Stigma and COVID-19

Stigma may not be a direct symptom of COVID-19, but it can be part of the fallout from the virus. 

Stigma is the result of a bias shown towards a certain group of people. Stigma often takes the form of fear, blame, discrimination, unfair treatment and even violence. People who face stigma can suffer physical, mental and emotional health problems. It may also cause them to hide a condition or illness.

As stigma can often be the result of fear and misunderstanding, credible information and support from others can help to increase understanding and prevent stigma.

Help Prevent Stigma:

  • Share facts from reliable sources 
  • Bust myths by correcting misconceptions
  • Use accurate medical and scientific language
  • Show support to people who are facing stigma and lead by example

Additional Resources: 

Testing for COVID-19 – What Now?

Testing for COVID-19 is a critical step in stopping the spread of illness. In certain cases, you may be directed by your health care provider or the Health Unit to be tested for COVID-19.  

Where and When to Get Tested 
  • Get tested if: 
  • You can also call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5020, for more advice 
  • COVID-19 Assessment Centres can test and assist people who are suspected of having COVID-19.  
  • It can take up to seven days to receive lab test results for COVID-19. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, have been exposed to someone with the virus, or have been directed by the Health Unit, you MUST remain in self-isolation and monitor your symptoms. If at any time you develop symptoms or they get worse, contact the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5020. If you have a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.  
  • You can check your COVID-19 lab results using an online portal provided by the Provincial government. To get results, you will need your OHIP card number and address. If you cannot get your results online, call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5020. 
If You Test Positive for COVID-19 
  • You MUST continue to self isolate if you test positive for the virus. The Health Unit will call you as soon as possible about your test results and ask you questions about places you have visited and people who you were in close contact. Anyone in close contact with you may be at risk from COVID-19 themselves, so must be called. Your help in answering Health Unit questions is essential to protect the health of others in the community.   
  • You will receive daily phone calls from the Health Unit to see how you are doing and to monitor any symptoms you have. The Health Unit will also ensure you are staying in self-isolation at home. Health Unit staff can discuss any supports you need and respond to your questions. 
  • If you are diagnosed with COVID-19 and do NOT stay at home in self-isolation, you could be served with a Class Order under Section 22 (5.01.1) of the Health Protection and Promotion Act. This order states you must stay home in self-isolation or face daily fines or imprisonment for not doing so. 
  • Typically, you can stop self-isolating 14 days after you first had COVID-19 symptoms or when you tested positive (as long as you do not have a fever and any other symptoms are getting better). To be safe, do not stop self-isolating until you receive the all-clear from the Health Unit.  
  • Visit the Ontario government website to learn more about COVID-19 testing. 
Close Contacts 
  • The Health Unit will follow up with anyone who has been in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19. This is called contact tracing.  
  • Individuals who are considered close contacts to someone who has COVID-19 can include: 
    • Family members/people living in the same household 
    • Anyone who had direct contact with a positive COVID-19 case 
  • The Health Unit will follow up with these close contacts and give instructions on what they need to do (like self-isolating) to slow the spread of COVID-19. The Health Unit will also do daily phone calls with close contacts to check in on them and ensure they follow public health directions. 

Mental Health and Substance Use

COVID-19 can be harmful to more than just your physical well-being. The coronavirus can also take a toll on your mental health and lead you to smoke or use alcohol and other substances more often. Take care of yourself by getting information on supports and resources in your area.

Key Links:
Frequently Asked Questions


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Follow us for COVID-19 Updates

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

Subscribe by email to receive updates

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

Protect Yourself and Others from COVID-19

There are many simple ways to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. Whether it’s through handwashing, keeping two metres (six feet) apart from others, staying home as much as possible, or wearing gloves and masks when appropriate, you can make a difference! Read further to learn how.

Key Links

Frequently Asked Questions  



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Follow us for COVID-19 Updates

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

Subscribe by email to receive updates

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

Your Health

Health is in your hands when it comes to COVID-19.

COVID-19 is mainly spread through close contact between people. You can get sick from coughs or sneezes from someone else, or by touching something with the virus on it. People of all ages can get sick with COVID-19, although older adults and individuals with compromised immune systems or underlying medical conditions can suffer more severe effects from the coronavirus.

Reducing the spread of illness is good for your health – and for everyone’s benefit. The great thing is that you can do this in many different ways, whether it’s handwashingself-isolating, practising physical distancing, or arming yourself with the facts about coronavirus.

Learn about additional ways and resources on this page to stay safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19. Your health matters, now more than ever!

COVID-19 Virus with a hand held up in the 'stop' position
COVID-19 Virus with a hand held up in the ‘stop’ position

Protect Yourself and Others from COVID-19

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Mental Health and Substance Use


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City of Kawartha Lakes

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Health is in our hands! Let's prevent the spread of COVID-19 by using simple, but effective steps to protect our health:

Cover Your Cough

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Put your used tissue in the ...
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Self-Isolation

You MUST self-isolate in certain cases to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This helps protect you if you don’t have the virus. If you have the virus, self-isolating reduces the risk of you passing it on to others.

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Stigma may not be a direct symptom of COVID-19, but it can be part of the fallout from the virus.

Stigma is the result of a bias shown towards a certain group of people. Stigma often takes the form of fear, blame, discrimination, unfair treatment and ...
Read More

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Testing for COVID-19 is a critical step in stopping the spread of illness. In certain cases, you may be directed by your health care provider or the Health Unit to be tested for COVID-19.

Where and When to Get Tested

Follow us for COVID-19 Updates

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

Subscribe by email to receive updates

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

Seeking Medical Care For Non-COVID-19 Health Problems

Many regular health care services and non-emergency medical procedures have been on hold due to COVID-19. Recently, the Province announced plans to resume some services and procedures — albeit with strict protective measures put in place. At the same time, many hospitals report a significant drop in the number of patients visiting the emergency room for non-COVID-19 health problems.  

While staying home and practising physical distancing is important, it doesn’t mean you should avoid seeking medical care for other health conditions. You can put yourself at risk by delaying needed medical care for untreated injuries and illnesses.   

Hospitals have precautions in place to reduce the risk of COVID-19 for outpatients and are still providing health care services not related to COVID-19. So seek medical care if you need it!

What to Do: 
  • Check with your local hospital to see some of the COVID-19 precautions in place. This can include: screening and limiting visitors, providing patients/visitors with face masks, and reducing access to some parts of the hospital:  
  • Northumberland Hills Hospital 
  • Ross Memorial Hospital 
  • Campbellford Memorial Hospital 
  • Haliburton Highlands Health Services 
  • Don’t put off care! If you’re unsure about whether to seek medical assistance: 
  • Call your family doctor or Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 for guidance.  
  • In an emergency, call 9-1-1. Inform first responders if you have any potential symptoms of COVID-19, such as a cough, shortness of breath, fever, chills, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, runny nose, congestion, fatigue, headache, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.  

Alcohol Use and COVID-19

COVID-19 has changed day-to-day routines, including how and when you drink alcohol. With alcohol sales increasing across Canada during the pandemic, experts worry stress and the isolation of physical distancing and working from home will lead to more people drinking alcohol more often. This is a concern even for people who only drink once and awhile. . 

Alcohol is a leading cause of disease, disability and premature death in Canada. In the short-term, alcohol can lead to more injuries. Over the long-term, drinking too much alcohol can increase the risk of cancer, liver disease, heart disease, stroke, mental illness and alcohol dependence.  

Reduce Your Risk 

Follow Canada’s Low-Risk Drinking Guidelines

  • 10 drinks a week for women, with no more than two drinks a day most days  
  • 15 drinks a week for men, with no more than three drinks a day most days.  
  • Plan non-drinking days every week to avoid developing a habit 

Do not drink when you: 

  • Drive a vehicle or use machinery and tools 
  • Take medicine or other drugs that interact with alcohol 
  • Do any kind of dangerous physical activity 
  • Live with mental or physical health problems 
  • Have an alcohol dependency 
  • Are expecting or trying to get pregnant 
  • Look after the safety (and well-being?) of others 
  • Make important decisions 
Additional Resources  

Smoking and COVID-19

The current COVID-19 situation is causing lots of stress and anxiety for people. It may be triggering you to smoke more often, restart your tobacco habit or put off quitting entirely.   

This is understandable, but not the best approach. Even in these difficult times, many programs and supports are still available to help you quit smoking. And while there are always health benefits to going tobacco-free, doing so during COVID-19 may be even more important to your well-being!  

Smokers at Higher Risk 

According to groups like the World Health Organization and Ontario Tobacco Research Unit, smokers may be more vulnerable to COVID-19 because: 

  • The act of smoking means a smoker’s fingers (or contaminated cigarette) come in contact with the lips. This increases the risk of the virus being spread from hand-to-mouth. 
  • Smokers may already have lung disease or reduced lung capacity which increases the risk of serious respiratory illness like COVID-19. 
  • Cigarettes, vaping devices, water pipes and related smoking products (including mouth pieces) are often shared with others. This also leads to a higher risk of illness.  
Quit-Smoking Supports 

Even in the age of physical distancing and self-isolating, you’re not alone in trying to go tobacco-free. Check out these resources on how to quit for good: 

Preventing Injuries During COVID-19

Home is the best place to be during COVID-19, especially with directives to self-isolate, practise physical distancing and limit non-essential trips. 

With most injuries to young children already occurring at home, the risk can increase for everyone due to the change in daily routine during COVID-19. Consider: 

  • Overwhelmed parents/caregivers juggling work-at-home and child-care duties may not see the risks around them.  
  • Children who are curious, bored and full of energy may be tempted to try new and unsafe activities.  
  • Homeowners anxious to use down time to do renovations may take on projects without proper tools or know-how.  

Add substances like alcohol or marijuana use to the mix, and there’s a recipe for disaster – and injury!  

The key to avoiding injuries is prediction and prevention. Slow down, consider the risks and make a plan. Could you temporarily move your home office to the backyard so the kids can play and be supervised?  Instead of rushing into it into yourself, could you put off doing a home-reno project until after the pandemic is over so you can hire an expert or order the proper tools?   

Additional Resources 

Despite your best efforts, injuries can still happen and may require medical treatment. Depending on the seriousness of the injury, call your family doctor, go to the hospital ER or call 9-1-1. If you are self-isolating or have COVID-19 symptoms, please let responders know in advance. 

Mask Use during COVID-19

Face masks have become the new normal during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s important to know when and how to wear a mask properly.

Medical masks (like surgical and N-95):
close up White protective hygenic mask isolated backgrounds for doctors and patient from virus biological infection and PM2.5 dust, pandemic news

These must be kept for health care providers and for those providing direct care for someone with COVID-19.

If you’re experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and need to seek medical care, wear a mask. Your health provider may also recommend you wear a mask while you’re seeking or waiting for care. The mask acts as a barrier and helps stop the tiny droplets from spreading around you when you cough or sneeze.

Masks MUST be put on, taken off and thrown out properly. If you need to wear a mask, be sure to clean your hands frequently with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer. When wearing a mask, follow this Public Health Ontario fact sheet  on how to properly wear and throw away one.

Homemade (Cloth) Masks:

Non-medical masks (like homemade cloth masks and facial coverings) are NOT medical devices, are unregulated and are NOT proven to protect the person wearing them from getting COVID-19. The best way to stop the spread of COVID-19 remains washing your hands with soap and water, staying home and avoiding close contact with others outside your household.

If worn properly, non-medical masks can help to cover your mouth and nose to prevent your respiratory droplets from contaminating other people or landing on common surfaces. However, wearing cloth masks can also give you a false sense of security and may in fact cause you to touch your face more often when adjusting the mask. 

Despite this, some people may choose to wear a mask when leaving their homes for essential trips (grocery store, pharmacy). The Ontario government is also recommending people use face coverings to reduce the spread of COVID-19 when physical distancing and keeping two metres’ distance from others may be challenging. This includes wearing face coverings on public transit, smaller grocery stores/pharmacies, or when receiving essential services. The Public Health Agency of Canada advises that putting on a homemade mask can possibly help protect others around you if you’re ill with COVID-19 and do not yet know it.

It’s good to wear a homemade mask or facial covering if it makes you feel safer and stops you from touching your face and mouth. But remember: do not touch your face with unwashed hands. You need to also continue practising physical distancing. 

Homemade masks or facial coverings should not be worn/put on by:

  • Children under age 2
  • Anyone who has trouble breathing
  • Someone who is unconscious, incapacitated or unable to remove the mask without help. 
How to Properly Use a Homemade Mask/Face Covering:  
  • Wash your hands immediately before putting it on and immediately after taking it off (use good hand hygiene while wearing it too)
  • Masks should fit snugly, but comfortably against your face (non-gaping) allowing you to breathe without restriction. Masks should be secured with ties or ear loops and have multiple fabric layers
  • Do not share cloth masks with others
  • Remember not to touch or rub your eyes while wearing it
  • Avoid moving, adjusting or touching your mask while using it, as it could become contaminated on the outside. 
  • Change face coverings if they get slightly wet or dirty
  • Wash the cloth mask after each use as it can get damp or dirty:
    • Put it directly into the washing machine or a bag that can be emptied into the washing machine and then disposed of
    • Cloth masks can be laundered with other items using a hot cycle, and then dried thoroughly.
    • Wash your hands with soap and water after putting the mask into the laundry.
  • Homemade masks that cannot be washed should be thrown out in a properly lined garbage bin as soon as they get damp, dirty or crumpled. Do not throw used masks on the ground or in a shopping cart. Immediately after wash your hands with soap and water.

Summary Do’s and Don’ts for Using Homemade Masks/Face Coverings

Do:

  • Wash your hands immediately before putting on and immediately after taking off a face covering or face mask
  • Practise good hand hygiene while you are wearing the face covering
  • Make sure the face covering fits well around your nose and mouth
  • Avoid moving the mask around or adjusting it often
  • Avoid touching the covering while using it
  • Change the face covering or face mask when it gets slightly wet or dirty

Do Not:

  • Share face coverings or face masks with others
  • Place on children under the age of two years or on anyone unable to remove without assistance or who has trouble breathing
  • Use plastic or other non-breathable materials as a face covering or face mask

Preventing Family Violence During COVID-19

Domestic Violence

While physical distancing, self-isolation and staying home are important messages during COVID-19, homes are not always safe places to be. For women and children living at risk of domestic violence, the coronavirus is creating further barriers to accessing help. 

What You Can Do 
  • Stay in touch with neighbours or friends who you know, or suspect may be at risk of domestic violence. Social media chat functions or texting are another, easier way to maintain contact 
  • Learn about community supports that you can access, or refer others to, in the event domestic violence takes place  
  • In an emergency, contact 911 
Community Supports 

City of Kawartha Lakes 

Outreach Services and Family Court Support Services – These are offered through a virtual response. Outreach counsellors are available to provide support to current and new referrals. Call: 705-878-4285  

Northumberland County 

Haliburton County 

  • YWCA Peterborough Haliburton – YWCA’s 24-Hour Support and Crisis Line is available and answered by skilled, empathetic staff. Call: (705) 991-0110. 
Additional Resources 
  • Assaulted Women’s Helpline – 24/7 crisis counselling and referrals to shelters, legal advice and other help in over 200 different languages, including 17 Indigenous languages. Toll free (Ontario) 1-866-863-0511, 1-866-863-7868 TTY. Mobile (Fido, Rogers, Bell, Telus) #SAFE (#7233). 
  • Legal Aid Ontario – Toll-free number remains open to provide assistance during COVID-19. Call: 1-800-668-8258 

Child Abuse and Neglect

Financial stress, school and daycare closures and social isolation are all putting extra pressure on families. This in turn, could increase the risk of neglect and physical, emotional, sexual abuse for children.  

Children who had support from teachers or other adults in their daycare/school community may now find themselves cut off from help. 

How You Can Help: 
  • Report suspected child abuse to your local Children’s Aid Society (hyperlink to section below) 
  • Stay connected with the children and teens in your life. Text, call and let them know you care about them 
It’s the Law:  

In Ontario, everyone (including members of the public and professionals who work closely with children)  is required by law to report suspected cases of child abuse or neglect. If you have reasonable grounds to suspect that a child is or may be in need of protection, you must report it to a Children’s Aid Society (CAS).  

Contact your local CAS: 

Separating Fact From Fiction

Providing factual information about COVID-19 is important to fight fears about the virus19. Spreading lies and misinformation hurts people who read and believe it. Do your part by sharing factual, accurate COVID-19 information with family and friends.

Credible Sources of COVID-19 Information:

Find the Facts

Compiled from: World Health Organization (www.who.int), U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov), and John Hopkins Medicine (www.hopkinsmedicine.org )


I’ve heard a rumour that taking supplements can help treat COVID-19. 

FACT:  There is no evidence that any natural health product or supplement can prevent or treat COVID-19. These types of false and misleading claims put your health at risk. If you have purchased health products that claim to prevent, treat or cure COVID-19, stop using them immediately. Consult a health care provider if you have concerns. You should also report any false/misleading advertising or sale of products in Canada to federal regulators.   

The best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 is to stay home as much as possible, practise physical distancing when out on essential errands, and frequently wash your hands with soap and water. 


I read somewhere on the Internet that using cannabis helps treat COVID-19

FACT:  There is NO scientific evidence to show cannabis is effective in preventing or treating COVID-19. In fact, research shows inhaling cannabis smoke can have negative effects on your respiratory system.


It’s been said that sun, hot weather and hot temperatures will stop you from catching COVID-19.

FACT:  There is no evidence that temperature or weather conditions will reduce your risk of getting COVID-19. Around the world, countries with different kinds of weather, climates and temperatures are reporting COVID-19 cases.


I’ve heard hot baths can prevent COVID-19.

FACT:  There is nothing to show taking a hot bath prevents COVID-19, although it can be a good way to relax. 


A friend said once you have COVID-19, you have it for life. 

FACT:  Research shows most people who get COVID-19 will recover and show no effects from it.


On social media, I saw a post that states holding your breath for 10 seconds without coughing or feeling pain means you don’t have COVID-19 

FACT:  Breathing exercises, like holding your breath for 10 seconds without coughing or feeling pain, tell you nothing about COVID-19. The best way to determine if you have the virus is through a lab test or doctor’s assessment.  


A drinking buddy told me drinking alcohol protects you from COVID-19.

FACT:  Drinking alcohol does not protect you from COVID-19. In fact, drinking alcohol frequently and in large amounts can lead to other health problems and injuries.   


My neighbour says mosquitoes spread COVID-19.

FACT:  COVID-19 is a respiratory illness, and there is no evidence mosquitoes spread the virus.


I saw somewhere how thermal scanners can detect COVID-19. 

FACT:  Thermal scanners are good at detecting people who have developed a fever, which is a symptom of COVID-19.  However, scanners cannot detect people who have COVID-19 without a fever.


What’s with this rumour that spraying alcohol or chlorine on your body will kill COVID-19. 

FACT:  Spraying alcohol or chlorine over your body is harmful to you. It will not kill a virus that is already inside your body. Those substances are most effective for disinfecting surfaces, when used properly.


Someone suggested I rinse my nose with saline to prevent infection from COVID-19.

FACT:  Rinsing your nose with saline does not protects people from COVID-19. However, there is some limited evidence that flushing your nose with saline rinse can help you recover more quickly from the common cold and help ease sinus symptoms.


There’s a person I know who eats lots of garlic and says it helps prevent COVID-19.

FACT:  Garlic has some important antimicrobial properties but eating it does not protect you from COVID-19.  


My teenaged son thinks he’s invincible from COVID-19 since he’s young.

FACT:  People of all ages can get sick from COVID-19. Older adults and people with medical conditions are more at risk, but anyone can get sick with the virus.


I thought I read somewhere how antibiotics can prevent and treat COVID-19.

FACT:  Antibiotics works against bacteria, not viruses like COVID-19. Sometimes antibiotics are used in hospital to treat patients with COVD-19, but this is done to prevent a bacterial infection.


Thank goodness there is a medicine to treat COVID-19.

FACT:  To date, no specific medicine is recommended to prevent or treat COVID-19. Symptoms can be treated, but nothing specific for COVID-19 has yet been developed.


I’ve heard from a Facebook friend that there is a vaccine to fight COVID-19.

FACT:  Currently, there is no vaccine for COVID-19, although work is underway to develop one. Finding a vaccine that is safe and effective for humans will take many months. 


My sister is a conspiracy theorist who believes COVID-19 was created by people. 

FACT:  COVID-19 was not created or released by people, nor is it tied to 5G mobile networks. Viruses can change over time. Occasionally, a disease outbreak happens when a virus that is common in an animal such as a pig, bat or bird undergoes changes and passes to humans. This is the likely cause of COVID-19.


My partner swears that taking lots of Vitamin C reduces the risk of COVID-19.

FACT:  Extra amounts of Vitamin C will not prevent infection. The body can only absorb a certain amount of Vitamin C. It then passes through the body as waste. 


My neighbour recommends an herbal remedy to fight COVID-19.

FACT:  There is no specific herbal remedy to prevent or treat the COVID-19 virus.


I’ve heard from friends that in all cases, you must stay indoors during COVID-19.

FACT:  Everyone is urged to stay close to home, but that does not mean staying inside for most people. You MUST stay indoors if isolating for 14 days under the federal Quarantine Act with symptoms present.

If you are self-isolating for 14 days because you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, or have returned from travel with no symptoms, you must stay at home – on your property – until that period has ended.

You can go outdoors if the above do not apply to you (and you’re not sick) to get groceries/medication, walk the dog and get daily exercise. Anytime you go out, you need to maintain physical distancing of at least two metres from others..

Reducing Harm When Using Drugs

Washing hands, covering your cough, self-isolating, and practising physical distancing are all needed to slow the spread of COVID-19. If you currently use substances or other drugs, there’s added urgency to be safe. Not only is it important to avoid overdoses and reduce the risk of infections like HIV and hepatitis, you also need to reduce harm from COVID-19.  

Please note: During COVID-19, if you need harm reduction supplies, please order ahead if possible by calling the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 3000. Ring or knock at the office door when you come to pick up and the order will be brought to the door for you. 

General Tips (For Those Not Self-Isolating/Showing No COVID-19 Symptoms) 
  • Do not share supplies (cigarettes, joints, pipes, injecting equipment, containers for alcohol, utensils, and other supplies). Use your own mouthpiece and keep it only for YOUR use 
  • Avoid handshakes, hugs, kisses and other close contact 
  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before preparing, handling or using drugs. Prepare your own drugs 
  • If you cannot wash your hands with soap or use hand sanitizer, use alcohol-based hand wipes 
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or use tissues. Throw tissues away immediately and wash your hands 
  • It’s strongly recommended you clean surfaces with soap and water, alcohol wipes, bleach or hydrogen peroxide before preparing drugs 
  • If you share a washroom with others, clean and disinfect surfaces like knobs, taps, and flushers. Use soap and water, bleach, hydrogen peroxide or alcohol-based wipes (70%) after every use. Do not mix different types of cleaning solutions 
  • Buddy up if using drugs, but be safe! COVID-19 is passed by droplets, so you must stay 2 metres (six feet) – roughly the length of a hockey stick – from your buddy to avoid passing the virus  
  • Using with a buddy is safer than using drugs alone, but remember to keep your physical distance! Buddies may be able to bring food, harm reduction supplies, medicine, and substances so that you can stay well. You can also be a buddy to others who need support. Check in on your buddies regularly and have them do the same for you  
  • Carry naloxone and have an overdose plan. If necessary, you can perform chest compressions. Do not do rescue breathing due to COVID-19 concerns  
  • If you must use drugs by yourself, call a buddy to have him/her regularly check in on you 
If Self-Isolating (With or Without COVID-19 Symptoms)  
  • Do not leave your home! Ask a buddy to pick up supplies including naloxone from harm reduction sites or outreach workers. Arrange to have the supplies dropped off at your door, being sure to practise physical distancing  
  • Try to have the substances you need to stay well. Know that carrying large amounts may land you in trouble with the law. Consider alternatives to your drug of choice, especially if supplies are difficult to get and you face withdrawal symptoms 
  • Have a backup plan and be cautious of new supplies you may need to get  
  • Try to have the medications you need. Refills may be available through your pharmacist or by phone without having to see your doctor. If you’re feeling sick and require medications, call your pharmacy in advance 
  • Health Canada is working on exemptions to ensure access to OAT (Opioid Agonist Therapy) and other medicines 
  • For more information, contact your health care provider  
Responding to an Overdose During COVID-19 

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

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

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

Additional Resources  

Dental Emergencies During COVID-19

After weeks of restrictions, Ontario dental offices are being allowed to reopen. You can book an appointment with your dentist for a cleaning or any other treatment, including emergency and urgent care. But be aware of new rules and increased protective measures in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

According to the Ontario Dental Association, these COVID-19 measures may include patient screening, mask use and waiting outside the dental office to be called in for your appointment.

The Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario is also providing advice to patients seeking dental treatment during the pandemic.

What to Do in an Emergency 
  • Call your dentist. They will ask you for information about your situation, including whether you have any symptoms of COVID-19, and give you advice about next steps. If you need to visit the office, they will let you know if they can help or will direct you to another dentist.  
  • Do not go to a hospital emergency room for a dental problem at this time.   
When to Call Us 

Contact the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 1247, for the following:   

  • Your child is 17 and under, has a toothache or large cavity, and you can’t afford the cost of dental care. We can assist in enrolling you in the Healthy Smiles Ontario Emergency program.   
  • You are a low-income senior 65 years of age or older with an urgent dental treatment need. We can see if you qualify for Emergency dental care through the Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program.  
  • Adults experiencing a dental emergency who do not have a dentist or cannot pay for dental treatment.  

COVID-19 Testing & Assessment Centres

Below are locations of the specific COVID-19 Assessment Centres in Northumberland County, Haliburton County and the City of Kawartha Lakes.

  • Click here for general information about Testing for COVID-19, including answers to who, what, when, why and how.

City of Kawartha Lakes

Ross Memorial Hospital (RMH) COVID-19 Assessment Centre

The RMH COVID-19 Assessment Centre is open from 8 am to 4 pm, seven days a week. Call (705) 328-6217 to get tested if you meet any of the criteria:

  • You have at least one symptom of COVID-19, even if it’s only mild
  • You’re not showing symptoms but have been exposed to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19
  • You may be at risk of COVID-19 exposure through your job.

COVID-19 testing takes place at the Lindsay Exhibition (354 Angeline St.) from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm daily. You are encouraged to call the above number to book a same-day appointment. You can check lab results online.

Northumberland County

Northumberland Hills Hospital COVID-19 Assessment Centre

Ambulatory Care Clinic – 1000 DePalma Drive, immediately inside the main front entrance. 

Individuals may also call the Assessment Centre directly during its 8 am to 4 pm operating hours to determine in advance if they are not sure if they should be assessed. Assessments are available by appointment or on a walk-in basis. Appointments are recommended to minimize wait times.

The NHH COVID-19 Assessment Centre will screen patients, test (if deemed appropriate) and direct patients to proceed as required

905-377-7783 (available between 8 am and 4 pm daily)

Trent Hills

The Trent Hills COVID-19 Assessment Centre is now open 9 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday each week. To book a COVID-19 test, call the local Assessment Centre at 705-395-1801.

Patients are no longer required to be referred to the Assessment Centre by a physician, nurse practitioner, nurse, walk-in/virtual clinic, Telehealth, or Public Health. The Assessment Centre is now located at a fixed single site at the Rotary Hall Boardroom (179 Saskatoon Ave.) in Campbellford.

For days the Assessment Centre is not available, contact the HKPR District Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5020.

Haliburton County

If you are a resident of Haliburton County and you meet one of the criteria below, you can get tested for COVID-19:

  1. If you have at least one symptom of COVID-19 (click here for a list of symptoms)
    OR
  2. If you are concerned you’ve been exposed to COVID-19 because you have been in contact with a confirmed or suspected case,
    OR
  3. If you are at risk of exposure to COVID-19 because of your employment, including essential workers (e.g. health care workers, grocery stores employees, other front-line workers.)

If you meet any one of these criteria, call the Haliburton County COVID-19 Community Assessment Centre at 705-457-1212 (press 6) during regular business hours or Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 to book an appointment for testing.

PLEASE NOTE: if your symptoms are severe, call 9-1-1 and alert the dispatcher to your symptoms.

The Haliburton County COVID-19 Community Assessment Centre is staffed by health care providers who will complete a phone assessment and advise as to appropriate next steps, which may include self-monitoring instructions, self-isolation instructions, or further assessment and testing in the drive-through facility. The Centre is for all residents of Haliburton County, regardless of whether you have a family doctor.

Testing is by appointment only, however no Ontarian who is symptomatic or who is concerned they have been exposed to COVID-19 will be declined a test at an Assessment Centre.

Mental Health and COVID-19

The current COVID-19 situation can feel overwhelming. Taking steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19 is essential, but you should also be sure to look after your mental health. Here’s what to do: 

  • Maintain routines as you’re able, keeping in mind the importance to stay at home and practise physical distancing as much as possible to slow the spread of COVID-19.
  • Stay connected with family and friends – through phone, social media or video chatting – especially if you’re self-isolating.
  • 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 healthcare workers are playing in supporting people affected with COVID-19.  

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 self-isolating, 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 in both English and French at 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:

Cleaning and Disinfecting During COVID-19

It is essential to clean and disinfect common surfaces to reduce the spread of illnesses like COVID-19. Here’s what to do:


What you should know
  • Commonly used cleaners and disinfectants are effective against COVID-19.
  • Frequently touched surfaces are most likely to be contaminated.
  • Check the expiry date of products you use and always follow manufacturer’s instructions.
Icon image of a tub of cleaning supplies
Clean frequently touched surfaces often
  • In addition to routine cleaning, surfaces that have frequent contact with hands should be cleaned and disinfected.
  • Examples include doorknobs, kitchens, light switches, toilet handles, counters, remotes, touch screen surfaces and keypads.
Icon image of a finger touching a surface

Select products

Cleaners
  • Break down grease and remove organic material from the surface.
  • Used separately before using disinfectants.
  • Can be purchased with cleaner and disinfectant combined in a single product
Icon of a sponge filled with bubbles
Disinfectants
  • Have chemicals that kill most germs.
  • Applied after the surfaces have been cleaned.
  • Have a drug identification number (DIN).
Icon of a spray bottle of disinfectant
Disinfectant Wipes
  • Have combined cleaners and disinfectants in one solution.
  • May become dry due to fast drying properties. Should be discarded if they become dry.
  • Not recommended for heavily soiled surfaces.
Prepare products for use
  • Where possible, use pre-mixed solution.
  • Read and follow manufacturer’s instructions to:
    • properly prepare solution
    • allow adequate contact time for disinfectant to kill germs (see product label)
    • wear gloves, if you have sensitive skin, when handling cleaning products including wipes or wash your hands after use
Watch our video on YouTube

This information is from the Public Health Ontario fact sheet “Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Cleaning and Disinfection for Public Settings”

If you have questions about COVID-19, contact your health care provider, Telehealth 1-866-797-0000 or the HKPR District Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577 x5020.

Self-Isolation

You MUST self-isolate in certain cases to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This helps protect you if you don’t have the virus. If you have the virus, self-isolating reduces the risk of you passing it on to others. 

Please Note: On April 14, 2020, the local Medical Officer of Health issued the following Class Order under Section 22 (5.01.1)  under the Health Protection and Promotion Act. This 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. 

When to Self-Isolate
  1. If you’ve travelled outside of Canada and have just returned
  2. If you have COVID-19 symptoms, or provide care to someone with symptoms
  3. If you do NOT have COVID-19 symptoms, but have been advised to self-isolate (strongly recommended if you are over age 70 and/or have existing medical conditions).

How to Self-Isolate
Stay home

Do not use public transportation, taxis or rideshares.

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


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 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.

If you cannot wear a mask, 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.

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


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 self-isolate. If you have questions about this, call your local public health unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 2050.
  • Isolate for 14 days beginning when your symptoms started.
  • After 14 days, you can stop isolating if you:
    • No longer have a fever and your symptoms have improved
    • Did not develop any symptoms. You MUST continue with physical distancing measures.
  • If you are still unwell at 14 days, contact Telehealth or your health care provider for further direction.

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

After 14 Days

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

  • You can stop self-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 at 14 days, contact Telehealth or your health care provider for further direction.

Additional Resources
Watch our video on YouTube

This information is from the Public Health Ontario fact sheet “Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) How to self-isolate”

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

What activities CAN I do outside? 

Download and print resources below:

Physical Distancing

NEW – Fact Sheet:  Physical Distancing – Public Health Ontario

You are strongly urged to practise physical distancing as much as possible anytime you’re outdoors or in the community. This is essential to slow the spread of COVID-19. This means limiting the number of people with whom you come in contact. To do this:

  • Keep a minimum two-metre (six-foot) distance between yourself and others. That’s roughly the length of a hockey stick.
  • Limit trips from home if possible. If you are going out, practise physical distancing every step of the way!
  • Get outside to exercise and be active, but do not do so in a group. Be sure to maintain a physical distance of at last 2 metres (6-feet) from others. Stay close to home if possible. As more parks and outdoor recreational amenities reopen, ensure you keep your distance in these places as well.
  • Avoid others by keeping a safe distance. Greet people with a wave, bow or nod, instead of handshake or hug. After being outside, wash your hands with soap and water.
  • Limit, postpone or cancel small gatherings. If you can, connect with family and friends by phone or online.
  • Work from home if possible. Talk to your supervisor, manager, or employer about options. Cancel in-person business meetings. Instead, look at teleconferencing or video chat options.
  • Keep children at home as much as possible. Do not send children to daycare and avoid any ‘child play dates’ with other families until further notice.
  • Avoid visits to care facilities like long-term care homes, retirement homes, supportive housing, and hospices.
  • For essential trips (like getting groceries), sanitize/wash your hands when entering or exiting building. Avoid long lineups. Use tap to pay instead of handling money.
  • If you have to go out for an essential trip via taxi or rideshare, be sure to keep the windows down.
  • Do NOT use public transit if you are sick. Self-isolate at home right away.
  • If you must use public transit, wash hands often, keep a two-metre distance between other passengers and aim to travel in non-peak hours.
  • Avoid large gatherings of more than five people. This is also now a requirement, as Ontario is banning groups of five or more people. The only exceptions are families with more than five people and child care centres supporting frontline health care workers and first responders (so long as each centre does not exceed 50 people). Funerals are permitted, but only with up to 10 people at a time.

Remember: While you may not feel sick, and while these measures may seem inconvenient, they are important to reduce the spread of COVID-19 to those who are more vulnerable, including seniors and people with compromised immune systems.

Frequently Asked Questions

What activities CAN I do outside? 

Additional Resources:

Download and print resources below:

How to Self-Monitor

It’s important to take steps to slow the spread of COVID-19, especially to those most vulnerable. That’s why it’s essential to watch for symptoms.

Here’s how to self-monitor if you are asked by your health care provider or public health unit to watch for symptoms of COVID-19.

Monitor for symptoms for 14 days after exposure for fever, cough or difficulty breathing

Image of three characters representing someone having a fever, another with a cough and a third with difficulty breathing
Avoid Public Spaces

Avoid crowded public spaces and places where you cannot easily separate yourself from others if you become ill.

What to do if you develop these or any other symptoms?
  • Self-isolate immediately and contact your public health unit at 1-866-888-4577 extension 5020, your health care provider or take a self-assessment online.
  • To self-isolate you will need:
    • Soap, water and/or alcohol-based hand sanitizer to clean your hands
  • If you visit your health care provider, avoid using public transportation such as subways, taxis and shared rides. If unavoidable, wear a mask and keep a two-metre distance from others or use the back seat if in a car.

This information is from the Public Health Ontario fact sheet “Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) How to self-monitor

Additional Resource:

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:

Image of Are You Sick? AODA compliant poster – click to download
Image of Are You Sick? AODA compliant poster – click to download

Are You Sick?
Poster

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