COVID-19 Updates

With key public health and health system indicators continuing to remain stable or improve, Ontario is cautiously and gradually easing public health and workplace safety measures with all remaining measures, directives and orders to end by April 27, 2022.

Current public health measures and guidance

Testing and Isolation Guidelines 

Ontario updated its COVID-19 Testing and Isolation Guidelines. 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.  

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.

COVID-19 vaccination 

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 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, 2021 individuals 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 is now widely available from many sources, including primary care providers, pharmacies, and walk-in clinics.

HKPR District Health Unit 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. Book a vaccine appointment by:

  • Calling 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.

Have questions about the COVID-19 Vaccine?

Want to Talk to a Health Care Professional?
'Ask the Expert' videos

Medical experts answer common questions about COVID-19 vaccines for children 5 to 11 years old in the following videos:

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 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, 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.

What steps is Northumberland County taking?

The health and wellbeing of residents, visitors and staff continues to be Northumberland County’s highest priority. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, Northumberland County is collaborating and sharing information and resources with community partners and implementing appropriate response measures across our operations.

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