prohibited, except for members of the same household. Drive-in services will still be allowed.
    • Banning interprovincial travel except for essential reasons (as of Monday, April 19, checkpoints are to be set up at Ontario border crossings into Manitoba and Quebec)
    • Allowing non-essential retailers to continue offering curbside pickup and delivery
  • Please read on below for additional information, including what and how businesses are impacted by these measures.

Key Measures in Shutdown

Below are highlights of the control measures. For full details, including on the Stay-at-Home Order and which businesses can open and operate (or remain closed), visit the Province’s information page:

Stay-at-Home Order

Essential reasons to leave home include:

  • Going to get groceries and other essentials
  • Getting medications and other supplies at the pharmacy
  • Accessing health care services (including medical appointments and getting your COVID-19 vaccination)
  • Going outside for exercise (but not to use parks and other outdoor amenities which are now closed)
  • Going to work (if you cannot do it remotely)
  • Going to daycare
  • Helping others, including providing care, support and assistance to those who need it
  • Protecting yourself (for example, escaping domestic violence)
  • Caring for animals (e.g. walking your dog, accessing veterinarian services, buying pet food/supplies).
  • Attending a wedding, funeral, or religious service.

Increased Powers to Enforce Stay-at-Home Order

  • Under the updated restrictions, police will have temporary, but increased powers to enforce the Stay-at-Home Order.
  • This includes: being able to ask people where they live and why they aren’t at their home, and having the discretion to issue $750 tickets if the person declines to respond to questions or provide a valid reason.
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Religious Services, Weddings and Funerals

NEW: As of 12:01 am on April 19, reduced limits are in place for religious services, weddings and funerals.

  • No more than 10 people are allowed to gather indoors or outdoors for weddings, funerals and religious services. Physical distancing must be maintained, and attendees must wear masks or face coverings.
  • Social gatherings associated with these services (such as receptions) are not allowed, except for members of the same household.
  • Virtual services are permitted — and may be the best option at this time.
  • Drive-in services, are permitted.
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Gatherings and Other Considerations
  • Indoor and outdoor gatherings are NOT allowed, except with members of the same household (the people you live with).
  • NOTE: Anyone who lives alone will still be able to spend time (have close contact) with one other household to reduce the impacts of isolation.
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Schools and Daycares
  • Due to rapidly rising COVID-19 cases, all elementary and secondary schools in Ontario will shift to teacher-led, remote learning on April 19. No date for a return to in-person learning has been set.
  • Child care for non-school aged children will remain open, but before and after school programs will be closed. Free emergency child care for the school-aged children of eligible health care and frontline workers will be provided. 
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How and What Businesses Are Affected – Overview
  • Click here for a full list of businesses that can open and the restrictions now in place.
  • NEW: Capacity limits at all retail settings where in-person shopping is permitted is limited to 25% capacity. Grocery stores, pharmacies, convenience stores, indoor farmers’ markets, and other stores that primarily sell food must now operate at this 25% capacity (down from 50% capacity). Curbside pick-up and delivery can also be offered.
  • All non-essential retailers must close to in-person shopping. They are only allowed to operate with curbside pickup and delivery (by appointment) between 7 am and 8 pm.
  • Discount and big-box stores can remain open, but only to sell essential goods such as: grocery items, pet care supplies, household cleaning supplies, pharmacy items, health care items, and personal care items only. Capacity for in-person shopping is limited to 25% capacity. Curbside pick-up and delivery can also be offered.
  • Restaurants can only be open for takeout, delivery and drive through. Indoor and outdoor dining are not allowed.
  • Shopping malls must close for in-person shopping, and are limited to curbside pickup via appointment and delivery.
  • Gyms, fitness clubs, concert venues/theatres/cinemas (includes drive-in or drive-through events), barbershops, spas, hair salons and other select businesses remain closed. Click here for a full list of businesses that must stay closed.
  • A select group of stores are allowed to remain open by appointment only with a 25 per cent capacity limit (hours are restricted from 7 am to 8 pm). These include:
    • Safety supply stores
    • Businesses that primarily sell, rent or repair assistive devices, aids or supplies, mobility devices, aids or supplies or medical devices, aids or supplies
    • Rental and leasing services including automobile, commercial and light industrial machinery and equipment rental
    • Optical stores that sell prescription eyewear to the public
    • Businesses that sell motor vehicles, boats and other watercraft
    • Vehicle and equipment repair and essential maintenance and vehicle and equipment rental services
    • Retail stores operated by a telecommunications provider or service, which may only permit members of the public to enter the premises to purchase a cellphone or for repairs or technical support.
  • Outdoor garden centres and plant nurseries, as well as indoor greenhouses can remain open, but must operate at a 25% capacity limit and restrict their hours from 7 am to 8 pm.
  • NEW: Golf courses, parks/playgrounds, sports fields, tennis courts, basketball courts, frisbee golf locations, cycling trails, horse riding facilities and other outdoor amenities are now closed.
  • Seasonal campgrounds are closed. Campsites can only be made available for trailers and recreational vehicles that are: i) used by individuals who need housing and ii) permitted to be there by the terms of a full-season contract. Only campsites with electricity, water services, and sewage disposal facilities can be provided. All recreational facilities and shared facilities (other than washrooms and showers) in the campground must be closed.
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Additional Resources:

COVID-19 Emergency and Stay-at-Home Order – Government of Ontario

Click on the following links for additional support:

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COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics

COVID-19 mass immunization clinics are now being offered locally to eligible residents in Northumberland County, City of Kawartha Lakes, and Haliburton County against COVID-19.

Appointments are booked based on the priority outlined in the provincial vaccine distribution plan and are based on the local availability of vaccine.


On This Page

How to Book a COVID-19 Vaccine Appointment:
  • If you were born in 1961 or earlier, you MUST book through the provincial booking system or calling 1-888-999-6488. The Health Unit cannot book an appointment for you.
  • If you are not booking based on age, but think you are eligible to be vaccinated, please click here to see if you are eligible and how you can book your vaccine appointment.
  • Once a clinic is filled, it will no longer be visible on the provincial booking system.
  • There are still vaccination appointments open in Haliburton and Minden on April 23, 24, 25. Please book through the provincial booking system.
  • IMPORTANT NOTE: You will receive a confirmation code when you have successfully booked your appointment. 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.
Are you eligible to book?

Click here to see if you are eligible for a vaccine and follow the steps to see how you can book an appointment.

Booking Online

Visit www.ontario.ca/bookvaccine

When booking an appointment, individuals will be asked for information from their green Ontario health card, birth date, postal code and email address and/or phone number. Individuals with an expired health card can still book an appointment. Individuals with a red and white health card will need to call the provincial information line.

At the time of booking, eligible individuals will schedule their first and second vaccination appointments.

Phone Line

Call 1-888-999-6488

Individuals born in 1961 or earlier who do not have internet access, can call the Provincial Vaccine Information Line at 1-888-999-6488. Phone lines will be open Monday to Sunday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

More information about booking an appointment: Book A Vaccination Appointment and Frequently Asked Questions

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Local Vaccination Clinics

Additional clinic appointments are added to the provincial booking system, as more COVID-19 vaccines arrive locally.

Northumberland County

Cobourg Community Centre750 D’Arcy Street, Cobourg (view map)

Trent Hills Emergency Services Base, 50 Doxsee Avenue, Campbellford (view map)

City of Kawartha Lakes

Lindsay Exhibition (LEX)354 Angeline Street South, Lindsay (view map)

The LEX Clinic will operate as a drive-through model, meaning individuals will remain in their vehicles for the duration of their appointment. There will be signage and hospital staff on-site to help navigate where to go.

Those with appointments are asked to arrive approximately 10 minutes prior to their appointment time to check in. Individuals being vaccinated should wear a loose, comfortable shirt and must bring their Ontario health card.

Fenelon Falls Community Centre27 Veterans Way, Fenelon Falls (view map) Back to Top

Haliburton County

Haliburton Family Medical Centre (Second Floor)7217 Gelert Road, Haliburton (view map)

MINDEN: S.G. Nesbitt Memorial Arena55 Parkside Street, Minden (view map)

HALBIBURTON: A.J. LaRue Community Centre728 Mountain Street, Haliburton (view map)

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Please note: vaccination appointments are booked based on vaccine availability

Please note: additional clinics and or clinic locations may be added in the coming weeks.


Pharmacy Vaccine Locations

More Ontario pharmacies are now offering the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for people 55 years of age and older. You can book an appointment for this free vaccine if you:

  • will be 55 years of age or older in 2021.
  • have a valid Ontario health card, or other form of valid government-issued identification.

Please note that you MUST contact the pharmacy directly to make an appointment. Walk-ins are not accepted, and please do not contact the Health Unit as we have no involvement in this program.

Local Pharmacy Clinic Locations

At this time, only a few select pharmacies in the local Health Unit region are offering these vaccines. They include:

Northumberland County

  • Brighton: Remedy’s Rx (24 Main St.) – To book an appointment, click here.
  • Campbellford: Rx Drug Mart (16 Grand Rd.) – Call 705-653-1885 or click here to book an appointment.
  • Cobourg: Pharmacy 101 (464 Division St.) – Took an appointment, call 905-269-0828.
  • Cobourg: Wal-Mart Pharmacy (73 Strathy Rd.) – To book an appointment, click here.
  • Port Hope: Pharmasave (60 Ontario St.) – To book an appointment, click here.
  • Port Hope: Shoppers Drug Mart (249 Ontario St.) – To book an appointment, call (905) 885-8740 or click here.

City of Kawartha Lakes

  • Bobcaygeon: Shoppers Drug Mart (85 Bolton St.) – To book an appointment, click here.
  • Lindsay: Loblaw Pharmacy (400 Kent St. W.) – To book an appointment, click here.
  • Lindsay: Kawartha Lakes Pharmacy (55 Angeline St. N., Unit 4A) – To book an appointment, call 705-324-2929 or click here.
  • Lindsay: Shoppers Drug Mart (343 Kent St. W., Unit 341) – To book an appointment, click here.

Haliburton County

  • Haliburton: Rexall (224 Highland St.) – To book an appointment, call 705-457-1112 or click here.
  • Haliburton: Shoppers Drug Mart (186 Highland St.) – To book an appointment, click here.
Other Pharmacy Locations in Ontario

For other pharmacies taking place in this program, visit the Ontario government’s Pharmacy COVID-19 Vaccine page. You can search the list of pharmacies by community or using your postal code.


Vaccination Clinics for Indigenous Adults

Vaccination clinics are being held for Indigenous adults (18+) and their household members (18+).

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Additional Resources:

COVID-19 Vaccines

Are You Eligible for a COVID-19 Vaccine?

Provincial Vaccine Distribution Plan


Isolating During COVID-19

In certain cases, you MUST isolate or quarantine to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This protects you and others from illness, especially those more at risk from COVID-19 such as seniors and people with chronic medical conditions. With new COVID-19 variants of concern that can be spread easier now being detected in Ontario, it’s even more important to isolate or quarantine when directed (click here for links to FAQs on variants).

Please Note: On April 6, 2021, the local Medical Officer of Health issued the following updated Class Order under Section 22 (5.01.1) under the Health Protection and Promotion Act. This order replaces an original order pertaining to self-isolating due to COVID-19. The updated Class Order is designed to protect the health of local residents by reducing the spread of COVID-19 in Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes.

On this page

When to Isolate

Public health staff* will give you further direction on when and how long to isolate or quarantine, depending on your circumstances. In general, you must isolate:

  1. If you are diagnosed with COVID-19.
  2. If you have the signs and symptoms of COVID-19, have been tested and are awaiting the results.
  3. If you believe you have COVID-19 symptoms (even mild ones).
  4. You must quarantine if you are identified as a high-risk close contact of someone who has COVID-19, is awaiting test results or is believed to have symptoms.
  5. Parents and caregivers of anyone under age 16 who tests positive for COVID-19, is awaiting test results or is believed to have symptoms may also need to isolate.

**NOTE: Due to workload issues, Public Health Ontario and the Ontario Ministry of Health’s Provincial Work Force (PHO) are assisting the Health Unit in following up with COVID-19 case and contacts in Northumberland County, Haliburton County and the City of Kawartha Lakes. You may be contacted by public health staff from any of these organizations. Please follow their guidance to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

FURTHER NOTE: The federal government also has mandatory quarantine and isolation orders in effect for travelers to and from Canada. Please click here for full details.


How Long to Isolate

You must remain in isolation or quarantine as directed by public health staff. In general, you must isolate for:

  • 10 days if diagnosed with mild to moderate COVID-19 illness and symptoms
  • 20 days if you suffered more severe COVID-19 illness (e.g. requiring Intensive Care Unit level support) or are immune-compromised.

You must quarantine for 14 days if you had close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 or strongly suspected of having the virus.

Please follow specific public health guidance for isolating and quarantining, or call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5020 for further direction.


Video Resources

Learn more by watching Health Unit videos further explaining what to expect if you are asked to isolate or quarantine:


How to Isolate
Stay home

Do not use public transportation, taxis or rideshares.

Do not go to work, school or other public places.

Stay home unless you need to get tested or require emergency medical care.


Avoid contact with others

No visitors unless essential (e.g. care providers)

Stay away from seniors and people with chronic medical conditions (e.g. diabetes, lung problems, immune deficiency).

As much as possible, stay in a separate room away from other people in your home and use a separate bathroom if you have one.

Make sure that shared rooms have good airflow (e.g. open windows).

If these steps are not possible, keep a distance of at least two metres (6 feet) from others at all times.


Keep your distance

If you are in a room with other people, keep a distance of at least two metres and wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth.

Other people should wear a mask when they are in the same room as you.


Wash your hands

Wash your hands often with soap and water.

Dry your hands with a paper towel, or with your own cloth towel that no one else will share.

Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.


Cover your coughs and sneezes

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.

Cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hand.

Throw used tissues in a lined wastebasket, and wash your hands. Lining the wastebasket with a plastic bag makes waste disposal safer.

Clean your hands after emptying the wastebasket.


Wear a mask over your nose and mouth

Wear a mask if you must leave your house to see a health care provider or to get tested for COVID-19.

Wear a mask when you are within two metres of other people, or stay in a separate room.

If you do not have a mask, maintain two metres distance from people and cover your cough and sneezes


What should I do if I develop symptoms?
  • Complete the COVID-19 Self-Assessment.
  • Contact Telehealth (1-866-797-0000) or your health care provider.
  • Anyone with whom you had close physical contact (e.g., in your household) in the two days before your symptoms started or after symptoms started should also isolate. If you have questions about this, call the local Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5020.
  • You will be directed by public health staff on how long you need to isolate or quarantine.
  • When you stop isolating or quarantining, you should continue with measures to prevent COVID-19, including physical distancing and properly wearing a mask or face covering.
  • If you are still unwell at the end of your isolation or quarantine period, contact Telehealth or your health care provider for further direction.

Isolating with No COVID-19 Symptoms (Older Adults and people with existing medical conditions)

After Your Isolation Period is Over

If you do not develop symptoms after your isolation period is over OR If you no longer have a fever and your symptoms have improved:

  • You can stop isolating, but for your protection, stay home except for essential trips (e.g. groceries and medication)
  • You MUST practise physical distancing measures when in public
  • Continue with frequent handwashing and avoid touching your face

If you are still unwell after this period, contact Telehealth or your health care provider for further direction. You can also call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5020.


Additional Resources

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


Download and print resources below:

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.

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:

For Employees

No matter where and how you are working, it’s important to follow key preventive measures to stop the spread of COVID-19.


Current Reopening Situation


On this page:

Key messages:
  • Screen yourself for COVID-19 before going into work. Use the Ontario Ministry of Health’s online Screening Tool for Employees.
  • Stay home if you are sick or have been directed to self isolate by the Health Unit.
  • Plan for physical distancing whenever and wherever possible. Avoid sharing work stations, tools or equipment. If you have to share items, clean and disinfect all commonly touched surfaces before you touch them. Allow for lots of space between you and other people, especially in lunch rooms and other common areas. Stay at least 2 metres (6 feet) apart whenever possible. 
  • If staff/workers are performing tasks indoors that require them to be less than 2 metres from an unmasked or improperly masked individual without a barrier (e.g. Plexiglass, partition, wall), appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) must be worn, including proper protection for eyes, nose and mouth. At a minimum, this would include a medical mask and eye protection (NOTE: This is also a requirement of the Ministry of Labour). Please refer to this COVID-19 Eye Protection guidance resource for more information.
  • Use appropriate PPE when needed.
  • Ontario is now requiring that non-medical masks or face coverings be worn inside public places. Employees who work with the public are covered by this. Learn more on how to ensure a mask fits properly and when you can temporarily remove a mask.
  • Practice good hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette.  Wash your hands, or use hand sanitizer when you can’t wash. 
  • Clean and disinfect your work stations, and all commonly-touched surfaces often.
  • If you are carpooling to work with another person, ensure physical distancing on the drive. Stick to two people per vehicle. The second person should sit in the back, passenger-side seat to ensure proper distance from the driver. Masks should be worn on the trip. The only exception to this two-person limit is if travelling in the same vehicle with people from your own household.
  • Review these workplace video resources for more information. 
  • Communicate and share credible and evidenced based information with coworkers and customers. 
  • Take care of your mental health.

Workplace health and safety resources:

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

You have a right to a safe workplace – now more than ever during COVID-19. Learn about your rights during COVID-19 and discover resources/supports that can help reduce the risk of illness for you and others in your workplace.


Latest Updates

What if There is a Case of COVID-19 in My Workplace?
Employees/Co-workers
  • Before going into work, you are encouraged to screen yourself for COVID-19 symptoms. Follow the direction provided.
  • 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 public health.
  • 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. They can also 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can an employee come to work if someone in their household has developed symptoms of COVID-19?

It is recommended that the symptomatic household member be tested for COVID-19 and self-isolate while awaiting test results.

The employee must also quarantine until the household member receives test results, unless alternative direction has been provided by public health.

What should I do if an employee at my workplace develops symptoms of COVID-19? Should I send everyone else home? Should I close?

The employee with symptoms should be isolated from others, sent home immediately and advised to seek medical assessment and testing for their symptoms. Other employees can continue to work and should self-monitor for symptoms. It is not a requirement to send all other employees home and/or close unless advised by public health.

If one of my employees tells me that someone in their household travels regularly outside of Canada for work (e.g. a truck driver), can my employee still come to work?

Yes. Household members are not required to quarantine or self-isolate in this case but should self-monitor for symptoms.

Someone in an employee’s household has been identified as a contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19. Can the employee still come to work?

The employee can go to work but should self-monitor for symptoms. If the household member develops COVID-19 symptoms, the employee is required to quarantine until the symptomatic individual receives a COVID-19 test result or is provided an alternative diagnosis by a health care provider.

When can an employee return to work if they have been sick with COVID-19?

Public health will provide detailed direction to all positive cases and their close contacts on self-isolation requirements and return to work.

When can an employee return to the workplace if they have been sick, but do not have COVID-19?

If the individual was tested for COVID-19 and the result was negative, the recommendation is to wait for 24 hours after symptoms resolve before returning to the workplace, unless otherwise advised by public health.

How do I protect myself, my employees and my customers from COVID-19?

Remember these key public health measures:

  • Self-monitor for symptoms daily, and stay home if you are sick
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer
  • Cough/sneeze into elbow or tissue, put tissue in garbage and wah hands right away
  • Keep at least 2 metres physical distance from others
  • Wear a mask when indoors in public spaces, and anytime keeping 2m physical distance is not possible
  • Regularly clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces
  • Post signage to remind employees, customers and visitors of all of the above
  • Self-isolate if you develop symptoms

What are the new variants of coronavirus and do they pose extra risks for me at work?

Recently, new variants of the COVID-19 virus have been identified as posing possible new risks to people due to high rates of transmission, more severe illness and increased risk of reinfection. The variants include:

  • B.1.1.7 (501Y.V1) – variant first identified in the United Kingdom in late November 2020.
  • 501Y.V2 – variant first identified in South Africa at the end of December 2020.
  • P.1 – variant first detected in travelers from Brazil who arrived in Japan in January 2021.

All three variants have been identified in Ontario, with cases believed to be linked to both travel-related and community transmission. Growing evidence indicates these variants can more easily spread between people.

The arrival of these variants means everyone must take extra precautions at work, home or in the community to stop the spread.

How concerned should we be about the new variants of COVID-19 now present in Ontario?

In general, the COVID-19 variants of concern being detected in Ontario seem to be more contagious and therefore can spread among people more quickly. This means it’s extra important to continue following all the important public health measures to stop the spread of COVID-19. This includes:

  • Wearing masks
  • Avoiding non-essential travel
  • Limiting trips out of your home
  • Limiting contact to only those people with whom you live
  • Practising physical distancing by staying two metres apart from others
  • Frequently washing your hands with soap and water
  • Coughing/sneezing into your sleeve
  • Following other prevention measures.

However, there is good news too. According to the World Health Organization, COVID-19 vaccines that have been approved or are currently in development do provide some protection against the COVID-19 variants. Various vaccine makers have also stated they are ready to reformulate their existing vaccines – or develop new ones – so they provide greater protection against the new coronavirus variants.

Health Canada is also working with vaccine manufacturers and international regulators to assess the impact of the new variants on the effectiveness of approved vaccines and treatments.

Realizing the potential health risks of these new strains, the Ontario government has also announced additional measures to stop the spread of these COVID-19 variants.



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NOTE: As of 12:01 am on Thursday, April 8, a provincial State of Emergency and Stay-at-Home Order is in place in Ontario to stop the spread of COVID-19. All of Ontario, including Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes, is covered by these measures. See how these measures affect ...
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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:

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

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 and Schools

The Health Unit continues to work closely with local school boards and other public health units to ensure a safe return for all students, staff and families. Please read on for more information and resources for parents, school board staff and students.

Current Situation

On This Page

For Parents
Screening Your Child for COVID-19 Symptoms
What to Do If Your Child Does Not Pass Screening
Protocols When Student/Staff Test Positive for COVID-19
Return to School Protocol for Students with COVID-19 Symptoms
Provincial Resources

Guidance documents and resources:

Local School Board Resources

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


Frequently Asked Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who will declare an outbreak at the school?

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

Examples of reasonably having acquired infection in school include:

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

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

Are masks now mandatory for all students?

Mandatory masking now applies for all students in Grades 1 to 12. Mask use is also required for before- and after-school programs, as well as on school vehicles. While not required, students in Junior and Senior Kindergarten are also encouraged to wear masks.

Masks must now also be worn outdoors when physical distancing can’t be maintained.


Additional Resources

Click on the following for additional support:


For School Board Staff

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

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

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

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

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

For Students

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

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

Reducing Harm When Using Drugs

Do you use substances or other drugs? Not only is it important to avoid overdoses and reduce the risk of infections like HIV and hepatitis, you also need to reduce harm from COVID-19. 

Please note: During COVID-19, if you need harm reduction supplies, please order ahead if possible by calling the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 3000. Due to the Provincial State of Emergency, Health Unit offices are temporarily closed to the public. Please ring or knock at the office door when you come to pick up and the order will be brought to the door for you.

On this page:


General Tips (For Those Not Self-Isolating/Showing No COVID-19 Symptoms) 
  • Do not share supplies (cigarettes, joints, pipes, injecting equipment, containers for alcohol, utensils, and other supplies). Use your own mouthpiece and keep it only for YOUR use 
  • Avoid handshakes, hugs, kisses and other close contact 
  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before preparing, handling or using drugs. Prepare your own drugs 
  • If you cannot wash your hands with soap or use hand sanitizer, use alcohol-based hand wipes 
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or use tissues. Throw tissues away immediately and wash your hands 
  • It’s strongly recommended you clean surfaces with soap and water, alcohol wipes, bleach or hydrogen peroxide before preparing drugs 
  • If you share a washroom with others, clean and disinfect surfaces like knobs, taps, and flushers. Use soap and water, bleach, hydrogen peroxide or alcohol-based wipes (70%) after every use. Do not mix different types of cleaning solutions 
  • Buddy up if using drugs, but be safe! COVID-19 is passed by droplets, so you must stay 2 metres (six feet) – roughly the length of a hockey stick – from your buddy to avoid passing the virus  
  • Using with a buddy is safer than using drugs alone, but remember to keep your physical distance! Buddies may be able to bring food, harm reduction supplies, medicine, and substances so that you can stay well. You can also be a buddy to others who need support. Check in on your buddies regularly and have them do the same for you  
  • Never use alone. Call the national overdose prevention hotline at 1-888-688-NORS (6677) or visit the National Overdose Response Service for more support.
  • Carry naloxone and have an overdose plan. If necessary, you can perform chest compressions. Do not do rescue breathing due to COVID-19 concerns  
  • If you must use drugs by yourself, call a buddy to have him/her regularly check in on you 

If Isolating (With or Without COVID-19 Symptoms)  
  • Do not leave your home! Ask a buddy to pick up supplies including naloxone from harm reduction sites or outreach workers. Arrange to have the supplies dropped off at your door, being sure to practise physical distancing  
  • Try to have the substances you need to stay well. Know that carrying large amounts may land you in trouble with the law. Consider alternatives to your drug of choice, especially if supplies are difficult to get and you face withdrawal symptoms 
  • Have a backup plan and be cautious of new supplies you may need to get  
  • Try to have the medications you need. Refills may be available through your pharmacist or by phone without having to see your doctor. If you’re feeling sick and require medications, call your pharmacy in advance 
  • Health Canada is working on exemptions to ensure access to OAT (Opioid Agonist Therapy) and other medicines 
  • For more information, contact your health care provider  
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Responding to an Overdose During COVID-19 

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

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

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

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Additional Resources  
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COVID-19 and Daycares

Licensed child care centres are now open and operating at full capacity, but under strict protective measures due to COVID-19.

Current Situation:

On This Page:


For Child Care Providers

Child care providers must follow various COVID-19 prevention measures to protect children in their care. These measures include:

  • Ensuring all child care staff and other adults wear medical masks and eye protection (i.e. face shields) at all times while inside the child care premises, including in hallways
  • Conducting frequent and thorough cleaning and disinfecting of the facility. Frequently-touched surfaces such as doorknobs, water fountains, light switches, tabletops, electronics and toilet/faucet handles should be cleaned and disinfected at least twice a day as they are most likely to become contaminated.
  • Carrying out daily COVID-19 screening of children, staff and visitors before they can enter a childcare facility
  • Maintaining attendance records to allow for COVID-19 contact tracing and coordination if needed
  • Encouraging frequent hand washing and proper hand hygiene for children and staff
  • Following clear and rigid case management protocols should a staff member or child become ill or test positive for COVID-19.

For specifics on what is required, child care providers should consult the following resources:

Ontario Government

HKPR District Health Unit


For Parents
Screening Your Child for COVID-19 Symptoms
What to Do If Your Child Does Not Pass Screening

For KPRDSB and PVNCCDSB Schools

For TLDSB Schools

Return to Child Care Protocol for Children with COVID-19 Symptoms

Health Unit Support

The Health Unit is working with local licensed child care centres to ensure they follow proper protocols to protect the safety of children, families and staff during the pandemic. If you have questions or concerns, call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5006.


Additional Resources

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 isolate if you test positive for the virus. Public health will call you as soon as possible about your test results and ask you questions about places you have visited and people who you were in close contact. Anyone in close contact with you may be at risk from COVID-19 themselves, so must be called. Your help in answering these questions is essential to protect the health of others in the community.   
  • PLEASE NOTE: Due to workload issues, Public Health Ontario and the Ontario Ministry of Health’s Provincial Work Force (PHO) are assisting the Health Unit in following up with COVID-19 case and contacts in Northumberland County, Haliburton County and the City of Kawartha Lakes. You may be contacted by public health staff from any of these organizations. Please follow their guidance to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
  • You will receive regular phone calls from public health staff to see how you are doing and to monitor any symptoms you have. Public health staff will also ensure you are staying in self-isolation at home and can discuss any supports you need and respond to your questions. 
  • If you are diagnosed with COVID-19 and do NOT stay at home in self-isolation, you could be served with a Class Order under Section 22 (5.01.1) of the Health Protection and Promotion Act. This order states you must stay home in self-isolation or face daily fines or imprisonment for not doing so. 
Close Contacts 
  • Public health staff (either Health Unit or Public Health Ontario staff) will follow up with anyone who has been in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19. This is called contact tracing.  
  • Individuals who are considered close contacts to someone who has COVID-19 can include: 
    • Family members/people living in the same household 
    • Anyone who had direct contact with a positive COVID-19 case 
  • Public health will follow up with these close contacts and give instructions on what they need to do (like quarantining) to slow the spread of COVID-19. Public health will also do regular phone calls with close contacts to check in on them and ensure they follow public health directions. 

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

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