COVID-19 News and Frequently Asked Questions

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Northumberland County News

2022
 2021
 2020

 

Ontario Health Team of Northumberland News

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Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit News

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Community Hospital News

Local Municipality News

Frequently asked questions

Health questions

What is COVID-19 (coronavirus)?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illness in humans. Novel coronaviruses are new strains that have not been previously identified in humans, including 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). In some cases, this illness can be mild with people having little to no symptoms. In more severe cases, this can cause pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, severe influenza-like illness, kidney failure, and sometimes death.  

What are the signs and symptoms of COVID-19?

Symptoms of COVID-19 range from mild — like the flu and other common respiratory infections — to severe. Visit the Province's COVID-19 website for a current list of symptoms

What should I do if I think I have symptoms of COVID-19?

Ontario has updated its COVID-19 testing and isolation guidelines effective 12:01 a.m. December 31, 2021. These updates have been put in place to ensure publicly funded testing resources are available for the highest-risk settings/to protect the most vulnerable and to help keep critical services running. 

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, assume that you may have the virus and be contagious.

Members of the general public with mild symptoms OR who have tested positive on a rapid antigen test are now asked not to seek testing but rather to isolate at home per updated isolation guidelinesIf your symptoms are severe, please seek medical attention immediately or call 9-1-1.  

COVID-19 testing

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, assume that you may have the virus and be contagious.

Members of the general public with mild symptoms OR who have tested positive on a rapid antigen test are now asked not to seek testing but rather to isolate at home per updated isolation guidelines. If your symptoms are severe, please seek medical attention immediately or call 9-1-1.  

You are eligible for PCR testing if you have at least one COVID-19 symptom and you are any of the following:

  • a patient-facing health care worker
  • a patient in an emergency department, at the discretion of the treating clinician
  • a staff member, volunteer, resident, inpatient, essential care provider, or visitor in a highest risk setting
  • a home and community care worker
  • a Provincial Demonstration School and hospital school worker
  • someone who lives with a patient-facing health care worker and/or a worker in the highest risk settings
  • an outpatient being considered for COVID-19 treatment
  • an outpatient who requires a diagnostic test for clinical management
  • a temporary foreign worker living in a congregate setting
  • underhoused or experiencing homelessness
  • pregnant
  • a first responder, including firefighters, police and paramedics
  • an elementary or secondary student or education staff who has received a PCR self-collection kit, if available through your school
  • directed by your local public health unit

Whether you have symptoms or not, you are eligible for PCR or rapid point-of-care molecular testing if you:

  • are from a First Nation, Inuit, or Métis community or self-identify as First Nation, Inuit or Métis or live with someone who does
  • are travelling into First Nation, Inuit or Métis communities for work
  • are being admitted or transferred to or from a hospital or congregate living setting
  • are a close contact in a confirmed or suspected outbreak in a highest risk setting, or other settings as directed by the local public health unit
  • have written prior approval for out-of-country medical services from the General Manager of OHIP or are a caregiver for someone who does
  • are in a hospital, long-term care, retirement home or other congregate living setting, as directed by public health units, provincial guidance or other directives

If you are eligible for a PCR or rapid point-of-care molecular test, find a testing location near you.

Isolation

Ontario has updated the required isolation period based on growing evidence that generally healthy people with COVID-19 are most infectious in the two days before and three days after symptoms develop. 

  • Individuals with symptoms or who have tested positive for COVID-19 who are fully vaccinated, as well as children under 12, are required to isolate for at least five days following the onset of symptoms.
    • Their household contacts are also required to isolate with them unless:
      • they have previously tested positive in the last 90 days and they currently do not have symptoms.
      • they are over 18 years old and have received a COVID-19 booster dose
      • they are under 18 years old and are fully vaccinated
    • Isolation can end after five days if symptoms are improved for at least 24 hours and all public health and safety measures, such as masking and physical distancing, are followed.
    • If you feel sick but your symptoms are not in the list above, stay home until you feel better for at least 24 hours (or 48 hours if the symptoms affect the digestive system).
    • Non-household contacts are required to self-monitor for ten days.
  • Individuals with symptoms or who have tested positive for COVID-19 who are unvaccinated, partially vaccinated or immunocompromised are required to isolate for 10 days following the onset of symptoms.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have tested positive for COVID-19, you should also tell your close contacts that they may have been exposed. Informing your contacts will help stop the spread of the virus.

 

What should I do if I have recently returned from travelling, but do not feel sick?

For information about testing and quarantine requirements when returning to Canada, please visit the Government of Canada's COVID-19 Travel page.

For the latest information for Ontario residents see the Ontario COVID website.

 

Preventative measures

How does COVID-19 spread?

Coronaviruses are spread spreads by respiratory droplets of an infected person to others with whom they have close contact.

How can I protect myself against COVID-19?

Safe and effective vaccines will help protect us against COVID-19. Get your COVID-19 vaccine today.

There are also everyday actions that can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses like COVID-19, including:

  • maintain physical distancing - keep a minimum distance of two metres (six feet) from other people outside of your household, wherever possible.
  • wash hands frequently with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds (or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water is not available). 
  • sneeze and cough into your sleeve.
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • avoid handshakes.
  • wear a face mask or face covering as directed, especially when physical distancing may be a challenge. Face masks or coverings minimize the spread of infection when physical distancing cannot be maintained.
  • stay home if sick; and
  • self-monitor for symptoms and self-isolate if you experience symptoms.

What is physical distancing?

Physical distancing means limiting the number of people (outside of your household) with whom you come in contact. To do this keep a minimum two-metre (six-foot) distance between yourself and others, and avoid large groups/non-essential trips in the community.

What is self-isolation?

Self-isolation is a strategy used to prevent COVID-19 from spreading to others. Individuals self-isolating must stay home, and avoiding contact with others to help prevent spread of the disease. 

What do I do if I believe I see a community member who is exhibiting flu-like symptoms?

It is important to remember that there are many reasons a person might cough or sneeze. The best thing you can do at this time is protect yourself by getting vaccinated, practicing proper hygiene practices, and following public health guidelines. 

 

Vaccine eligibility and appointments

Vaccination continues to roll out in Northumberland and across Ontario.

Current status

Eligibility

Provincial guidelines for eligibility for a COVID-19 vaccine currently include:

Children (ages 5 to 11)
COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11 years old (those born in 2016 or earlier) is now approved for use in Canada. Two doses of the children’s Pfizer vaccine will be needed to be fully vaccinated, with the first and second doses being given eight weeks apart.
Ages 12+

Those born in 2009 or earlier.

Booster (third) dose

Booster doses of COVID-19 vaccine are being offered based on evidence of gradually waning immunity after receiving one's second dose. Booster doses will provide an extra layer of protection against severe illness and hospitalization.

  • Effective Monday, December 20, 2021individuals aged 18 and over are eligible to schedule their booster dose appointment so long as they have had their second dose of vaccine three months ago or more.
  • Effective 8:00 a.m. on Friday, February 18, 2022, Ontario is expanding booster dose eligibility to youth aged 12 to 17. Appointments will be booked for approximately six months (168 days) after a second dose. To book an appointment online, individuals must be 12 years old at the time of appointment.

Booster (fourth) dose

Booster doses of COVID-19 vaccine are being offered based on evidence of gradually waning immunity after receiving one's second dose. Booster doses will provide an extra layer of protection against severe illness and hospitalization.

  • Since December 30, 2021, Ontario has been offering fourth doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to vulnerable populations including residents of long-term care homes, retirement homes, First Nation elder care lodges and older adults in other congregate care settings that provide assisted-living and health services.
  • Starting April 7, 2022, individuals aged 60 and over, as well as First Nation, Inuit and Métis individuals and their non-Indigenous household members aged 18 and over, are also eligible to receive a fourth dose of the vaccine.  

How to get a vaccine

Vaccination remains our best defense against COVID-19 and its variants. COVID-19 vaccine, including booster doses, is available from many sources, including primary care providers, pharmacies, and walk-in clinics.

HKPR District Health Unit mass immunization clinics

The Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge (HKPR) District Health Unit Mass Immunization Clinic at the Cobourg Community Centre is now closed.

People can instead get their vaccine at clinics organized by the Health Unit at alternate locations. The clinics are open to anyone who is eligible to receive a vaccine for first, second and booster doses. 

Walk-ins are not currently accepted. To book a vaccine appointment:

  • Call the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900 to book over the phone. This line is available 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., seven days a week.
Types of vaccines available 
  • Both mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) are available.
  • Two new COVID-19 vaccines — the Novavax and Medicago vaccines — have been approved for use in Canada. Both are more traditional vaccines (neither is mRNA based). To get a Novavax or Janssen COVID-19 vaccine, call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5020, and leave your full name and phone number. You must be a resident of Haliburton County, Northumberland County or the City of Kawartha Lakes. You will be called back to arrange an appointment for getting the vaccine. If you live outside these regions, please contact your local health unit/department.

Please bring your Ontario Health Card to the immunization clinic if you have one. 

Please visit the HKPR District Health Unit website for a list of clinic locations, dates and times, and to learn more.

Pharmacies
Eligible Ontarians can also register to receive a COVID-19 vaccine at a participating pharmacy. Some pharmacies are accepting walk-ins, others require an appointment. Hours of availability vary by pharmacy. Check the provincial website for a current list of all participating pharmacies. 
Primary Care Providers 
Some primary care teams and/or providers are offering vaccination clinics as well. Reach out to your primary care provider directly for information, or monitor their website and social media feeds for updates.

Want to talk to a health care professional about COVID-19 vaccine?

Need a ride to your COVID-19 vaccine appointment? 

If you have a scheduled COVID-19 vaccine appointment and require transportation, call Community Care Northumberland at 1-866-768-7778 to register and arrange a ride to and from the vaccine clinic. 

For more information

For updates about local vaccine clinics, along with the status of COVID-19 cases in Northumberland and other helpful resources, please visit the HKPR District Health Unit website. For provincial information about COVID-19, including a list of COVID-19 symptoms and the status of cases in the province, please visit Ontario’s dedicated COVID-19 website.

Proof of vaccination 

As of March 1, 2022, the Ontario government has lifted provincial requirements for proof of vaccination in all settings, however businesses and other settings may choose to continue to require this. 

An enhanced COVID-19 vaccine certificate with official QR code is available from the Province.

 How do I get my enhanced certificate?

Have your green photo health (OHIP) card ready, then: 

Or

  • Call the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900 to have your enhanced vaccine certificate emailed or mailed to you directly.

Getting tested for COVID-19 

Learn more about updated testing guidelines and how to book an appointment with a local COVID-19 Testing & Assessment Centre in Northumberland. 

Mental health supports 

What services are in place for residents who are feeling overwhelmed, alone, isolated or worried?

Please visit our Community Resources page for a list of available services.

Declarations of Emergency

Is the Province under a State of Emergency?

Ontario is not currently under a State of Emergency. With the significant progress in COVID-19 vaccination rates, the Declaration of Emergency and Stay-at-Home Order - which came into effect on April 8, 2021 - expired on June 2, 2021

Has Northumberland County declared a State of Emergency?

Northumberland County has not declared a local state of emergency. 

The County Emergency Control Group—which includes the County Warden, the directors of the organization, and the Community Emergency Management Coordinator—continues to closely monitor the situation and assess continuity of County operations.

A declaration is made when a municipality determines there is insufficient capacity to meet community needs and maintain critical systems. The Control Group has determined there is sufficient current capacity; a declaration is therefore not required at this time. The Control Group continues to evaluate new developments and will consider the need for a declaration of emergency as the situation evolves.

Current status of Ontario's Roadmap to Reopen

With improvements in key public health and health care indicators, the Province began gradually easing public health measures as of January 31, 2022

The final phase of the Reopening Plan began March 1, 2022, with the Province lifting the majority of remaining public health measures. 

As of March 1, 2022 - 12:01 a.m. 

Based on improving health system indicators, the Province introduced additional steps as of March 1, 2022, to ease public health measures. This included:

  • Lifting capacity limits in all remaining indoor public settings
  • Lifting proof of vaccination requirements for all settings at this time. Businesses and other settings may choose to continue to require proof of vaccination.

As of March 21, 2022 - 12:01 a.m.

The following changes to public health and workplace safety measures are in effect as of March 21, 2022.

  • General masking requirements have been lifted; however, masking will still be required in certain indoor settings, including:
    • public transit, including indoor areas and vehicles. This does not include businesses or organizations that provide sightseeing or touring services
    • health care settings including:
      • hospitals
      • psychiatric facilities
      • doctors’ offices
      • immunization clinics
      • laboratories
      • specimen collection centres
    • home and community care provider locations only if you are an employee or contractor
    • long-term care and retirement homes
    • shelters and other congregate care settings that provide care and services to medically and socially vulnerable individuals

For a complete list of settings and exceptions to masking requirements that may apply, please refer to O. Reg. 364/20. Visit the face covering and masking page, for additional information including wear and fit.

As of April 27, 2022 - 12:01 a.m.

On April 27, 2022, all remaining mask requirements and emergency orders will expire. 

To manage COVID-19 over the long-term, public health units can deploy local and regional responses based on local context and conditions. Please visit the Province's website for more information.

Updated Testing and Isolation Guidelines 

Ontario has updated its COVID-19 testing and isolation guidelines effective 12:01 a.m. December 31, 2021. These updates have been put in place to ensure publicly funded testing resources are available for the highest-risk settings/to protect the most vulnerable and to help keep critical services running.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, assume that you may have the virus and be contagious.

Members of the general public with mild symptoms OR who have tested positive on a rapid antigen test are now asked not to seek testing but rather to isolate at home per updated isolation guidelinesIf your symptoms are severe, please seek medical attention immediately or call 9-1-1.    

COVID-19 testing

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, assume that you may have the virus and be contagious.

Members of the general public with mild symptoms OR who have tested positive on a rapid antigen test are now asked not to seek testing but rather to isolate at home per updated isolation guidelines. If your symptoms are severe, please seek medical attention immediately or call 9-1-1.  

You are eligible for PCR testing if you have at least one COVID-19 symptom and you are any of the following:

  • a patient-facing health care worker
  • a patient in an emergency department, at the discretion of the treating clinician
  • a staff member, volunteer, resident, inpatient, essential care provider, or visitor in a highest risk setting
  • a home and community care worker
  • a Provincial Demonstration School and hospital school worker
  • someone who lives with a patient-facing health care worker and/or a worker in the highest risk settings
  • an outpatient being considered for COVID-19 treatment
  • an outpatient who requires a diagnostic test for clinical management
  • a temporary foreign worker living in a congregate setting
  • underhoused or experiencing homelessness
  • pregnant
  • a first responder, including firefighters, police and paramedics
  • an elementary or secondary student or education staff who has received a PCR self-collection kit, if available through your school
  • directed by your local public health unit

Whether you have symptoms or not, you are eligible for PCR or rapid point-of-care molecular testing if you:

  • are from a First Nation, Inuit, or Métis community or self-identify as First Nation, Inuit or Métis or live with someone who does
  • are travelling into First Nation, Inuit or Métis communities for work
  • are being admitted or transferred to or from a hospital or congregate living setting
  • are a close contact in a confirmed or suspected outbreak in a highest risk setting, or other settings as directed by the local public health unit
  • have written prior approval for out-of-country medical services from the General Manager of OHIP or are a caregiver for someone who does
  • are in a hospital, long-term care, retirement home or other congregate living setting, as directed by public health units, provincial guidance or other directives

If you are eligible for a PCR or rapid point-of-care molecular test, find a testing location near you.

Isolation

Ontario has updated the required isolation period based on growing evidence that generally healthy people with COVID-19 are most infectious in the two days before and three days after symptoms develop. 

  • Individuals with symptoms or who have tested positive for COVID-19 who are fully vaccinated, as well as children under 12, are required to isolate for at least five days following the onset of symptoms.
  • Their household contacts are also required to isolate with them unless:
    • they have previously tested positive in the last 90 days and they currently do not have symptoms.
    • they are over 18 years old and have received a COVID-19 booster dose
    • they are under 18 years old and are fully vaccinated
  • Isolation can end after five days if symptoms are improved for at least 24 hours and all public health and safety measures, such as masking and physical distancing, are followed.
  • If you feel sick but your symptoms are not in the list above, stay home until you feel better for at least 24 hours (or 48 hours if the symptoms affect the digestive system).
  • Non-household contacts are required to self-monitor for ten days.

Individuals with symptoms or who have tested positive for COVID-19 who are unvaccinated, partially vaccinated or immunocompromised are required to isolate for 10 days following the onset of symptoms.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have tested positive for COVID-19, you should also tell your close contacts that they may have been exposed. Informing your contacts will help stop the spread of the virus.

 

 Capacity and gathering limits

As of March 1, 2022 - 12:01 a.m. 

Based on improving health system indicators, the Province introduced additional steps as of March 1, 2022, to ease public health measures. This included:

Lifting capacity limits in all remaining indoor public settings

Lifting proof of vaccination requirements for all settings at this time. Businesses and other settings may choose to continue to require proof of vaccination.

As of March 21, 2022 - 12:01 a.m.

The following changes to public health and workplace safety measures are in effect as of March 21, 2022.

General masking requirements have been lifted; however, masking will still be required in certain indoor settings, including:

  • public transit, including indoor areas and vehicles. This does not include businesses or organizations that provide sightseeing or touring services
  • health care settings including:
    • hospitals
    • psychiatric facilities
    • doctors’ offices
    • immunization clinics
    • laboratories
    • specimen collection centres
  • home and community care provider locations only if you are an employee or contractor
  • long-term care and retirement homes
  • shelters and other congregate care settings that provide care and services to medically and socially vulnerable individuals

For a complete list of settings and exceptions to masking requirements that may apply, please refer to O. Reg. 364/20. Visit the face covering and masking page, for additional information including wear and fit.

As of April 27, 2022 - 12:01 a.m.

On April 27, 2022, all remaining mask requirements and emergency orders will expire. 

To manage COVID-19 over the long-term, public health units can deploy local and regional responses based on local context and conditions. Please visit the Province's website for more information. 

County service updates and facility closures

Are your offices open?

The County headquarters building remains open, while several other facilities are closed to the public to ensure physical distancing. Staff in all areas continue to serve the community and are available by phone and email. Residents are also encouraged to review our list of forms, applications and permits that can be completed online.

Northumberland County continues to take precautions across our operations to prevent the spread of this COVID-19. Our utmost concern is preserving the health and well-being of our residents and staff. Visit our Service Updates and Facility Closures page for more detailed information.

County Council meetings

Are County Council meetings taking place

Yes, County Council meetings continue as scheduled. In order to limit public gatherings as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19, these meetings are currently taking place virtually.

Members of the public can follow Council proceedings by watching the live broadcast on our YouTube channel. A recording of these proceedings is also available after the meeting, upon request.

Regularly-scheduled Council meetings take place the third Wednesday of each month. Please check our Council Page for the date and time of the next meeting of County Council, along with call-in details to listen to the meeting by phone. 

Supports for businesses

What supports exist for businesses during COVID-19?

COVID-19 has had a severe impact on Northumberland businesses.

Recognizing the significant impacts of COVID-19 on the business community, the Government of Ontario has announced changes to government programs along with resources and financial relief measures to provide support. Visit the Province's COVID-19: Help for businesses in Ontario page for more information.

A comprehensive list of business supports is also available at the COVID Supports website.

Locally, the Northumberland Economic Recovery Task Force was convened in May 2020 as an industry-led initiative to support the community through this crisis. As local business owners and leaders, Task Force members are invested in Northumberland’s economic recovery. In collaboration with local government and industry stakeholders, Task Force members developed focused recommendations to help local businesses rebuild. 

Community resources 

With frequent changes to programming and services in our community in response to COVID-19, we have compiled a list to help our residents navigate community resources and supports available during this time. This website is being updated regularly based on our understanding of available resources. For COVID-19 Community Resources visit our Community Resources page.