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

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

On this page

Latest Update:

  • The Provincial State of Emergency and Stay-at-Home Order have been extended and are now in place until at least June 2.
  • This is part of new enhanced measures announced by the Province 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. Police can ask you to provide identifying information if officers have reason to believe you are taking part in an organized public event or social gathering.
  • Additional measures include:
    • Closure of all outdoor amenities like golf courses, basketball courts, soccer fields and tennis courts (with limited exceptions). NOTE: The Province is giving consideration to reopening outdoor recreational amenities on June 2, if COVID-19 case trends continue to decline.
    • Playgrounds, play structures and equipment are still available for use if both children and parents can maintain a two metre distance from others outside their household. Parks and recreational areas can also be open for people to walk through.
    • 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. For a complete list of essential construction that is allowed to continue, click here. (NOTE: Essential includes residential construction activities or projects and related services).
    • 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. Checkpoints are also now set up at Ontario border crossings with Manitoba and Quebec.
    • People are advised NOT to travel outside their region or the province unless absolutely necessary.
    • 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.
  • Do NOT travel outside your region or the province unless absolutely necesary.

Additional Enforcement Powers

  • If police and provincial offences officers have reason to suspect anyone is taking part in an organized public event or social gathering, they may require the individual to provide information to ensure they are complying with restrictions.
  • Anyone asked to provide information should comply or could face a fine. This additional enforcement power is only in effect during the Stay-at-Home Order.
Back to Top

Religious Services, Weddings and Funerals

Reduced limits are now 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. (NOTE: Indoor and outdoor limits cannot be combined to allow more than 10 people in total)
  • Social gatherings associated with these services (such as receptions) are not allowed indoors or outdoors, 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.
Back to Top

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.
  • If you do not follow these rules for gatherings, you could face fines. Organizers of these gatherings can be fined up to $10,000. Anyone attending these gatherings can receive a $750 ticket.
  • If a police officer or other provincial offences officer has reason to suspect you are participating in an organized public event or social gathering, they may require you to provide information to ensure you are complying with restrictions. This additional enforcement tool will only be in effect during the Stay-at-Home order.
Back to Top

Schools and Daycares
  • Due to rapidly rising COVID-19 cases, all elementary and secondary schools in Ontario are shifting to teacher-led, remote learning. 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. 
Back to Top

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, 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.
Back to Top

Outdoor Activities and Amenities
  • Golf courses, sports fields, tennis courts, basketball courts, frisbee golf locations, horse riding facilities and other outdoor amenities are now closed. NOTE: The Province is giving consideration to reopening outdoor recreational amenities on June 2, if COVID-19 case trends continue to decline.
  • Playgrounds, play structures and equipment are still available for use if both children and parents can maintain a two metre distance from others outside their household. Parks and recreational areas can also be open for people to walk through.
  • Fishing is allowed during Ontario’s State of Emergency, as you can leave home for exercise and to use outdoor amenities that are open. However, you MUST not exceed the gathering limits with anyone outside your household, including while fishing. Keep your distance from others by staying 2 metres (6 feet) apart and wear a mask if physical distancing is not possible. As well:
    • Check with your local municipality about further restrictions that may apply to gatherings and fishing.
    • If you are fishing on a boat, you must only do so with members of your own household – no one else. Currently, you cannot launch a boat from a marina for recreational purposes.  
    • When fishing, remember that you will need a valid fishing licence and must follow provincial limits for how many fish you can catch and keep.
  • All marinas are currently closed to the public. No recreational boating is permitted, but the following services can be provided: repairing or servicing boats; placing boats into the water and securing them to docks; and providing services to support government operations or enable people to access their residence/property.
Back to Top

Seasonal Campgrounds/Trailer Parks
  • 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.
  • You may stay at your trailer if you plan to reside there for at least 14 days. Only members of your household are allowed to be at the trailer (no guests allowed) and you must stay on your site while the Stay-at-Home order is in effect (no social gathering is allowed at the campground/trailer park). You can leave the trailer park for essential reasons (like going to work, getting groceries). To ‘reside’ at your trailer does not mean ‘isolate’, which is required if you or one of your household tests positive for COVID-19 or were a high-risk contact.
  • If you have returned to Canada, you MUST quarantine for prescribed 14 days. This is a federal requirement under the Quarantine Act. All individuals returning must stay at the trailer for 14 days and are not allowed to leave for any reasons other then going to hospital for medical emergency (call 9-1-1).
  • These are minimum requirements, but check with the campground/trailer park as they may have additional, stricter measures in place to protect the health and safety of their clients and staff. 
Back to Top

Additional Resources:

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

Click on the following links for additional support:

Back to Top

COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics

On This Page

How to Book a COVID-19 Vaccine Appointment:

  • If you were born in 1981 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.
  • 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, please do not go to the clinic event as it means you do not have an appointment. 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


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 1981 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

Back to Top

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)
    • Clinics are scheduled for May 15, 19, 21, 25, 26, 28, 30, 31. If a clinic is filled, it will not appear on the provincial booking system. More clinic dates will be added as vaccine allocations are confirmed.
City of Kawartha Lakes
  • Lindsay Exhibition (LEX)354 Angeline Street South, Lindsay (view map)
    • Clinics are held Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm
    • 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
  • Fenelon Falls Community Centre27 Veterans Way, Fenelon Falls (view map)
    • Clinics are scheduled for May 22, 23, 29, 30. If a clinic is filled, it will not appear on the provincial booking system. More clinic dates will be added as vaccine allocations are confirmed.
    • Watch this Health Unit video on what to expect when you arrive at the Fenelon Falls Community Centre for your vaccine appointment.
Haliburton County
  • A.J. LaRue Community Centre728 Mountain Street, Haliburton (view map)
    • A clinic is scheduled for May 20, 27. If a clinic is filled, it will not appear on the provincial booking system. More clinic dates may be added as vaccine allocations are confirmed.
  • S.G. Nesbitt Memorial Arena55 Parkside Street, Minden (view map)
    • Clinics are scheduled for May 14, 18, 25. If a clinic is filled, it will not appear on the provincial booking system. More clinic dates will be added as vaccine allocations are confirmed.
Please note:
  • Vaccination appointments are booked based on vaccine availability
  • Additional clinics and or clinic locations may be added in the coming weeks.
Back to Top

Pharmacy Vaccine Locations

Anyone 40 years of age and older can now be vaccinated at select pharmacies in Ontario. You can book a vaccination appointment if you:

  • will be 40 years of age in 2021.
  • have a valid Ontario health card, or other form of valid government-issued identification.

Please contact the pharmacy directly, as some may require appointments while others offer walk-in services. 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
  • Remedy’s Rx (24 Main St.)
  • Pharmacy 101 (464 Division St.)
    • To book an appointment, call 905-269-0828.
  • Shoppers Drug Mart (270 Spring St.)
  • Wal-Mart Pharmacy (73 Strathy Rd.)
Port Hope
  • Loblaw Pharmacy (20 Joceyln St.)
  • Pharmasave (60 Ontario St.)
  • Shoppers Drug Mart (249 Ontario St.)
    • To book an appointment, call (905) 885-8740 or click here.
City of Kawartha Lakes
  • Shoppers Drug Mart (85 Bolton St.)
  • Village Gate Pharmasave (101 East St.)
    • To book an appointment, call 705-738-2372 or click here.
  • Coby Pharmacy (Main St. 6662 Hwy 35)
    • To book an appointment, call 705-454-1900.
Fenelon Falls
  • Fenelon Falls Pharmacy (53 Colborne St.)
    • To book an appointment, call 705-887-2320 or click here.
  • Loblaw Pharmacy (400 Kent St. W.)
  • Kawartha Lakes Pharmacy (55 Angeline St. N., Unit 4A)
    • To book an appointment, call 705-324-2929 or click here.
  • Pharma Plus (401 Kent St. W.)
  • R.X. Drug Mart (51 Kent St. W.)
    • To book an appointment, call 705-328-1505.
  • Rexall Pharma Plus (86 Angeline St. S.)
  • Shoppers Drug Mart (343 Kent St. W., Unit 341)
Haliburton County
  • Drug Store Pharmacy (5121 Cty Rd. 21)
  • Haliburton Highland Pharmacy (211 Highland St.)
    • Call (705) 457-9669 or click here to book an appointment.
  • Rexall (224 Highland St.)
    • To book an appointment, call 705-457-1112 or click here.
  • Shoppers Drug Mart (186 Highland St.)
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.

Back to Top

Additional Resources:

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.

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:

  • If you are diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • If you have the signs and symptoms of COVID-19, have been tested and are awaiting the results.
  • If you believe you have COVID-19 symptoms (even mild ones).

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.

**NOTE: Due to workload issues, Public Health Ontario is 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 this organization. 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

The length of time a person needs to isolate may vary, depending on their situation, ongoing symptoms and severity of illness. 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.

If you are a high-risk contact, you are required to quarantine for 14 days if you had close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 or strongly suspected of having the virus.

Public health will be in touch with affected individuals to give further direction on what to do and how long to isolate or quarantine, depending on their unique circumstances. Please follow public health guidance, 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:

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.

On This Page:

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

Mental Health and COVID-19

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

  • Maintain routines as you’re able, keeping in mind the importance to take precautions such as physical distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19.
  • While you’re encouraged to only have close contact with others in your immediate household, stay connected with family and friends through phone, social media or video-conferencing.
  • Seek professional help. If you’re overwhelmed, talk by phone to a health professional or counsellor. If you have coverage for a counsellor through work, access your Employee and Family Assistance Plan.  
  • Eat well 
  • Stay active: Doing fun and healthy activities outdoors makes it easier to keep physical distance.  
  • Get enough sleep 
  • Look back at challenging situations and see how you successfully coped with them 
  • Limit your daily dose of COVID-19-related news to reduce anxiety and worry. Fight fear with facts about the pandemic by turning to credible sources of information. 

Supporting Others 

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

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

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

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

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

Centre for Addition and Mental Health  

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

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

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

Wellness Together Canada – Mental health and substance use support.

World Health Organization 

Download and print resources below:

« Go back