COVID-19 News and Frequently Asked Questions

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Northumberland County News

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:

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. Learn about Ontario’s three-phased plan for first doses. 

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 and/or 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?

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. 

You should self-isolate if you:

  • are in an at-risk group
  • think you have symptoms of COVID-19
  • think you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or who has recently returned from travel

This means that you should only leave your home or see other people for critical reasons (like a medical emergency). Where possible, you should try to get what you need:

  • online
  • over the phone
  • from friends, family or neighbours

Your roommates or family you live with should self-isolate too, if they can.

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 roll-out

Vaccination continues to roll out in Northumberland and across Ontario.

Current status

Eligibility

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

 First Dose
Those born in 2009 or earlier
 Second Dose

Those born in 2009 or earlier who:

  • Had their first shot of Moderna/Pfizer 28 days ago or more, OR
  • Had their first shot of AstraZeneca 8 weeks ago or more

Booster Dose

Ontario is now offering COVID-19 booster shots to individuals most at-risk, including transplant recipients, residents of high-risk congregate settings (including long-term care homes and higher-risk licensed retirement homes), and patients with hematological cancers on active treatment. Read more about current eligibility for this booster dose. 

How to get a vaccine

All Health Canada approved vaccines provide strong protection against COVID-19 and its variants, including the Delta variant. Vaccines can be safely mixed for a first and second dose. Learn more.

There are many local options now available for COVID-19 vaccination:

 Pop-up clinics - no appointment required
OHT-N Mobile Vaccine Clinics

Visit the Ontario Health Team of Northumberland (OHT-N) website (www.OHTNorthumberland.ca) or follow the OHT-N on Twitter (@OHTNorthumberland) and Facebook (@OHTNthld) for updates on any future clinics. Details will be shared as information becomes available.

Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit Clinics

The HKPR District Health Unit is working with community partners to hold COVID-19 mobile clinics at locations across the district. The clinics are open to anyone who is born in 2009 or earlier, with no appointments needed. Learn more.

Please note: HKPR District Health Unit mass immunization clinics closed on September 3, with resources now being redirected to better reach those who have not received a vaccine or found it difficult to access one.

 Booking an appointment
Provincial booking system

Booking may be done online through the provincial COVID-19 booking system at www.ontario.ca/bookvaccine or by phone at 1-888-999-6488. 

Please note: HKPR District Health Unit mass immunization clinics closed on September 3, with resources now being redirected to better reach those who have not received a vaccine or found it difficult to access one.

For more information

For updates about the local roll-out of vaccines, 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?

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.

As of Friday, July 16, 2021, Ontario has entered Step Three of the provincial three-step Roadmap to Reopen - the Province's plan to safely and gradually lift public health measures based on the progress of provincewide vaccination rates and improvements of key public health and health care indicators.

For the full list of public health and workplace safety measures that need to be followed at each step, please review the regulation.

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 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.

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.