COVID-19 News and Frequently Asked Questions


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Ontario Health Team of Northumberland News
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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?

Health authorities are now encouraging patients with both typical and atypical symptoms of the virus to reach out for advice and, as appropriate, screening. 

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 list of symptoms

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

If you think you have symptoms of COVID-19:

  • Stay home and self-isolate.
  • Take the Government of Ontario’s online self-assessment
  • For further guidance, call the HKPR District Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577 x 5020 or email
  • Book an appointment at a COVID-19 testing centre.
  • Call 911 if it is an emergency.

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

The Government of Canada has (as of March 13, 2020) warned against all international travel. All travellers arriving in Canada from international points are required to self-isolate for 14 days as a precaution. For the latest information for Ontario residents see the Ontario COVID website. It is believed that it can take up to 14 days for symptoms to appear after exposure to COVID-19. Self-monitor for symptoms and follow the directions above if you develop symptoms or if you have concerns.


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?

The Ontario Ministry of Health is advising all residents to practice physical distancing to reduce their exposure to other people. 

Initial distribution of a vaccine is now taking place in Ontario, however it will be many months before this is widely available to the public. 

There are everyday actions that can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses, like: washing hands, covering coughs and sneezes, avoiding handshakes, maintaining physical distancing, wearing a mask in public spaces where physical distancing is not possible, staying home if sick, and self-monitoring and self-isolating if you have come in contact with someone with COVID-19.  

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 (also called home isolation)?

Self-isolation is a strategy used to prevent COVID-19 from spreading to others. Individuals self-isolating must stay home, and limit time spent with others. While self-isolating individuals should not go to work, school, use public transportation, or go to other public areas (e.g. malls, restaurants). 

The following individuals are being advised to self-isolate and monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19:

  • People who have been diagnosed with or are awaiting test results for COVID-19.
  • People who have been in close contact with a person with COVID-19.
  • People who have recently travelled outside of Canada.
  • People who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, new cough, shortness of breath).
  • People over 70 years of age. 
  • Individuals who are immunocompromised.

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 through proper hygiene practices. Wash your hands often, cough or sneeze into your sleeve or elbow, and use hand sanitizer.


Vaccine roll-out

As the supply of COVID-19 vaccine continues to flow into Ontario, vaccination is rolling out in Northumberland according to the Province's prioritization framework.

Current status

COVID-19 vaccination clinics have been set up at the Cobourg Community Centre and the Trent Hills Emergency Services Base in Campbellford to serve Northumberland residents. An appointment is required to receive a vaccine. 

Vaccination appointments must be booked online through the provincial booking system at or by phone at 1-888-999-6488. Provincial eligibility requirements apply. Find out if you are eligible to book an appointment at this time. 

Please note: Not all local clinic dates, times and locations have yet been loaded into the provincial booking system. Additional clinic appointments will be added to the provincial system in the coming days, and will continue to be added over the coming weeks, pending vaccine availability. Please continue to check the provincial system to book an appointment as additional clinic locations and dates become available.  

Next steps

The Health Unit will maintain the two local vaccination clinics for the next six months, opening appointments to eligible priority groups in step with the Province’s phased distribution plan and as supply permits. As vaccination of  a priority group is completed, the Health Unit will begin accepting appointments from additional priority groups. The vaccine will be available to all residents in due course over the coming months, and clinics will continue until everyone who wants a vaccine has received it. 

For more information 

For updates about the local roll-out of vaccines (as information becomes available), 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.

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?

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise at an alarming rate, the Province has declared its third provincial emergency under s7.0.1 (1) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMPCA). A Stay-At-Home order came into effect on April 8, 2021 at 12:01 a.m.

On April 12, 2021 the Province announced that elementary and secondary schools will transition to online learning as of April 19, 2021, and child care for school-aged children will be closed at that time. Learn more about Emergency Child Care for Essential Workers.

On April 16, 2021, the Province announced an extension of the State of Emergency and the Stay-at-Home order by two weeks, now remaining in place for at least six weeks total. Additional restrictions and public health measures were also announced, in response to the rapid increase in COVID-19 transmission, the threat on the province's hospital system capacity, and the increasing risks posed to the public by COVID-19 variants. 

These measures are intended to help:

  • save lives
  • prevent hospitals from becoming overwhelmed
  • protect in-person learning and keep children in schools
  • allow for more time to vaccinate Ontarians
  • stop the spread of COVID-19covid 19 in communities

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.

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

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.
Helpful resources

Where can I learn more?

For information on practices to reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19, and for credible sources of information, visit our Symptoms, Testing & Reducing Your Risk page.