Banner - web june 11
print header

COVID-19

Stop the spread

We are in Step 3 of Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopen. Please continue to follow public health advice and measures to stop the spread of COVID-19.

We all have a role to play in stopping the spread of COVID-19

  • Get vaccinated. Learn more on how combining vaccines is a safe option for completing your two-dose series.
  • Maintain 2 metres (6 feet) of physical distancing from everyone outside of your household.
  • Wear a face covering indoors and outdoors if physical distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Face coverings should be tightly fitted to cover the nose, mouth and chin.  
  • Stay home from work if you have symptoms, even if they are mild. 
  • Wash your hands thoroughly and regularly. 
  • Cover your cough. 
  • Download the COVID Alert mobile app
  • Get tested if you have symptoms compatible with COVID-19, or if you’ve been advised of exposure by the health unit or through the COVID Alert mobile app.
  • If you are required to wear personal protective equipment for prevention of COVID-19, please ensure at a minimum it includes a medical mask and eye protection.
  • Indoor gatherings are limited to 25 people.
  • Outdoor limits for social gatherings and organized public events is limited to 100 people.

Masks or face coverings should still be worn if physical distancing cannot be maintained indoors or outdoors with individuals from outside your household. 

 

Ontarians are able to leave home to travel within the province to a secondary residence for any reason.

Out of province

Although Ontario's border restrictions expired on June 16th, 2021, interprovincial travel is still discouraged except for essential reasons.

Out of Country
Only travel outside of the country if it is essential. To slow the introduction and spread of COVID-19 in the country, the Government of Canada has put in place an emergency order under the Quarantine Act that applies to all travellers arriving in Canada.

Exemption for eligible fully vaccinated travellers:

Effective July 5, 2021, fully vaccinated travellers, arriving by land or air, who are eligible to enter Canada and who comply with specific criteria will not be required to quarantine or complete a day-8 test. More information can be found on the Government of Canada’s website.

Under Step 2, marinas (including boating clubs and other organizations that maintain docking facilities) are permitted to be open

Marina amenities such as clubhouses, the indoor portion of restaurants, washrooms, indoor pools, communal steam rooms, sauna or indoor whirlpools, meeting rooms, indoor fitness centres or other indoor recreational facilities on the premises may also be open.

When using marinas and their amenities:

  • Keep a distance of 2 metres (6 feet) from other people and boats.
  • Avoid using boat ramps while other people are on them. 
  • Avoid beaching boats right next to others.

For indoor clubhouses, capacity is limited to physical distancing of at least 2 metres (6 feet) and may not exceed 50% of the capacity.

For rentable meeting or event space found on location, the space is limited to the number that can maintain physical distancing of at least 2 metres (6 feet) and may not exceed 50% capacity or 1000 persons, whichever is less (some exceptions apply).

Under Step 3 hunting and fishing are allowed. If you hunt or fish please keep the following in mind:

  • Access to hunting and fishing grounds may be limited due to COVID-19 regulations, bylaws and landowner restrictions. Before leaving home, check with the local municipality or landowner to determine if access is available and if the hunting and fishing grounds are open. 
  • When possible, plan to hunt or fish within your own community. If going hunting/fishing, follow any travel advisories and consider COVID-19 transmission rates in the area where you plan to hunt or fish to help reduce transmission of COVID-19 between geographic areas. 
  • Before going hunting/fishing, complete a COVID-19 self-assessment and follow the direction provided. If you have COVID-19 symptoms, stay home, seek testing, and self-isolate.
  • Pack supplies that help prevent the spread of COVID-19 (e.g. hand soap, alcohol based hand sanitizer with 60-90% alcohol content, face coverings/masks, cleaning/disinfectant supplies).
  • Ideally, hunt or fish with people from your household to continue to limit the transmission risk of COVID-19. The following measures are also recommended:
    o Travel in separate vehicles
    o Maintain a 2-metre (6 feet) distance between people when travelling and hunting/fishing
    o Wear a mask or face covering indoors, outdoors if physical distancing cannot be maintained, and where otherwise required.
    o Use your own hunting and fishing equipment rather than sharing with people from outside your household. 

Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit acknowledges that peaceful protests and rallies are a way for individuals to express themselves and their beliefs. Given the ongoing transmission of COVID-19 in our area, it is strongly encouraged that individuals consider alternate ways to participate in protests/rallies such as using social media and virtual protests.

Before joining a peaceful protest, consider the overall risk of infection to yourself and others. For more details on caseload and rate of infection in our community, visit the COVID-19 HealthSTATS page.

How to stay safe while attending a protest/ rally

Participation in virtual protest activities is the safest means of protesting during COVID-19 and is strongly advised over in-person protest activities.

Those who choose to participate in an organized protest or rally event should do so in the safest way possible to protect themselves and others. At a minimum, the following measures should be communicated by organizers and followed by all participants:

  • Encourage participants to be vaccinated. 
  • Before going to a rally/protest, complete a COVID-19 self-assessment and follow the direction provided. If you have COVID-19 symptoms, stay home, seek testing, and self-isolate. 
  • Maintain physical distancing of at least 2 metres (6 feet). Wear a mask or face covering when physical distancing cannot be maintained. Sneeze and cough into your upper sleeve or elbow, avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
    o Post signage to reinforce these messages. Sample signage can be found here.
  • Where possible, provide handwashing stations and/or alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing 60-90% alcohol content. Encourage participants to frequently wash hands with soap and water if possible and bring alcohol-based hand sanitizer to the event.
  • Consider alternatives (e.g. signs, banners) to shouting or chanting to avoid spreading droplets. 


If you are caring for a person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, follow this advice to protect yourself and others in the home, as well as those in your community.

Getting exercise and taking part in physical activity is important for our health. However, we encourage you use the space and resources you have in your own home or close to your home (i.e. participating in a virtual exercise class, hosting a zoom workout with friends, using your backyard to play outdoor sports, walking around your block).

At this time public spaces such as parks and trails are open and if you choose to use them be aware that there is a risk of people congregating close together and spreading COVID-19.

The following are recommendations to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 when visiting outdoor public spaces (e.g. municipal or public parks, hiking paths and trails, dog parks, playgrounds):

  • Use the outdoor public spaces within your own community. 
  • If you are feeling ill or displaying symptoms (i.e. fever, cough, difficulty breathing, muscle aches, fatigue, headache, sore throat, runny nose) or if you have come into contact with someone who has shown symptoms or has tested positive, you are not to visit the outdoor public space. 
  • Read all posted signs including screening signs at all entrances and ensure everyone self-screens before entering the space. 
  • Maintain a physical distance of at least 2 metres (6 feet) from others at all times and especially while in places where people tend to congregate, such as parking lots, trailheads and scenic overlooks. 
  • If physical distancing is difficult to maintain in the outdoor space, wear a face covering.
  • Avoid close contact with people outside your household, such as shaking hands, hugging, high-fives, or games involving shared items. 
  • Wash or sanitize your hands as you arrive. 
  • Do not share equipment with people outside of your household. 

Fresh air and exercise are important to support mental and physical health and well-being.

Here are some tips to help you plan your next trip to the beach, reduce crowding, and ensure you have a safe and enjoyable beach experience during COVID-19.

Plan ahead

  • Visit beaches close to your home to help stop the spread of COVID-19 between communities.
  • Bring necessities such as alcohol-based hand sanitizer (containing 60-90% alcohol content), disinfectant wipes, sunscreen, insect repellent, umbrellas, blankets and activities.
  • Have a back-up activity/plan in case the beach is too crowded.
  • Plan to take your garbage (including masks, disinfectant wipes) and recyclables home with you.
  • Before leaving for the beach, complete the COVID-19 self-assessment and follow the direction provided. If you have COVID-19 symptoms, stay home, seek testing and self-isolate.

Arriving at the beach

  • Follow the signs and listen to staff instruction if present.
  • Parking capacity may be restricted or limited; provide other visitors time and space to safely enter or exit vehicles while maintaining physical distancing (2 metres/6 feet).
  • Review and follow all signage before entering the beach area.
  • Be aware that walkways and access points may be designated as one-way.

Maintaining physical distancing and wearing masks or face coverings

  • Avoid crowded areas.
  • Stay 2 metres (6 feet) from people outside your household on the beach, in the water, and when using public washrooms.
    • When on the beach or in the water, imagine yourself as being in the middle of a circle. Make sure you maintain 2 metres (6 feet) from people outside your household in all directions.
  • Wear a mask or face covering when physical distancing isn’t possible. Masks can be removed when entering the water.
  • Follow physical distancing requirements and visual indicators when standing in washroom lines.
  • Masks or face coverings are required when waiting in line inside an indoor part of the public place (e.g. to enter/exit a public washroom).

Practicing good hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette and infection control

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for a minimum of 15 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing 60-90% alcohol content.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces (e.g. picnic tables and barbecue units) with disinfectant wipes before and after use.
  • Avoid swallowing, spitting or spouting water.

It is important to know that there is currently no evidence of food or food packaging being linked to the spread of COVID-19. You’re more likely to be infected by your fellow shoppers than anything you purchase. There are things you can do to reduce your risks when shopping.

Decide on who goes shopping:

Choose a person in your household who is in good health to be the main grocery or other essential item shopper. Shop only if you feel well and can be reasonably sure that you have not been in contact with someone who has COVID-19 or is showing symptoms. Shop alone, only one person per household and no children if possible.

Plan your shopping list carefully so that you can buy enough food and other supplies to last at least a week or two. Buy more and aim for only one trip a week.

When you are shopping:

  • You must wear a face covering when shopping indoors, and if shopping outdoors (i.e. farmers’ market) and physical distancing is not possible.Exceptions for the use of masks or face coverings are provided in O. Reg. 263/20.
  • Be respectful of store employees. They are doing their best in a difficult situation.
  • Clean the handle of your cart.
  • Bring your own wipes and hand sanitizer; although the stores have been trying hard to keep a public stock, the supplies are short.
  • Wash or sanitize your hands as you enter and after to get into your car.
  • Keep your distance from others while in the store. Staying 2 metres or roughly 2 arms-length (6 feet) apart is an easy way to measure your distance.
  • Handle only the items you intend to buy.
  • Use a credit or debit card to avoid handling money or receiving change.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Know that gloves are not necessary and offer no added protection. Frequent handwashing is key.

Back at home:

When you enter into a public indoor space or workplace, even those not open to the public, common areas of apartment buildings, condominium buildings, and student residences or if you use a public transit (e.g. bus, taxis or ride share) you are required to wear a mask or face covering.

FAQ - Wearing masks or face coverings within enclosed public spaces - (revised June 30, 2021)

  • Follow the drop-off or pick-up instructions given by the restaurant or grocery store.
  • Ask for the food to be left on the doorstep.
  • Minimize contact with employees. Stay 2 metres (6 feet) apart from the delivery person.
  • If picking up food or groceries, consider opening the car door or trunk latch yourself so the person loading does not touch your car handles.
  • Use touch-free or cashless payments.
  • Prepay via the internet or telephone for your delivery order.
  • Remove your food from the external packaging and dispose of it in the garbage or recycling right away.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Wash your hands well for 15 seconds after touching packaging and before eating.

Under Step 3 of the province’s Roadmap to Reopen, garage or yard sales are permitted - subject to local municipal direction. Some municipalities have prohibited garage or yard sales. Check with your local municipality for more information before planning a garage/yard sale.

Garage/yard sales must adhere to the outdoor gathering limit for Step 3 of no more than 100 people and it is recommended that they be held outside only. The person hosting the garage/yard sale and helpers are included in the 100 person gathering limit. An indoor garage/yard sale cannot be combined with an outdoor one to increase the limit on the number of people who can attend. Due to this gathering limit, larger events such as neighbourhood or collective used goods sales should not be held if the number of people could exceed 100 people.

Public health recommendations for hosting a garage or yard sale during COVID-19:

  • If advertising the garage/yard sale, it is recommended that a time range be posted (e.g. yard sale at 10 Smith Road from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) and not a fixed time. This will help prevent a large number of people from gathering at one time. 
  • Implement a plan for limiting numbers, including posting signage in a noticeable location with a capacity limit of up to 100 people and ensuring that that gathering limit is monitored and adhered to at all times. 
  • Physical distancing of 2 metres (6 feet) must be maintained at all times, except for people who are members of the same household (or one other person from outside the household who lives alone or is a caregiver for any member of the household). 
  • Position tables and items far apart to allow for physical distancing. 
  • Tape directional arrows on the ground or post signs to ensure traffic flow moves in one direction. 
  • If physical distancing is difficult, it is recommended that garage/yard sale hosts and customers wear masks or face coverings. 
  • Make alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing 60-90% alcohol content available for both hosts and customers to use.
  • Handle cash and coins with care: ensure that you clean and sanitize your hands before and after handling money and put in place a cash and coin box for the customer to deposit the money.
  • limit the handling of items being sold once they are positioned for sale; clean and sanitize hands before and after handling items.
  • Food should not be sold at garage/yard sales.

While the risk of COVID-19 transmission through touching surfaces is low, it does occur. It is important to continue to follow infection control measures to reduce the various ways in which COVID-19 is spread. This includes proper hand hygiene, masking, physical distancing, respiratory etiquette, appropriate cleaning and disinfection and immunization.

Public health guidance for customers shopping for/handling second-hand products can be found in the next expander bar.

Shopping for and handling second-hand goods during COVID-19, including at garage/yard sales
Shopping for second-hand goods is a good way to save money and recycle and reuse. If you participate in handling or purchasing second-hand goods, including at garage/yard sales, here are some actions you can take to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19:

Before Leaving Home

  • Complete a COVID-19 self-assessment and follow the direction provided. If you have COVID-19 symptoms, stay home, seek testing, and self-isolate
  • Consider having only one member of your household do the shopping.

While Shopping

  • Avoid meeting in person if possible (e.g. leave items out for “porch pick-up”). 
  • The COVID -19 virus may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days depending on different conditions, such as temperature, type of surface and humidity of the environment. Proper hand hygiene can help reduce the risk of infection or spreading infection. Regularly wash your hands with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60-90% alcohol content (e.g. after handling second-hand items, after paying with cash or credit/debit card, and before and after arriving at the store or garage/yard sale).
  • Limit the handling of items as much as possible. 
  • Practise physical distancing with people outside of your household (i.e. stay 2 metres/6 feet apart).
  • Follow any flow of traffic direction laid out by the store or host of the garage/yard sale. 
  • Wear a mask or face covering when physical distancing is not possible or when shopping in an indoor public place such as a retail store. If you are unable to wear a mask and physical distancing will be challenging to maintain, consider sending a friend/relative to shop for you instead. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Practise proper cough etiquette and hand hygiene
  • Use digital/electronic or contactless payment services rather than cash, when possible.

 After Shopping: 

  • After purchasing an item, thoroughly clean and disinfect it, if possible. 
  • If items cannot be cleaned and disinfected, consider isolating them for 24-72 hours before use. 
  • Wipe down the inside of your vehicle where the used good(s) were stored or bring a bag to put the items you purchase in so you can discard or clean the bag upon returning home.

While the risk of COVID-19 transmission through touching surfaces is low, it does occur. It is important to continue to follow infection control measures to reduce the various ways in which COVID-19 is spread. This includes proper hand hygiene, masking, physical distancing, respiratory etiquette and appropriate cleaning and disinfection.

For weddings, funerals and other religious services, rites or ceremonies:

  • Indoor and outdoor permitted with capacity limited to permit physical distancing of 2 metres
  • Guests must wear masks or face coverings indoors and outdoors when they are within 2 metres (6 feet) of another person who is not part of their household.

Drive-in services, rites or ceremonies permitted, subject to certain conditions.

Virtual services are permitted and strongly advised. If attending a service inperson follow these recommendations:

  • Self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms
  • Stay home if you are sick
  • A mask or face covering is required when indoors and recommended for outdoors when it is difficult to maintain physical distance
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
  • Avoid close contact (hugging, kissing, hand shaking) with persons outside of your household

Receptions:

  • Receptions are permitted indoors at a limit of 25 people.
  • Outdoor receptions are permitted up to 100 people.

 

 

 

Page last updated: July 16, 2021

Did you find what you were looking for today?
What did you like about this page?
How can we improve this page?
Page
Feedback

If you have any questions or concerns that require a response, please contact Health Connection directly.

Thanks for your feedback.
Failed to submit comment. Please try submitting again or contact us at the Health Unit.
Comment already submitted ...