This Version Posted: April 1, 2021

Provincial Shutdown Takes Effect With Increased Restrictions to Curb Spread of COVID-19

A new Ontario-wide shutdown taking effect this Saturday (April 3) means that it won’t be business as usual in Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes.

As of 12:01 am on April 3, the Ontario government is moving the entire province into shutdown due to a significant rise in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and ICU admissions. The new, stricter public health measures are in place for at least the next four weeks. Local residents and businesses in the region served by the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPRDHU) are affected by these changes.

“We understand another province-wide shutdown isn’t easy for anyone, especially after more than a year of pandemic restrictions,” said Dr. Ian Gemmill, Acting Medical Officer of Health with the HKPRDHU. “We can only urge everyone to stay the course and to follow these new shutdown measures, which are necessary to get COVID-19 back under control. We know that other areas of the province are being overwhelmed again with cases and we all need to do our part to protect others and to ensure our hospitals and health care system are not overwhelmed.”

The new province-wide shutdown puts on hold the rules that were in place under the Yellow-Protect COVID-19 colour category in which the HKPRDHU region had been in previously. Among the stricter measures contained in the province-wide shutdown:

  • Everyone is asked to limit their trips outside the home to only essentials.
  • Gathering indoors with anyone you do not live with is strongly discouraged.  
  • Outdoor gatherings are limited to five people (physical distancing must be maintained).
  • Most grocery stores, pharmacies and essential services can stay open, but are limited to 50% capacity. Other retailers (including malls) can also stay open but are limited to 25% capacity. Curbside pickup and delivery are available.
  • Restaurants can be open only for takeout, delivery and drive through. Indoor and outdoor dining is not allowed.
  • Gyms, fitness clubs, movie theatres, personal care services (like barbershops, spas, hair salons and tattoo studios) must close.
  • Schools and daycares remain open, but day camps must close.

For more information on the province-wide lockdown, visit the provincial government website.

Dr. Gemmill urges everyone to do their part to stop the spread of COVID-19, especially ahead of the upcoming holiday long weekend.

“Pandemic fatigue is a real thing, but I urge everyone to redouble their efforts to follow these new public health restrictions so we can get a handle on COVID-19,” he said. “We will get through this shutdown together. We just need to be patient for a bit longer.”