Covid-19 - Municipal Information & Resources
The Provincial and Federal Governments are taking significant steps to limit the transmission of the COVID-19 virus including recommendations to limit the spread through communities. Carleton Place Town Council and Staff are taking the situation very seriously and have implemented a number of proactive measures to ensure the limited spread in our area. All new information will be posted to this page in addition to the information already compiled below:
Province makes changes to Self-Isolation requirements and school/childcare screening
The presence of COVID-19 variants of concern (VOCs) in Ontario has prompted the province to make changes to the guidelines for self-isolation, and changes to the school and childcare screening tool. The VOCs cause COVID-19 to spread more easily from one person to another, and the goal with these changes is to stop/slow the spread of VOCs to the greatest extent possible to prevent new COVID-19 infections and mitigate impacts on hospitals and the healthcare system.
Changes for Household Members of High-risk Contacts
High risk contacts are individuals who have had a close contact with a COVID-19 positive individual and are informed by public health that they are a high risk contact. High-risk contacts must isolate for 14 days from last exposure, even if their test result comes back negative.
All household members of a high-risk contact will be asked to stay at home for the duration of the high-risk contact’s isolation period, except for essential reasons . Essential reasons include attending work or school/childcare, errands for food, medication, and essential medical appointments – leaving the house for these essential reasons is allowable as long as no one in the household develops COVID-19 symptoms. Non-essential visitors must refrain from entering the home during the isolation period.
Changes for Household Members of Symptomatic Individuals: Quarantine
If someone is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, the entire household must quarantine, without exemption, even for essential reasons , until a negative test result is received, or an alternate diagnosis is received from a healthcare professional. If the symptomatic person chooses not to get tested, then they must isolate until 10 days have passed from symptom onset and they are feeling better, and their household members must isolate for 14 days from their last close contact with the symptomatic person. If the symptomatic person cannot isolate from the rest of the household, all household members must quarantine for 14 days, starting from the end of the symptomatic individual’s isolation period.
Changes to the School and Childcare Screening Tool
Daily screening for staff, students and children must take place every day before attending school or childcare. The province has updated the school and childcare screening tool .
Staff, students, and children with any new or worsening symptoms of COVID-19, even those with only one symptom must stay home (self-isolate) without exemption until:
- they receive a negative COVID-19 test result and symptoms are improving with no fever, and they are feeling well enough to go to school, OR;
- they receive an alternative diagnosis by a healthcare professional, OR;
- it has been 10 days since their symptom onset and they are feeling better.
“These changes, along with the current COVID-19 precautions, are key to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus including any variant that may come into our region,” states Dr. Paula Stewart, Medical Officer of Health for the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit.
The Health Unit recognizes that these changes will affect local individuals, families, and businesses. Information about resources available to provide support can be found on the Health Unit’s website: https://healthunit.org/about/
Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit - Weekly Vaccine Status Report
Week of March 1st - Many people are calling to ask when we are vaccinating their age group. Please help us to keep our phone lines open! We can NOT take appointments for those over 80 yet. It is only specific groups who are directly invited that can currently book appointments for vaccine clinics. Check the Ontario.ca website in the coming days for the approximate time your age group may be vaccinated. We are not vaccinating anyone from the community this week. Health Care Workers that are being vaccinated this week will be contacted through their employer for their instructions on booking appointments.
What was done last week?
- Continued second doses for residents in Long-Term Care Homes (LTCHs) and High-Risk Retirement Homes (HR RHs).
- Launched Stage 2 of the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark COVID – 19 Vaccine Distribution and Administration Roll Out Plan.
- Some Stage 2 groups were invited to attend one of the fixed clinic sites that opened (Kemptville, Almonte and Brockville).
- Target groups for the fixed sites include:
- Staff and Designated Essential Caregivers of all Long-term Care Homes and Retirement Homes.
- HCWs in the “Highest Priority Category”.
- ALC patients in Hospitals. These were done in the hospital.
- Worked with two local hospitals to co-host in-hospital clinics for their HCWs in the “Highest Priority Category”.
- From February 22nd – February 28th: 1842 individuals received their first dose of vaccine this week and 571 individuals received their second dose of vaccine.
- A total of 4796 individuals have received at least one dose of vaccine (either through the KHSC Clinic, the Ottawa Hospital Clinic or one of our mobile clinics) since our rollout started.
What is the plan for this week?
- Continued to roll out Stage 1 of the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark COVID – 19 Vaccine Distribution and Administration Roll Out Plan in LTCH and HR RHs
- Continue to roll out Stage 2 of the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark COVID – 19 Vaccine Distribution and Administration Roll Out Plan in the fixed sites.
- Will focus on adding Health Care Workers in the “Very High Priority Category” to the fixed sites.
- Begin going into Retirement Homes to provide first doses to residents.
- Launch the fourth fixed site (Smiths Falls)
- Priority groups will be invited to attend these clinics and will be provided with a unique booking code that will allow them to book directly online or through the health unit.
- Work with the Ministry to pilot an online appointment booking function.
What are we working on for next week?
- Continue to build capacity in our four fixed sites.
- Target groups for the fixed sites include:
- Staff and Designated Essential Caregivers of all Long Term Care Homes and Retirement Homes.
- HCWs in the “Highest Priority Category” and the “Very High Priority Category”
- Roll out will continue with Stage 1 second doses for residents in LTCHs and HR RHs, and first and second doses for staff and essential caregivers in LTCHs and HR RHs.
- Prepare for next weeks’ opening for Adults over 80 and All Indigenous adults.
What can I do now?
- Get informed. Visit COVID-19 Protection and Vaccine.
- Stay healthy.
- Follow COVID precautions – wear a mask, keep the 2m/6ft distance from others, follow stay at home order.
- Stay home if sick and contact the Assessment Centres for testing.
- Ensure your other immunizations are up to date.
- Discuss any concerns with your health care provider, link to consent form COVID-19 Vaccine Screening and Consent Form (gov.on.ca).
- Be patient. It will take time for COVID-19 vaccines to be distributed to everyone in the community. Each group will be specifically identified and notified in advance to plan for vaccination – information will be posted on our website, social media, local media, and through healthcare and community partners – you won’t be missed!
- When the fixed clinics are able to open to a wider population, including adults 80 years of age and older, booking instructions will be made known on the website, through social media, local radio and newspaper, local organizations, and health care providers.
- Adults 79 years and younger will begin in stage 5 of our rollout. We anticipate that this will begin in April.
Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit Goes Green-Prevent on February 16
The lifting of the Stay-at-Home Order in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark recognizes that our residents, municipalities, workplaces, businesses, and services have followed public health precautions well to reduce COVID-19 transmission within our region.
“We are pleased to be returning to the Framework in the Green–Prevent zone,” said Dr. Paula Stewart, Medical Officer of Health for the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit. “Now is the time for everyone to be COVID-SMART, stay within our health unit region, and support our local businesses and services. For organization and businesses, a COVID Safety Plan that outlines adherence to all required COVID-19 precautions in the Green- Prevent Zone, will keep employees safe, as well as the public.”
To keep ourselves, our family, friends, and neighbours protected, it is important to continue to only have close contact with members of our own household. While social gatherings are now allowed for up to 10 people inside and 25 outside, consider carefully if an in-person get-together is essential and, if it is, then ensure everyone keeps two (2) metres apart and wears a well fitted cloth mask.
The specific requirements for the Green-Prevent Zone of the Framework are outlined in O. Reg. 364/20: RULES FOR AREAS IN STAGE 3. You can check out the standard Ontario measures in this zone and also check the Ontario’s COVID-19 Response Framework webpage to see how the Province’s measures affect the Leeds, Grenville, Lanark area.
As we released earlier this week, the new requirements added to the Framework include:
- Posting clear and visible signage at all business entrances, with detailed COVID-19 screening questions to facilitate passive screening of patrons.
- Active symptom screening of employees; the tool can be accessed online or downloaded (PDF) from the Ontario government website.
- Preparation of a safety plan for organizations and businesses that is available upon request.
The Province has included an “emergency brake” in their plan to allow a public health region that is experiencing high levels of COVID-19 transmission to quickly contain the community spread by quickly moving the region into Grey-Lockdown to interrupt the transmission of COVID-19.
The government considers a range of criteria when determining a Health Unit’s zone in the Framework. The Chief Medical Officer of Health considers case rate over a number of weeks, confirmed presence of COVID-19 variants of concern (VOCs); as well as health system and public health capacity.
For local information about COVID-19 visit our website at www.healthunit.org.
Municipal Facilities Reopening
- If possible, please continue to make payments owing to the Town online or via the drop-box at the OPP station instead of in person in order to ensure your safety and that of Staff;
- If an in-person appointment is required with the Planning, Building, Public Works, or Clerk’s Departments, please call ahead and arrange a time with the Staff member you would like to meet with. Staff will request you call at the time of your appointment to notify them that you have arrived. They will receive you and escort you to the designated private meeting area directly off of the main lobby;
- Staff will remain behind clear barriers for in-person appointments;
- Masks will be mandatory for any member of the public entering the Town Hall;
- There will be designated lines for entering and exiting. The public will enter through the door located on Mill Street and exit through the doors leading out to Bridge Street.
Recreation Facilities Reopening - The Recreation & Culture Department is pleased to share that the following facilities will reopen as of Tuesday, February 16th, 2021:
- Carleton Place Arena;
- Carleton Place Pool.
We will begin taking registrations for Parents & Tots, Family, and Adult skating sessions starting this Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. To reserve your spot for any of the regularly scheduled skates, please call 613-257-1690. For skate scheduling information, please visit the Arena page on the Town’s website.
For scheduling information for the Carleton Place Pool, please call 613-257-1005, extension 21, or visit the Pool page on the Town’s website.
Carleton Place Library Reopening – The Carleton Place Public Library is excited to welcome you back to browse at the library once more! As of Tuesday, February 16th, we will be resuming our regular open hours (Monday to Thursday: 10:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Fridays: 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Saturdays: 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.). Please drop by at 132 Coleman Street and browse our shelves. Curbside pick up will still be available for holds.
Getting Back to School and Daycare
We already know that COVID-19 is spread through droplets from a cough, sneeze or singing by someone who is infectious to someone who is close to them. This is a good time to remember that the droplets can land up to two metres away and can survive for a few hours on hard surfaces. Symptoms may look like a cold (sore throat, runny nose, cough, fever, headache) or other symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea. Symptoms can develop up to 14 days after being infected – usually two to five days.
Public health and school boards are asking parents to use an anonymous online screening tool (also available in printable version) each day to provide direction about what to do if a child is experiencing symptoms. This should become part of your family’s morning routine. Teachers, school staff and any other individuals entering the school will also be asked to self-screen using the COVID-19 self-assessment tool, and follow its directions.
The Leeds Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit has been working with the Schools Boards in our regions as well as the Eastern Ontario Health Unit to implement the Ministry of Education Guidelines for child care and school re-opening. The Guidelines are based on the key public health measures that have helped us “flatten the curve” and keep cases low in our communities. We are promoting that people be COVID – SMART to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in all regions – see a link to what this acronym means here: https://healthunit.org/health-information/covid-19/gatherings-social-circles/
Preventing and minimizing transmission is our priority. Our case and contact management team is ready 7 days a week to investigate new positive COVID-19 cases and trace who might have been exposed. Public Health will be involved at every step and are ready to answer questions and offer guidance related to symptoms and testing.
Public Health will contact all the families of children/youth, as well as teachers and others who might have had close contact (less than 2 metres) with an individual with COVID-19. Close contacts are required to stay at home for 14 days, or as directed by public health, and will be informed about testing requirements. The school will also activate infection control procedures such as cleaning and disinfection of the classroom and any other affected areas of the school. Parents of children/youth will be notified that someone has tested positive for COVID-19 in their child care centre or school.
If there is an outbreak at the school (two or more cases linked from within the school), public health will determine, through investigation, whether class cancellations or school closure are necessary. The status of cases and outbreaks will be posted on the websites of schools that have a website, school boards and their respective health units. The LGL area will be listed here: https://healthunit.org/health-information/covid-19/local-cases-and-statistics/schools/
“Timely and transparent communication with families and the school community is important to us,” says Dr. Paula Stewart, Medical Officer of Health for Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit. “Providing specific guidance to parents if there is a case in a child care centre or school can help respond to people’s concerns.”
While the child care and school communities will be kept informed through information on the website, it’s important to remember that public health has an obligation to protect the privacy of any individuals who are suspected and confirmed to have COVID-19.
“We also are committed to respecting children’s privacy and ask that people be kind and resist the temptation to speculate about absences or share rumours about possible cases – especially on social media,” Stewart continues. “Kindness and compassion need to be shown at all times.”
For more information on COVID-19 and the re-opening of schools, please visit the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit’s website at https://healthunit.org/health-information/covid-19/schools/ or call 1-866-236-0123.
To view your local school board’s return-to-school plan, visit their website:
Garbage and Recycling Collection
Additional Bag of Waste Extension Period HAS ENDED – The Public Works Department has been notified by the Town’s waste collection Contractor that there are a significant number of garbage bags at the curb today over the one (1) bag allowance that are not tagged with a Town issued waste collection sticker. The last day for an additional bag of unstickered waste was last Friday, February 26th, 2021. Moving forward, we have reverted to one (1) unstickered bag of waste per week per household. Any additional bags will require a sticker. Residents can continue to use previously issued green stickers. Stickers can be purchased at Town Hall and at Shoppers Drug Mart on McNeely Avenue.
Payments Owing to the Town
Reinstatement of Municipal Interest Penalties/Charges - At the start of the COVID-19 emergency, an emergency Council meeting was held on March 25th, 2020 to discuss measures the Town would be undertaking to address various Town matters in response to the emergency. Council passed a By-law to waive penalties and interest for late payments incurred from the date of passing until the By-law is repealed. During the first 2021 Budget meeting on November 6th, 2020, Council discussed reinstating interest/penalty charges due to the significant financial losses experienced by the Town in 2020 and the estimated impact to revenues in 2021. Council voted in favour of repealing By-law 32-2020 and therefore, penalty and interest charges on tax, water and other fees/charges owing to the Town will be reinstated effective January 1st, 2021.
For any payments owing to the Town, options include online or telephone banking, mailing a cheque to the Town Hall or dropping a payment off in the mail slot at the Police Station located at 15 Coleman Street. We encourage residents to use these means of payment if at all possible.
With respect to parking tickets already issued, the timelines for payment and/or options to address the infraction can be found on the back of the ticket. These timelines are mandated by the Province.
With respect to amounts owing for taxes and water, we encourage payment by the means noted above if at all possible. However, no additional penalty will be applied to these accounts from March 16, 2020 until further notice.
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/
Covid-19 Assessment Centre Opens in Almonte
The Assessment Centre is located at the corner of Spring Street and State Street in the brick building behind the Almonte General Hospital Emergency Department and will be open from 12 to 8 pm. Parking is available at the Centre and there is signage to guide patients to the appropriate entrance.
Appointments Are Required
Residents with mild to moderate symptoms should contact their primary care provider for a referral to the Assessment Centre. Those who do not have a primary care provider should call the Health Unit at 1-800-660-5853 ext. 2499 for a referral. Once a resident has been referred, the Assessment Centre will call to confirm the appointment time. Anyone experiencing severe symptoms such as difficulty breathing should call 911 or go to a hospital emergency room.
The Assessment Centre is not open for walk-in visits. It is for people who have worsening, but not severe, COVID-19 symptoms (such as fever and cough). Not everyone will be tested. Testing will be based on Ministry of Health guidelines.
For the latest updates on COVID-19, please visit the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit website at www.healthunit.org. For the latest updates from AGH, please visit www.agh-fvm.com/coronavirus.
Lanark County Parademics Home Assessment Unit
This mobile unit is dispatched to individuals living in long-term care facilities and retirement residences, as well as to those individuals who are isolated and have mobility challenges.
This service is available by contacting the Leeds, Grenville, & Lanark District Health Unit at 1-800-660-5853.
The goal is to help provide better access to testing and assessments for those high-risk individuals including seniors, the immunocompromised, people with underlying health conditions, and those with mobility issues. This service helps to reduce pressures on our 911 system as well as our local emergency departments.
As a reminder, if you are concerned about possible symptoms of COVID-19, please complete the online self-assessment tool at https://covid-19.ontario.ca/self-assessment/#q0 and follow the guidance provided. If further clinical assessment is advised, call your health care provider or the Health Unit. If you are having severe difficulty breathing or experiencing other severe symptoms, call 911 immediately.
Lanark County Food Bank
Slowing the Spread of Covid-19 While Grocery Shopping
If you are sick do not go out and shop. STAY HOME.
If you have arrived home from travelling, DO NOT SHOP, ask a friend or family member to help or take advantage of on-line curb side services or grocery delivery services
- 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
- If you use reusable bags or containers, clean and sanitize these between uses
Keep your distance
- Avoid shopping in large groups
- Keep your distance from other shoppers and employees while in the store, 2 arms-length from each other is an easy way to measure your distance.
- Avoid common greetings, such as handshakes. Use a simple wave and a smile
- If the grocery store seems busy, come back another time to prevent large gatherings
- Offer to grocery shop for those who are self-isolating or those who may be at higher risk like older adults and those in poor health
- Remember everyday food safety practices such as separating raw meat from ready to eat food in your cart
- Wash fruits and vegetables when arriving home and before eating
- Please do not hoard, when you do this your friends and neighbours may go without.