Beach Safety During COVID-19

Heading to the beach this summer? It’s great for your well-being to be active and outdoors, while enjoying the water, sand and nice weather. But this summer during COVID-19, it’s a balancing act between enjoying the beach and protecting your loved ones from the virus.

With more people heading to the beach as they open for public use, plan ahead so you’re ready and know what to expect.

Do Not Come if You Are Sick:
  • If you or any member of your family are sick, stay home and self-isolate to prevent the spread of COVID-19. You must also stay home if you or a family member were recently exposed to someone with COVID-19
  • Use Ontario’s online COVID-19 Self-Assessment tool to help determine if you need to seek further care. 
Before Visiting the Beach:
  • Visit a beach closer to your home. Traveling long distances to visit a beach may contribute to the spread of COVID-19.
  • Check the local municipal website to see if the beach has opened for the season or what restrictions/closures may be place there due to COVID-19.
  • Check the Health Unit website for the latest beach water test results in Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes to see if the water is safe for swimming. You can also call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5006.
  • Have a back-up plan. If the beach is too crowded and you can’t safely practise physical distancing by staying 2 metres (6 feet) away from others, consider another fun activity to do instead.
What to Bring to the Beach:
  • Hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes (stored in a cool dry place). Use these, especially if soap and water are unavailable
  • Items to help you keep your distance from others on the beach and in the water. For parents, tents, umbrellas and blankets can be good visual reminders for children. You can also put physical distancing into ‘fun’ terms for kids… like staying one hoola-hoop apart, three geese apart or six beach balls apart.
  • Sunscreen and sun protection (with SPF 30+)
  • Patience, especially if you need to wait to access the beach and other facilities.
Additional Measures to Take:
  • Hand Hygiene and Respiratory Etiquette
    • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
    • Use hand sanitizer when soap and water aren’t available
  • Cleaning and Disinfecting
    • Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces such as picnic tables before and after use
    • Use handwashing facilities in washrooms and/or portable toilets. Beach/park staff should also be cleaning bathroom facilities hourly and deep-cleaning and disinfecting them  periodically through the day.
    • If desired, use hand sanitizer after accessing washrooms as an extra preventive step
  • Use of Face Coverings (Non-Medical Masks)
    • Wear a face covering if physical distancing is not possible
    • DO NOT wear a face covering in the water as it can make it hard to breathe
  • Keep Your Distance From Others
    • Practise physical distancing by staying 2 metres (6 feet) from others on the beach, in the water and in public washrooms. Think of the distance as the length of a pool noodle.
    • Carefully choose a spot on the beach that leaves enough space for you to stay a safe distance from others. Maintain at least 4 metres (12 feet) between blanketed areas
    • Avoid crowded areas and do not gather with others outside of your family/household
  • Avoid Large Gatherings
    • Follow signs and listen to municipal staff/lifeguards who may be there to direct, assist and remind about distancing.
    • Do NOT take part in organized activities like beach volleyball, frisbee, football, etc.
When You Arrive at the Beach:
  • Review all signs before entering the beach/park
  • Give other beach-goers time and space to safely enter or exit vehicles
  • Know what to expect at the beach:
    • Parking attendants may be stationed at some locations
    • Access to beach may be different. For example, walkways may be single file to enter/exit the beach. Standing in walkways may not be permitted to allow for foot traffic
    • Parking capacity may be reduced to limit the number of people on the beach at once
    • You may have to stand in line for washrooms, as the number of people allowed inside is limited to allow for physical distancing
  • When swimming, avoid swallowing water, spitting or spouting
  • Take your garbage and recyclables home for safe disposal, especially mask and gloves
  • Be safe in the water, especially keeping a close eye on children and new swimmers.

The Health Unit is working closely with local municipalities to ensure beaches are safe for public use during COVID-19. Play your part too by following these precautions to reduce the risk of illness. Doing so can make a day at the beach fun – and safer – for everyone!

Related Links

COVID-19 – For Residents

Taking personal steps to prevent COVID-19 also helps reduce the spread of illness in your community. That benefits your neighbours and fellow citizens – like seniors and people with existing medical conditions — who are more at risk of suffering the effects of coronavirus. Find out what you can do to prevent COVID-19 and support others in your community.

Key Links
Frequently Asked Questions


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Does spring cleaning have you thinking about garage sales and getting rid of unwanted items? Think again.  

Garage/Yard Sales

The Health Unit strongly discourages you from organizing or attending garage sales and yard sales at this time due to COVID-19. Organizing these sales can increase your exposure to COVID-19 and lead to the spread of the virus in the community. Here’s why: 

  • Unlike in a store where health and safety measures are in place to protect staff and customers from COVID-19, a private sale does not need to take these precautions 
  • COVID-19 is spread through close contact with people. At garage sales, keeping a two-metre (six-foot) physical distance from others is difficult given that cash transactions are often required and the number of people who stop at the sale can grow unexpectedly.  
  • Many times, garage sale enthusiasts also visit multiple sale locations in the same day increasing the risk that COVID-19 can be spread 
  • The COVID-19 virus can survive on different surfaces for varying lengths of time. This means if someone touches or picks up items at a sale, they could be exposing themselves to illness  
  • While the Province’s COVID-19 emergency directives do not prohibit garage sales and yard sales, they do ban public gatherings of people. As of June 12, social gatherings of no more than 10 people are allowed.
  • While no municipal restrictions on garage sales are in place in Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes, some Ontario municipalities have approved bylaws to ban garage and yard sales entirely during the pandemic due to public health concerns. 

For all these reasons, do not hold garage sales or yard sales until further notice. Doing so will protect the health of you, your loved ones and the community.  

Second-Hand Items

Some online buy-and-sell groups have decided not to operate during COVID-19. For now, the Health Unit is also advising you to think twice about buying and selling second-hand items online. If you must, limit purchases to only essential items. 

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

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

NOTE: Be aware that baby walkers, infant self-feeding devices and other items are banned products in Canada. There are also common second-hand items like car seats, cribs, helmets, playpens, strollers, children’s jewellery and kids’ sleepwear that must meet certain federal regulatory requirements before they can be bought or sold in Canada.  

Additional Resources

Community Gardens and COVID-19

Community gardens arenow allowed to open during COVID-19.

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

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

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

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

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

Farmers’ Markets and COVID-19


For Farmers/Vendors

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

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

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

Criteria for E-Commerce/E-Market Proposals 

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

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

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

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

Additional Resources: 


For Shoppers/Customers
  • Follow the directions/guidance of food market organizers, especially if picking up food items in a ‘drive-through’ style market setting 
  • If picking up food items on foot, practise physical distancing by staying two metres (six feet) from other customers and vendors  
  • Minimize time at the market. Prepare a list for efficient shopping/pick up 
  • If possible, use alcohol-based sanitizer after pickup at each vendor 
  • Avoid touching your face 
  • Wearing a homemade (cloth) mask is optional. Be aware that these masks are not medical devices and are not proven to protect the person wearing them from getting COVID-19. 
  • 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!  

Rural Communities and COVID-19

Please give careful consideration to visiting your cottage or seasonal resident during COVID-19. Only come if you need to, but remember it’s not business as usual during the pandemic.

You must continue to take precautions against COVID-19, including practising physical distancing and keep to small groups. You are also strongly encouraged to take the supplies needed with you for the time you spend at the cottage or seasonal residence. Be aware that some services in cottage country may also be closed or unavailable due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Points to Consider 
  • Provincial and local states of emergency are in place, advising people to stay home and limit travel to only essential trips for groceries and medication 
  • Rural communities have limited health care resources that are already tied up dealing with COVID-19 challenges 
  • Smaller hospitals have few or no intensive care beds, as well as limited number of in-patient beds. This means patients with more serious health problems may need to be transported to larger centres at least an hour away 
  • Rural areas have a small pool of local doctors, nurses and other health care providers 
  • Many year-round residents of cottage country are older adults, who are more at risk of COVID-19 and require the limited resources available in their community 
  • By visiting the cottage or seasonal residence, you could unintentionally spread the virus into the community – putting people who live and work there at greater risk  
By Staying Home, You Will:  
  • Ease pressure on already stretched health care providers in smaller communities 
  • Have access to greater health care resources in your home community if you get sick 
If You Visit Your Cottage/Seasonal Residence: 
  • Buy provisions in your home community before you leave so you don’t have to make stops along the way and can stay put once you arrive 
  • Continue to practise physical distancing. Do NOT use the cottage as a gathering place for multiple or extended families 
  • Develop an exit plan with immediate family if you develop any sign of illness
  • Stay as much as possible to your cottage or seasonal residence for the time you are visiting

 

Food Access and Community Supports During COVID-19

Grocery Stores 

Many local grocery stores offer: 

  • Online or phone orders for contactless pick-up or delivery 
  • Special shopping hours for seniors and others at higher risk of COVID-19. 

You’re encouraged to contact your local store to determine hours, supports and services available to make shopping safer and convenient during COVID-19. 


Food Banks and Meal Options

Contact the food banks/community groups directly for more information:  

Northumberland County
  • Alderville Community Food Bank – Call: 905-352-2140 
  • Bewdley Community Works, More than a Food Bank – Call in advance: 905-797-2535 ext. 22, leave message 
  • Brighton Fare Share Food Bank – Call 613-242-4054 or 613-475-0691 
  • Campbellford Fare Share Food Bank – Call: 705 653-1930 
  • Cobourg Northumberland Fare Share Food Bank – Call 905-372-5308 
  • Cobourg Salvation Army Emergency Food Assistance – Contact905-373-9440 or text 905-375-7862 (*Note: Home Food Box Delivery Program available for residents of Cobourg, Port Hope and beyond who needs food and cannot physically come to the food bank) 
  • Cobourg Society of St. Vincent de Paul – Call: 905-373-9391  
  • Colborne Blessing Cupboard, Prospect Community Church – Call: 905-355-1578 or 905-207-0059 
  • Port Hope Salvation Army Community and Family Services – Contact 905-885-2323 or saporthope@gmail.com or text: 289-251-5758 (*By appointment only) 
  • Grafton Society of St. Vincent de Paul – Call: 905-377-3263 
  • Hastings and Roseneath Ministerial Food Bank, Hastings Trinity United Church – Call: 705-696-2780 or 705-696-1105 
  • Port Hope Northumberland Fare Share Food Bank, Port Hope United Church – Call: 905-885-6674 
  • Port Hope Community Health Centre of Northumberland – Food Cupboard – Call: 905-885-2626, ext. 212 (*By appointment only) 
  • Port Hope Society of St. Vincent de Paul – Call: 905-373-2940  
  • Warkworth 7 Hills Community Pantry, St. Paul’s United Church – Call: 705-924-2077 
Kawartha Lakes
  • Bethany/ Pontypool Daily Food Bank – Call: 705-277-2204 
  • Bobcaygeon Helps Food Bank – Contact: 705-928-8104 or 705-341-1184 (Lion’s Centre) or bobcaygeonfoodbank@gmail.com  
  • Coboconk Food Bank – Call: 705-344-4807 
  • Dunsford Community Food Bank – Call: 705-957-0989 
  • Fenelon Falls Salvation Army – Contact: 705-887-1408 or fenfallssalarmy@bellnet.ca 
  • Fowlers Corners and District Lions Club – Contact: 705-743-0325 or fcdlionsclub@gmail.com (*Note: serves Lindsay and Omemee) 
  • Frost Student Association (FSA) Food Bank – Call: 705-324-9144 ext. 3047 
  • Janetville Food Bank – Call: 705-324-4006 
  • Kawartha Lakes Centre of Hope – Contact: 705-324-7613 or lakeskawartha0@gmail.com   
  • Kawartha Lakes Food Source – Call: 705-324-0707 
  • Kinmount and area Food Bank – Contact: 705-455-3060 or kinmountfoodbank@gmail.com 
  • Lindsay Community Food Market – Contact: 705-212-9984 or lindsaycommunityfoodmarket@gmail.com 
  • Lindsay Salvation Army – Call: 705-878-5331, ext. 2 
  • Little Britain/ Mariposa Food Bank – Call: 705-340-8510  
  • Minden Food Bank – Contact: 705-286-6838 or 705-286-2990 or mindencommunityfoodbank@bellnet.ca (*Note: also serves Kinmount, Bobcaygeon and Norland 
  • Omemee Food Bank – Call: 705-799-6847  
  • Woodville Eldon Food Bank – Call: 705-879-6029 

Kawatha Lakes Meal Options 

Haliburton County
  • Cardiff Food Bank – Call: 613-334-0803 or 613-339-2704 
  • Haliburton 4Cs Food Bank – Call: 705-457-3010 
  • Highlands East Food Hub – Call: 705-448-9711 or 705-935-1956 
  • Kinmount Food Bank – Call: 705-455-3060 
  • Minden Community Food Centre – Call: 705-286-6838 
  • SIRCH Community Services – Contact: 705-457-1742 or 1-888-405-5555 or info@sirch.on.ca (*Free frozen meal pick-ups available on weekends) 

Errands Pickups and Companion Check-in Services 
Northumberland County 

For Errands:  

For Social Connection Companion Check-in: 

Kawartha Lakes 

For Errands:  

For Social Connection Companion Check-in: 

  • Community Care City of Kawartha Lakes – Offers ‘reassurance calls’ program for seniors and those with developmental challenges. Calls: 705-324-7323 or -800-461-0327, ext. 231 
  • EarlyON Centres Kawartha Lakes – Offers friendly check-in calls. To register, contact: 705-324-7900 or admin@oeyc.ca. On Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 am to noon, speak to a staff person about any questions/concerns about children ages 0-6 years. You can also follow: www.facebook.com/oeyc.haliburtonvictoriabrock  
Haliburton County 

For Errands and Social Companion Check-in:  

Public Notice

CLASS ORDER
made pursuant to Section 22 (5.0.1) of the Health Protection and Promotion Act

Date: April 14, 2020

TO:      All persons residing in or present in Haliburton County, City of Kawartha Lakes and Northumberland County who:

(a) are identified as a person diagnosed with COVID-19;

(b) have the signs and symptoms of COVID-19, have been tested for COVID-19 and are awaiting the results of their test;

(c) otherwise have reasonable grounds to believe they have symptoms of COVID-19; or

(d) are a close contact of a person identified in (a), (b) or (c).

I, Dr. A. Lynn Noseworthy, Medical Officer of Health for the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPR District Health Unit), order you to take the following actions, effective 12:00 pm (noon) on April 14, 2020:

  1. Isolate yourself without delay in accordance with instructions provided by the HKPR District Health Unit. This includes remaining in your home or isolation facility. Do not go outside, unless on to a private balcony or enclosed yard where you can avoid close contact with others. You must not have any visitors into your home except as permitted by HKPR District Health Unit.
  2. Remain in isolation until the expiry of a 14-day period that begins on the day on which you first show symptoms, are tested, or are diagnosed with COVID-19, whichever is earliest, or on the last day of close contact, unless otherwise instructed by HKPR District Health Unit in accordance with the current Ministry of Health guidelines as amended: health.gov.on.ca/en/pro/programs/publichealth/coronavirus/docs/2019_testing_clearing_cases_guidance.pdf
  3. During the self-isolation period, conduct yourself in such a manner as not to expose another person to infection or potential infection from COVID-19 by following infection control instructions on the HKPR District Health Unit website, located at: hkpr.on.ca or given to you by the HKPR District Health Unit or any other staff of a healthcare facility to which you may seek or receive treatment.
  4. Keep away from vulnerable persons. Follow any further instructions provided by the HKPR District Health Unit pertaining to COVID- 19 and the terms and conditions of this Order. In particular, you should seek clinical assessment over the phone – either by calling your primary care provider’s office or Telehealth Ontario 1-866-797-0000. If you need additional assessment, your primary care provider or Telehealth Ontario will direct you to in-person care options.
  5. Seek prompt medical attention if your illness is worsening (e.g. difficulty breathing) by calling 911 and telling them of your COVID-19 related diagnosis or symptoms.
  6. The requirements of this Order are subject to necessary modifications for the following persons or class of persons:
    1. a person or class of persons who, in the opinion of the Medical Officer of Health is asymptomatic and provides an essential service, for the limited purpose of providing that essential service;
    2. a person receiving essential medical services or treatments, whether or not related to COVID-19; or
    3. where a person’s isolation, in the opinion of the HKPR District Health Unit, would not be in the public interest.

THE REASONS for this ORDER are that:

  1. COVID-19 has been designated as communicable under Ontario Regulation 135/18 as amended.  COVID-19 has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. The Province of Ontario, the City of Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton County have declared emergencies under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act as a result of the pandemic.
  2. COVID-19 is now present in Haliburton County, the City of Kawartha Lakes and Northumberland County and therefore poses a risk to the health of the residents through community transmission. The COVID-19 virus is spread from an infected person to a close contact by direct contact or when respiratory secretions from the infected person enter the eyes, nose or mouth of another person.
  3. To contain the spread of COVID-19, individuals experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or who are infected with COVID-19, as well as their close contacts, are required to isolate themselves from other people until they are no longer infectious or potentially infectious. Isolation ensures that these people will not spread their infection to others.

I am of the opinion, on reasonable and probable grounds that:

(a) a communicable disease exists or may exist or there is an immediate risk of an outbreak of a communicable disease in the health unit served by me;

(b) the communicable disease presents a risk to the health of persons in the health unit served by me; and

(c) the requirements specified in this Order are necessary in order to decrease or eliminate the risk to health presented by the communicable disease.

am also of the opinion that the delivery of notice of this Order to each and every member of the class is likely to cause a delay that could significantly increase the risk to the health of any person residing in the HKPR District Health Unit area, so notice shall be provided through the public media and the internet via posting on HKPR District Health Unit’s website: hkpr.on.ca.

The following definitions apply to this Order:

“close contact” means you are caring for or living in the same household with someone who has COVID-19 or have otherwise been identified as a close contact by the HKPR District Health Unit.

“Haliburton, Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health Unit” or “HKPR District Health Unit” means the Medical Officer of Health or HKPR District Health Unit staff acting under the direction of the Medical Officer of Health.

“vulnerable person” includes a person who (i) has an underlying medical condition; (ii) has a compromised immune system from a medical condition or treatment; (iii) is 65 years of age or older; or (iv) is reliant upon a homeless shelter or other congregate living setting.

NOTICE

TAKE NOTICE THAT each member of the class is entitled to a hearing by the Health Services Appeal and Review Board if the member has delivered to me, at the address below, and to the Health Services Appeal and Review Board (HSARB), by e-mail to hsarb@ontario.ca or faxed to the HSARB at 416-327-8524., notice in writing, requesting a hearing within 15 days after publication of this Order or otherwise in accordance with applicable law.

AND TAKE FURTHER NOTICE THAT although a hearing may be requested this Order takes effect when it is delivered to a member of the class or brought to the attention of a member of the class.

FAILURE to comply with this Order is an offence for which you may be liable, on conviction, to a fine of not more than $5,000.00 for every day or part of each day on which the offence occurs or continues.

A. Lynn Noseworthy, MD, MHSc, FRCPC
Medical Officer of Health, Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit
200 Rose Glen Road
Port Hope, Ontario L1A 3V6

This Order shall be posted on the HKPR District Health Unit website: hkpr.on.ca

Inquiries about this Order should be directed to the HKPR District Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577 ext. 5020

Join Us to Help Fight COVID-19

Local Recruitment Efforts

Haliburton Highland Health Services is appealing to the local community for any health care workers (retired, relocated, etc.) who have a skill set that can support the increasing need in the COVID-19 response. Nurses are in high demand, as is anyone with a background in personal care settings. If interested in helping, contact HHHS’s Human Resources Manager Carol Carr at (705) 457-1392, ext. 2254, or email at: hr@hhhs.ca

Provincial COVID-19 Recruitment Campaign

Do you have experience in providing health care? Ontario wants to hear from you! 

Ontario is recruiting former health care workers and volunteers to support the work of hospitals, clinics, and assessment centres in responding to COVID-19. By listing your skills, experience and availability at the Health Workforce Matching Portal, you will be matched to employers in need of help. 

Potential recruits include: 

  • Retired or non-active health care professionals
  • Internationally educated health care professionals 
  • Students and volunteers with health care experience. 
Supporting Ontarians in Need

During COVID-19, it’s important to help those in need access food, medicine and basic necessities. If you are an individual interested in volunteering, or an organization in need of people to help, visit SPARK Ontario to get connected and start helping those affected by COVID-19.

Parks, Recreational Facilities and Campgrounds

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

Given current pandemic restrictions, it’s important to know what parks, playgrounds and other recreational facilities are open to the public. Do your homework before going out to avoid any disappointment. 


Municipal Parks, Playgrounds and Outdoor Recreational Facilities 

More outdoor recreational amenities are reopening. These include outdoor sports facilities and multi-use fields (like tennis courts), off-leash dog areas, and outdoor picnic sites, benches and shelters in parks and recreational areas. Many water recreational facilities such as outdoor splash pads, wading pools and all swimming pools are reopening as well. However, outdoor playgrounds, play structures and equipment and fitness equipment remain closed until further notice. 

You are encouraged to check with your local municipal government for specifics on what parks, trails and outdoor recreation facilities are open in your community. Each community will be deciding when to open its own municipally-run facilities.  

The Health Unit is resuming its beach water testing program this summer. Test results for dozens of public beaches in the City of Kawartha Lakes, Haliburton County and Northumberland County will be available each week. Due to COVID-19, please note some beaches may be closed or have restrictions in place. Get the latest beach results here and learn how to stay safe at the beach during this pandemic.

Please be aware that not all public washrooms at parks and other facilities may be open at this time, so plan accordingly if visiting. 


Private Seasonal Parks and Campgrounds

As of June 12, the Ontario government is allowing camping at all private campgrounds.

Currently, the Ontario government is only allowing private parks and campgrounds to open to begin preparing for the coming season. They can also allow access to trailers and RVs whose owners have a full season contract to stay there.

Limited Access and Use
  • At this time, only trailer owners who have a contract for a full season are allowed to access the park or campground to prepare their trailer for the coming season.*
  • Preparation includes inspecting their trailers for winter damage, conducting any repairs and cleaning their trailer.
  • Preparation also applies to owners with a contract for a full season who can bring their trailer in for set up.
  • Trailer owners cannot use the park for any recreational purposes.
  • Other areas of the park or campground, including shared facilities such as washrooms, MUST remain closed.

**NOTE: Under Ontario’s current emergency orders, seasonal campsites are available to individuals in trailers and RVs who do not have another residence in Canada and are in need of housing during the COVID-19 situation.

Overnight Accommodation

Overnight stays at private parks are only allowed if ALL these six criteria are met:

  1. The park must have notified the Health Unit with its intent to start the drinking water system.
  2. The park must have submitted a water sample and have the results indicating it is free of bacteria.
  3. The trailer sites must all have working-waste water (sewers).
  4. The trailer sites must be supplied with electricity.
  5. Recreational facilities must remain closed.
  6. Shared facilities (washrooms) must remain closed

For parks or sites that cannot meet all these criteria, trailer owners are ONLY permitted to stay for the day. They can prepare their trailer for the season, but must leave for the night.

For more information, call the Health Unit office at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5006.


Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves

Provincial parks and conservation reserves are now open and allowing limited day-use activities like walking, hiking, biking, birdwatching, picnicking and off-leash pet areas. By late June, more washrooms, campgrounds, roofed accommodations, park stores, visitor centres, and water taps will also reopen. Access to beaches at provincial parks is also being allowed. Please visit Ontario Parks for the latest information on camping and day use.

If out at a park, you are encouraged to continue taking COVID-19 prevention measures like physical distancing.


National Parks and Historic Sites 

People are now allowed to use Parks Canada locations across the country. Access to some trails, day use areas and green spaces are permitted. Camping is being allowed to resume at some parks in late June. For the latest updates on camping and visitor services at Parks Canada locations, click here.

Holiday, Celebrations and Special Events

Getting together with family, friends and other to celebrate holidays, birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions is common. Unfortunately, with COVID-19, it’s not business as usual and large gatherings can do more harm than good.

Currently, everyone must follow Ontario’s order that forbids large gatherings of people. As of June 12, social gatherings are limited to more than 10 people. Also as of June 12, places of worship are being allowed to reopen, but with strict restrictions.

Being limited to seeing loved ones during birthday, holiday or other special event is difficult. Keeping up your emotional and mental well-being is important during these difficult times, and support is available to help

What You Can Do

  • Take advantage of technology. Hold a virtual party using an online platform. You can see and hear each other… and even sing a celebratory song!
  • Send a gift to someone celebrating a special milestone, or order a take-out meal from a local restaurant that can be delivered to their doorstep.
  • Connect with loved ones, friends, and vulnerable members of the community online or by phone. This can help reduce feelings of isolation and anxiety.
  • If you are a place of worship, consider these ideas to connect with your members too.
  • If you plan a special meal for someone in your household, and need to get groceries for it, consider the following:
    • Shop only one day per week and buy only what you need for up to two weeks
    • Respect store hours dedicated to seniors, vulnerable persons, and essential service workers (normally the first hour stores are open)
    • Have a list of items, shop efficiently, and do not casually browse
    • Do not touch food or products you’re not intending to buy
    • If possible, pay with a card or phone tap rather than cash
  • Get into the spirit of the birthday, holiday or other special event. Instead of gift-giving, donate to a local food bank or help a neighbour who cannot get out (like an older adult) with grocery shopping or yardwork
  • Be aware that more people are now allowed to attend wedding or funeral services. For indoor ceremonies, the number of people allowed to attend a funeral or wedding can now be a maximum of 30 per cent capacity of the ceremony venue. Wedding and funeral ceremonies taking place outdoors will be limited to 50 attendees. For both indoor and outdoor ceremonies, those attending must follow proper health and safety advice. The number of people allowed to attend receptions afterwards remains at a maximum of 10 people. Please plan accordingly if you are attending any of these functions.
  • Avoid non-essential travel, including for holidays. Such travel to and from Canada is currently banned. Anyone who does enter the country, including Canadians returning from travel, is required by law to self-isolate for 14 days regardless of whether they have symptoms of COVID-19.

Donations of Masks, Gloves and Other Protective Equipment

Help in the fight against COVID-19! The following hospitals and health care agencies are requesting donations of Personal Protective Equipment, including: N-95 masks, gloves, surgical masks, shields and gowns. If your business/organization has extra supplies, consider donating them at this time of need: 

Northumberland County

Northumberland Hills Hospital 

All equipment donations must be reviewed by the hospital’s Materials Management department first. Do not drop off equipment/supplies donations without first confirming they can be accepted. Contact: Charity Meiklejohn at cmeiklejohn@nhh.ca

Campbellford Memorial Hospital

To donate equipment, contact John Russell, of the Campbellford Memorial Hospital Foundation, at (705-632-2014 or jrussell@cmh.ca. Please do not bring items to the hospital, as all items must first be reviewed. 

City of Kawartha Lakes

Kawartha Lakes Paramedics 

Anyone with a supply of appropriate equipment/supplies should first contact Launa Macey, Supervisor of Procurement, at(705) 324-9411, ext. 1875, or lmacey@kawarthalakes.ca to determine pickup/delivery arrangements. 

Ross Memorial Hospital 

Are you a business, including dental offices, medical offices, veterinarians or contractor, that may have supplies available and wish to donate? Contact Christine Wood at cwood@rmh.org or (705) 324-6111, ext. 4628 to make arrangements. 

Haliburton County

Haliburton Cares 

With an impending shortage of critical personal protective equipment, the community is being asked for donations. If you have supplies to donate, please fill out the online form or call (705) 457-1580. 

Multi-Unit Dwellings/Apartment Buildings

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.
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 (to five or less) gathering in shared spaces, and move furnishings like chairs further apart to create more space. Please note: the Ontario government is currently banning public gatherings of more than five people.
  • All playgrounds and outdoor play structures are currently shut down by order of the Ontario government. Put up signs reinforcing this closure message. Access to shared outdoor space should also be limited and physical distancing enforced. 
  • 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 14 days 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 for 14 days 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. 
Additional Resources:

Download and print resources below:

Prevention poster for tenants
Prevention for Tenants

Prevention for Tenants
Poster

Prevent the spread poster which can be used in the community
Prevention Community

Prevention in the Community
Poster

Image of Attention Visitors AODA compliant poster - click to download
Image of Attention Visitors AODA compliant poster

Attention Visitors
Posters

Travellers and COVID-19


Travelling Abroad

If you have travelled abroad, you MUST immediately self-isolate/quarantine and stay home for 14 days. This is due to the Canadian government putting in place an Emergency Order under the Quarantine Act. Further mandatory requirements for travellers entering Canada were put in place on April 14 by the federal government.

These quarantine measures apply to all travellers arriving in Canada and is aimed at slowing down the spread of COVID-19 in Canada. The only exceptions are essential workers, including those who ensure the continue flow of goods and essential services across the border.

Please Note:

Please note: Information is current as of April 24, 2020

Violating any instructions provided to you when you entered Canada could lead to up to 6 months in prison and/or $750,000 in fines.

Travellers Arriving in Canada
as of April 14, 2020
With Symptoms 
Without Symptoms 
MANDATORY Isolation MANDATORY Quarantine/Self-Isolation
Go directly to the place where you will isolate, without delay, and stay there for 14 daysYesYes
You must wear a non-medical mask or face covering while traveling to the place you will isolate/quarantineYesYes
Go to your place of isolation using private transportation only, such as your personal vehicle. You cannot arrange a pickup/ride with another personYes
Do NOT go outsideYes
Do not leave your place of isolation unless it is to seek medical attentionYesYes
Do not go to school, work, other public areasYesYes
Do not use public transportation such as buses and taxisYes**
Stay in a separate room and use a separate bathroom from others in your home, if possibleYes
Do not have visitorsYesYes
Limit contact with others in the place of isolation, including childrenYes
Do not isolate in a place where you will have contact with vulnerable people, such as older adults age 65+ and individuals with underlying medical conditionsYesYes
If your symptoms get worse, immediately
contact your health care provider or public health authority and follow their instructions
Yes
Arrange to have someone pick up essentials like groceries or medication for youYesYes
Keep a distance of at least 2 arms lengths (approximately 2 metres) from othersYesYes
Stay in a private place like your yard or balcony if you go outside for fresh airYes
Monitor your health for symptoms of COVID-19Yes

** If no symptoms: You can only take public transportation to get to your place of self-isolation after you arrive in Canada, but must wear an appropriate non-medical mask or face covering while in transit. You must not stop on the way home, and practise physical (social) distancing at all times.

If you have symptoms but do not have a place to isolate, you will be required to isolate for 14 days in a facility designated by the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada.

If you develop symptoms within 14 days:

  • Isolate yourself from others
  • Immediately call a health care professional or public health authority and:
    • describe your symptoms and travel history
    • follow their instructions carefully
  • Please note: The 14-day quarantine period restarts from the time you develop COVID-19 symptoms OR you are exposed to another returning traveller covered under this Order who has COVID-19 symptoms

If you do not develop symptoms after 14 days OR if you no longer have a fever and your symptoms are improved:

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

If you are still unwell after 14 days, contact Telehealth Ontario or your health care provider for further direction.


Travelling in Canada

Travelling Between Provinces

To slow the spread of COVID-19, many parts of Canada have placed limits on travel between provinces. This includes the requirement that some people arriving must self-isolate for 14 days. If you are planning to visit another province or territory, you are encouraged to check provincial or territorial government websites to see if any travel restrictions are in place that could affect your trip.

Federal Rules 
  • Temperature screenings are now required for any passengers arriving or flying out of Canadian airports. This applies to international and domestic flights.
  • As of April 20, new measures mean all air passengers travelling in Canada must wear a non-medical mask or face covering over their mouth and nose during travel.  
  • When travelling domestically by ferry, rail or bus, travellers are strongly encouraged to wear non-medical masks or face coverings whenever possible. They may need to use a non-medical mask or face covering to cover their mouth and nose when they cannot maintain physical distance from others. 

Right now, the best option is to stay home to prevent the spread of COVID-19. If you must travel, be prepared for restrictions. 


Travelling within Ontario

Will trailer parks/campgrounds be open this season? 

Reporting Complaints on Non-Essential Services

The Ontario government is slowly lifting restrictions on which businesses and workplaces can reopen during COVID-19. A full list of essential workplaces which are allowed to stay open is available here.

Business Questions

Companies and workplaces that have questions about this closure order can call Ontario’s Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659.

Public Complaints/Concerns 

Non-Essential Services Being Open Illegally

If you have concerns that a business or service is still open when it should not be, do one of the following:

  • Call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5006, if your complaint involves any of the following businesses/services:  
    • Child Care Facilities
    • Recreational Camps
    • Personal Services Settings (including mobile and home-based settings)
    • Tanning Salons
    • Facilities Providing Indoor Recreational Programs Including Indoor Public Pools and Whirlpools
    • Food Premises, including restaurants
    • Theatres and Cinemas (including drive-ins)
    • Trailer Parks
    • Schools (Public and Private)
  • For any other type of business, report your concerns to your local police service using the non-emergency number.  Do not call 911!  

Health and Safety Issues

To report health and safety issues at work, call the Ministry of Labour’s Health and Safety Contact Centre at 1-877-202-0008. 

Landlord/Tenant Issues

Contact the Landlord Tenant Board at 1-888-332-3234.

Unfair Pricing Concerns

The Province is issuing an emergency order that retail businesses and individuals cannot charge unfair prices for necessary goods during COVID-19. People can report price gouging by calling 1-800-889-9768 from 8:30 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday. Online reports can also be filed.

Gatherings of People

As of June 12, Ontario is increasing the limit on social gatherings from five to 10 people.

Quarantine Act Concerns

To report complaints or concerns about people breaking the federal quarantine ban for returning travellers to stay at home for 14 days, please call the RCMP Operation Command Centre at 1-800-387-0020.

Who to Call for Complaints/Concerns

Please read this carefully to help us streamline inquiries:

NOTE: The Health Unit has issued a Class Section 22 Order that requires: anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, is considered a probable case, or has had contact with a confirmed case, to self-isolate in their home for 14 days. The Health Unit is currently in contact with people affected by this order. If you have questions/concerns about this, please call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5020.

Health Inquiries/Emergencies

  • If you think you have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, use  the Ontario Ministry of Health’s online self-assessment tool  to help determine if you need to seek further care. 
  • Been tested for COVID-19? Check out Ontario’s new online portal to quickly access your COVID-19 lab test results on your computer or mobile device. You ‘ll need to provide your health card number, name, date of birth and postal code to confirm your identity.
  • If you are having difficulty breathing or experiencing other severe symptoms, call 911 immediately. Advise them of your symptoms and travel history.
  • Individuals who develop mild or moderate symptoms after travelling are asked to contact their health care provider for advice regarding next steps 
  • All others with questions or concerns regarding COVID-19 are asked to review information on this website. If you cannot find your answer, call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 or the local Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577 x5020.

When to Call Us 

The Health Unit will respond to the following:

  • Health care providers
  • Residents experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 including fever, cough, or difficulty breathing.
  • People who have been in close contact with someone who is experiencing COVID 19 symptoms  
  • Individuals who cannot find COVID-19 answers on this website.

Click here to report complaints about non-essential businesses remaining open.

Provincial and Federal Benefits and Income Supports

Getting Help

Worried about your job, income or housing due to COVID-19? Do you own a business or employ staff in an operation affected by COVID-19?

All levels of governments are taking steps to support and protect people and businesses affected by coronavirus. The following information is current at the time of this posting. Please check official government websites for the most recent updates (Do not visit offices. Access services on-line or call in advance to confirm whether offices are open).  

NEW! – Click on the Financial Relief Navigator to see if you’re eligible for COVID-19 emergency benefits and financial support from governments, banks, utility, telecom and internet providers. It’s the one-stop access point to quickly see what’s available.


Federal Support Programs

For Workers/Employees

Visit Service Canada for full details or access the Find Financial Help During COVID-19 Online Tool to see what federal supports are available to you. Read further for more specific program supports: 

Temporary Wage Top-Up for Low Income Essential Workers – All provinces and territories have confirmed, or are in the process of confirming, plans to cost-share wage top-ups for their essential workers.

Increasing Canada Child Benefit – An extra $300 per child is available through the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) for 2019-20. This will mean approximately $550 more for the average family. This benefit will be delivered as part of the scheduled CCB payment in May.

Special Goods and Services Tax Credit Payment: A one-time special payment will be available by early May through the Goods and Services Tax credit for low- and modest-income families. The average additional benefit will be close to $400 for single individuals and close to $600 for couples.  

Mortgage Support: Canadian banks have committed to work with customers on a case-by-case basis to find solutions to help them manage hardships caused by COVID-19. Canadians who are impacted by COVID-19 and experiencing financial hardship as a result should contact their financial institution regarding flexibility for a mortgage deferral. For more information visit  tools to lenders.

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB): This new taxable benefit of $2,000 a month for up to four months is available to eligible workers who meet certain conditions. Learn more here.

CERB is accessible through a secure web portal. Applicants can also apply via an automated phone line or via a toll-free number. Call 1-800-959-2019 or 1-800-959-2041 or 1-833-699-0299. This benefit replaces the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and Emergency Support Benefit.

Employment Insurance: If you have lost your job through no fault of your own and qualify for Employment Insurance benefits, you can submit your request today.  

If you are sick, quarantined or have been directed to self-isolate, the federal government will waive the requirement to provide a medical certificate to access EI sickness benefits.

Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs): The required minimum withdrawals from RRIFs are being reduced by 25% for 2020

Support for Low-Income Seniors: A one-time, tax-free payment of $300 is being given to seniors who qualify for Old Age Security. An additional $200 will also be paid to seniors who currently receive the Guaranteed Income Supplement. This measure would give up to $500 in one-time payments to eligible seniors. Payments are expected to be made in early July.

Canada Student Loans: Effective March 30, the federal government is placing a six-month interest-free moratorium on the repayment of Canada Student Loans for all student loan borrowers. No payment will be required, and interest will not accrue during this time. Students do not need to apply for the repayment pause.

Canada Emergency Student Benefit – This provides support to students and new graduates who are not eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit or Employment Insurance, or who are unable to work this summer due to COVID-19. The benefit provides $1,250 per month for eligible students or $2,000 per month for eligible students with dependents or disabilities. This benefit is available from May to August 2020.

For Businesses/Employers – Federal

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy: This subsidy program covers 75% of an employee’s wages for eligible employers of all sizes and sectors. This program is in place until August 29.

Temporary 10% Wage Subsidy: This three-month measure allows eligible employers to reduce the amount of payroll deduction required to be remitted to the Canada Revenue Agency.

Extending Work-Sharing Program: This support program is extended from 38 to 76 weeks. It provides income support to employees eligible for EI who agree to reduce their normal working hours due to COVID-19.

Temporary Changes to Canada Summer Jobs Program: Employers can receive up to 100% of the provincial/territorial minimum hourly wage to hire student employees under this program. The end date for employment under this program is now extended to Feb. 28, 20201.

Other sector-specific business support programs may also be available. Learn more here.

Small Business COVID-19 Hotline – Is your small business facing pressing financial needs? Call this support hotline operated by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce at 1-866-989-1080 (toll-free) seven days a week (8 am to 8 pm).


Provincial Support Programs

For Individuals/Workers:
  • Evictions:  No new eviction orders will be issued until further notice. Enforcement of current eviction orders will be postponed  
  • Protected Leave:  Employers must ensure protected leave for workers who have to be off work due to COVID-19. This includes workers who are: self-isolating, getting treated, following medical direction or caring for a loved one. 
  • Medical Notes: Employees do not need to provide a doctor’s note to take unpaid sick leave 
  • Support for Families – Learn about funding that families can apply for if they have children who are not in school or child care due to COVID-19. Eligible parents will receive a one-time payment of: $200/child ages 0-12 years; $250/child or youth aged 0-21 years with special needs. Note: If you are already receiving Support for Parents payments, you will automatically be eligible for this program and do not need to apply for it.
  • Doubled GAINS payments for seniors: If you are a senior receiving monthly Ontario Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) payments, we will be doubling your payment, making it up to $166 per month for individuals and up to $332 per month for couples. If you are a GAINS recipient, you will receive this extra support automatically for six months, with the first payment on April 24, 2020.
  • Ontario’s Community Support Program to assist low-income seniors and people with disabilities during COVID-19.
  • Additional funding for supplies is now offered to current recipients of Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program. Funding of up to $100 for single individual and up to $200 for families is available.
  • Help for electricity bills is here. Through the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program, low-income consumers can get direct support to pay bills and ensure electricity and natural gas services are not cut off during COVID-19. If you are behind on your payments and face having your service disconnected, you could qualify for $500 in relief for electricity bills ($600 if your home is heated by electricity) and $500 for natural gas bills.

Extensions on validations and deadlines:

OSAP Payments:

Learn more about the temporary deferral of  OSAP  payments. 

  • From March 30, 2020 to September 30, 2020: 
    • You do not need to make any loan payments 
    • Interest will not be added to your student loans 
    • If your loans are in good standing, visit the National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC) or the Canada student aid page for more information.  If your  OSAP  debt is in collections, contact the Ministry of Finance at 1-877-535-0554 or the private collection agency assigned to your account to discuss your options. 

COVID-19 Emergency Assistance: 

  • If you are not currently getting social assistance 
  • If you need help paying for food and housing and are not already on Ontario Works or ODSP, you can  apply for COVID-19 emergency assistance

Click here to apply for any of the following provincial programs:

For Businesses/Employers – Provincial

The Ontario government is providing various relief programs to support businesses, including interest and penalty relief, tax relief, WSIB payment deferrals and reduced electricity bills.


Local Support Programs

For Businesses/Employers – Local

Getting Help To Apply For Programs 

The Help Centre and Legal Centre of Northumberland: The Help Centre and Legal Centre provide free services to residents of Northumberland County on the topics of income, employment and housing.   


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.

Be a Good Neighbour During COVID-19

Looking after each other during COVID-19 is important. Not only does this mean staying home and practising physical distancing as much as possible, it also means being neighbourly.

While most people who become ill with COVID-19 experience only mild symptoms, older adults and people with existing medical conditions (like heart disease, respiratory diseases, diabetes or cancer) and compromised immune systems can face more severe illnesses. 

Even if they don’t become sick, the COVID-19 pandemic can also have a devastating effect on: 

  • Individuals with low income or unstable jobs 
  • People who find it hard to read, understand or communicate 
  • Those who are isolated socially or geographically 
  • People who live in poor housing conditions or are homeless 
  • Individuals who do not have transportation  

For these groups, the need to self-isolate or maintain physical distance due to COVID-19 can be stressful. They may: live alone, have no nearby family support; have no paid sick leave; be unable to go out because they have young children at home; lack Internet access to get current information; or do not have enough money to stock up on supplies and pay for transportation to get around.  

What You Can Do 

You can be a good neighbour, even during this time of physical distancing. Consider how you can help others in your community – being sure to protect your health as well: 

  • Donate to your local food bank. Currently, there is increased demand as more people must stay home from work and may not get paid. 
  • Call your neighbour who lives alone and provide a friendly voice of reassurance and support. 
  • Offer to pick up groceries and other supplies for a neighbour in need. Practise physical distancing by leaving items on their porch or by the front door where your neighbour can easily retrieve it.    
Additional Resources

Fact Sheet: Take Care of Yourself and Each Other – Public Health Ontario

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