Covid-19 - Municipal Information & Resources
Federal, Provincial and Municipal information related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Statement from Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health on Lifting of Mask Mandate:
“With the peak of Omicron behind us, Ontario has been able to cautiously and gradually move through its reopening milestones.
The majority of public health and workplace safety measures have now been lifted, and key public health indicators continue to improve or remain stable.
As we continue on this path, we are able to take a more balanced and long-term approach to Ontario’s pandemic response.
With continued improvement in trends, Ontario will remove the mandatory masking requirement for most settings on March 21st, with the exception of select settings such as public transit, health care settings, long-term care homes and congregate care settings.
As a society, we must remain kind, considerate and respectful toward those who continue wearing a mask. We must also expect indicators, such as cases and hospitalizations, to increase slightly as Ontarians increasingly interact with one another. However, thanks to our high vaccination rates and natural immunity, as well as the arrival of antivirals, Ontario has the tools necessary to manage the impact of the virus.
I want to thank Ontarians for their ongoing resilience and commitment to community as we navigated this global pandemic together. Your sacrifices and collective actions have made a difference.
While this does not signal that COVID-19 has disappeared or that the pandemic is over, it does mean that we have come to a place where we know what we need to do to manage this virus and to keep each other safe.
We need to remain vigilant. We need to stay home when sick. And, most importantly, we need to get vaccinated and boosted.
Vaccination is the best protection against COVID-19 and the best protection for the progress we have made.”Learn how Ontario intends to lift the remaining public health and workplace safety measures and learn to manage COVID-19 for the long-term.
All Ontarians 18+ Eligible for COVID-19 Booster Appointments at Three-Month Interval
Starting Monday, December 20th, 2021, individuals aged 18 and over will be eligible to schedule their booster dose appointment through Ontario’s booking portal, by calling the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre, through Indigenous-led vaccination clinics, participating pharmacies and primary care settings. Appointments will be booked three (3) months (84 days) after a second dose as the province urgently expands booster eligibility to millions more individuals. Additionally, pharmacies and other channels may provide boosters for 18 and over at the three-month interval starting Friday, December 17th, 2021 for walk-ins.
In addition, starting today, individuals aged 50 and over, as well as all those currently eligible who have already booked their appointment at an interval of six (6) months (168 days), can call the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre to re-book for an earlier date at the three-month interval and can change their appointment through Ontario’s booking portal starting on Monday.
To further strengthen its response to Omicron, effective December 18th, 2021 at 12:01 a.m. Ontario intends to introduce a 50 percent capacity limit to the following indoor areas of venues with a usual capacity of 1,000 or more: facilities used for sports and recreational fitness activities; entertainment facilities such as concert venues, theatres and cinemas; racing venues; meeting and event spaces; studio audiences in commercial film and television production; museums, galleries, aquariums, zoos, science centres, landmarks, historic sites, botanical gardens and similar attractions; casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments; and fair, rural exhibitions, and festivals. This measure is being taken to reduce opportunities for close contact in high-risk indoor settings with large crowds and when face coverings/masks are not always worn.
As part of the government’s enhanced testing strategy, starting today up to two (2) million rapid tests will be provided free of charge at pop-up testing sites in high-traffic settings such as malls, retail settings, holiday markets, public libraries and transit hubs. Pop-up teams will be deployed at nearly 50 locations across the province, including some co-located with GO-VAXX mobile vaccine buses. Most sites will distribute free take-home rapid antigen test kits, subject to supply, and some will offer asymptomatic rapid antigen screening on-site. The government will also make take-home rapid tests available at select LCBO stores, starting with the busiest stores this week and with more stores being added in the coming days.
Ontarians can visit Ontario.ca/holidaytesting to find out if pop-up rapid antigen screening sites will be available in their area. Locations and operating hours will be updated weekly, and no appointment will be required.
COVID-19 Vaccine Status Report – Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit – April 11th, 2022
This vaccine report will now be provided the first Tuesday of each month – Next report is May 3rd, 2022. Vaccination stats will continue to be updated every Tuesday.
- For individuals aged 5 plus, our first dose vaccination rate is 94.5%, second dose rate is 91.7% and third dose rate is 62.0%.
- Vaccination rate for ages 5 to 11 is 65.1% with a first dose – 50.1% of children ages 5 to 11 have received a second dose.
- For youth aged 11 to 17, 87.8% have second doses and 19.9% have third doses.
- As of April 3rd, 2022, a total of 429,839 vaccinations have been administered in the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit (LGLDHU) region.
- Our vaccination dashboard has all the details and will be updated again next Tuesday, April 19th.
- As of Thursday, April 7th, those age 60+ (born in 1962 or before), and Indigenous people and their adult household members are eligible for a fourth dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Available through pharmacies, your healthcare provider or any of our clinics.
- Recommended interval for the fourth dose is five (5) months after your third dose but can be given as early as three (3) months after it.
Vaccination Booking Reminders
- Getting vaccinated with three (3) doses provides good protection against symptoms and very good protection against serious disease requiring hospitalization. The strength of protection may decrease after several months, so all people aged 60 and older are encouraged to get a fourth dose of the vaccine. This is the age-group that has higher rates of hospitalization and death because of underlying health conditions that make it a challenge to cope with COVID infection.
- A list of upcoming clinics is available on our website. Walk-ins may be available at clinics based on clinic capacity. Demands for appointments are very high right now. More appointments are being added so keep checking back. Please don’t call the YMCA in Brockville directly as they do not book appointments. Call 1-844-369-1234 or book online
- Continue to check with a participating pharmacy or your health care provider.
- If you have booked an appointment and get a vaccination earlier at a pharmacy or health care provider, please cancel your appointment with our clinic.
- Beginning April 12th, Ontario is making it easier for eligible individuals with a prescription to access antivirals by expanding dispensing locations to include participating pharmacies across the province. A list of pharmacies that are dispensing Paxlovid will be available at Ontario.ca/antivirals as of Wednesday, April 13th at 8:00 a.m. The list will be regularly updated as the list of participating pharmacies expands.
For more information on COVID-19 vaccines, visit the COVID-19 Protection and Vaccines section of our website.
During this difficult time, it is imperative that businesses such as grocery stores, pharmacies, etc. remain open to service your family’s needs. Staff in these essential businesses should be protected from a health and safety perspective. In order to help ensure their health and safety, the public is encouraged to follow social protocols such as:
- Limiting the number of people from your family attending the stores to pickup the supplies you need;
- Practicing social distancing while shopping, waiting in line or in front of workers;
- Being respectful as staff practice extra sanitizing protocols which may take more time, but will also protect you as a consumer;
- Consider thanking the workers for their services;
- Expecting line-ups and delays, so ensure enough time when heading out to run your errands
Social Distancing and Self-isolation
Social (Physical) Distancing
Social (physical) distancing is proven to be one of the most effective ways to reduce the spread of illness during an outbreak. It means making changes in your everyday routines to minimize contact with others including:
- Avoiding crowded places and non-essential gatherings;
- Avoiding common greetings, such as handshakes;
- Limiting contact with people at higher risk (e.g. older adults and those in poor health);
- Keeping a distance of at least 2 arms lengths (approximately 2 metres) from others as much as possible.
- Use food delivery services or online shopping;
- Exercise at home or outside;
- Work from home
It is critical that people who are returning from travel outside of Canada, follow the strong recommendations of Dr. Williams, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health and self-isolate for 14 days when you and your family return. This means staying at home and avoiding contact with other people to help prevent the spread of disease to members of your family who may not have travelled with you or to your community.
If you think you or a family member have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, in addition to self-isolation, please take the self- assessment test here to help determine how to seek further care. This site will also provide you with all the information you need to keep you and your family healthy and safe.
For further information on these two topics, please see below:
Ontario Tele-Health Self-assessment Tool
Federal and Provincial Announcements and Resources
The Government of Canada is maintaining a website with the latest information on how COVID-19.
The Province of Ontario is maintaining a website with the latest information on how the government continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.
Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit
What should you do if you have respiratory systems (e.g. cough, fever, or shortness of breath) after travelling to an affected area?
Call your health care provider and tell them about your symptoms. After hours, or if you do not have a health care provider contact Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000. Do not visit your health care provider or a walk-in clinic without calling ahead to outline your symptoms and travel experience.
The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit has expanded capacity for incoming enquiries.
The main number to call is 1-800-660-5853.
The local Smiths Falls office number is (613) 283-2740.
- General COVID-19 Enquiries - Ext. 2499, available weekdays, from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. and on weekends from 8:30 a.m. until 12:00 noon.
- Enquiries from Health Care Providers or for members of the public reporting symptoms - Ext. 2222, available 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. seven days a week.
- Duty Desk, (Public Health Inspectors) for business operator enquiries - Ext. 2308, also available 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. seven days a week.
- After hours crisis line (613) 345-5685.
For additional Questions and Answers, please follow the link below to the Leeds, Grenville, Lanark District Health Unit https://healthunit.org/coronavirus/