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This page includes the latest information and guidance from Halton Region Public Health, the province and federal governments on how to stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Provincial COVID-19 Response Framework

On Tuesday, November 3, 2020, the Ontario Government released the COVID-19 Response Framework to Help Keep the Province Safe and Open (external link) to protect the health and safety of individuals and families and avoid broader closures across the province. The framework acts as an early warning system allowing the Province to adjust restriction levels regionally in response to surges of COVID-19.

On November 13, the Province announced that Halton Region will move to the Red Level (Control). The measures for this level will take effect on Monday, November 16 at 12:01 a.m.

To learn more about the Province’s new framework (external link) and what this means for Halton residents, please see the information below.

Current situation

The Province’s COVID-19 Response Framework has five levels. Halton Region is in the Red level (Control). Select any of the five levels below to learn what indicators Ontario uses to move a public health unit region to another level.

It is strongly recommended that residents in the red control zone limit trips outside of their home:

  • Stay home, except for essential purposes such as going to work or school, buying essentials such as groceries, and attending medical appointments.
  • Maintain a physical distance of two metres (six feet) from those outside their household. Those that live alone may join one designated household.
  • Avoid all social gatherings such as play dates, birthday parties, and dinner parties with friends or family.

Current Level


CONTROL

Important: The definitions and indicators provided below are based on the Province’s COVID-19 Response Framework (external link). This information is subject to change.

What does the Prevent level mean?

Follow standard measures:

  • Focus on education and awareness of public health and workplace safety measures in place.
  • Restrictions reflect broadest allowance of activities in Stage 3 absent a widely available vaccine or treatment.
  • Highest risk settings remain closed.

What does the Prevent level mean for residents and businesses? (external link)

What indicators are used for this level?

Epidemiology

  • Weekly incidence rate is < 10 per 100,000
  • % positivity is < 0.5
  • Rt < 1
  • Outbreak trends/ observations
  • Level of community transmission/non-epi linked cases stable

Health System Capacity

  • Hospital and ICU capacity adequate

PH System Capacity

  • Case and contact follow up within 24 hours adequate

Note:

  • Indicators will generally be assessed based on the previous two weeks of information. However, movement to apply measures will be considered sooner than two weeks if there is a rapidly worsening trend.
  • Local context and conditions will inform movement, including potential regional application of measures.
  • Thresholds within a region may not all be met at the same time; decisions about moving to new measures will require overall risk assessment by government.

COVID-19 core information

Please read important information below on how you can protect yourself, protect others and stop the spread of COVID-19.

Human coronaviruses are most commonly spread from an infected person through:

  • respiratory droplets produced when you cough or sneeze;
  • close, prolonged personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands; or
  • touching something with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing hands.

The virus is not known to be airborne (transmitted through particles floating in the air) or to spread through ventilation systems or through water.

The best way to control the spread of respiratory viruses including COVID-19 is to:

  • get tested for COVID-19 if you have a symptom (external PDF) (see Assessment and testing section on this page);
  • have close contact only with individuals within your household;
  • when out in public, practice physical distancing (social distancing) (external link) by maintaining a 2-metre (6 foot) distance from others, outside of your household and wear a face covering or non-medical mask if physical distancing is not possible;
  • in public indoor spaces, or any other indoor space, physically distance by maintaining a 2-metre distance from others and wear a face covering or non-medical mask;
  • cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or sleeve;
  • avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose;
  • wash hands frequently with soap and water or with alcohol-based hand rub:
    • Wash hands for at least 15 seconds, especially after using the washroom and before preparing food.
    • Use alcohol-based hand rubs safely.
  • clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces;
  • avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada (if you have travelled, it is mandatory to self-isolate for 14 days from when you return home unless you are exempt); 
  • self-isolate (see the Self-isolation section on this page) if you have symptoms (even if mild) associated with COVID-19 (note: this is required);
  • maintain a healthy lifestyle, including a healthy diet, staying active and getting enough sleep to support your body’s immune system; and
  • download the COVID Alert app to be anonymously notified if exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days.

For more information, please visit the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19): Prevention and Risks webpage. 

View our protect yourself and others poster for a summary of key public health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Physical distancing (social distancing) (external link) involves taking steps to stop or slow down the spread of COVID-19 in the community by limiting close contact with others.

On October 2, 2020, the Provincial Government announced that social circles will be ‘paused’. All Ontarians are advised to allow close contact only with people living in their own household, and maintain two metres physical distancing from everyone else. Read the Province’s news release for more information (external link).

Help protect the safety and health of you, your family and friends, and the community by following these measures:

Physical distancing do's

  • Have close contact with only individuals in your household.
  • When in public, keep a 2 metre (6-foot) distance from others, outside of your household.
  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water or with alcohol-based hand rub.
  • When physical distancing cannot be maintained, wear a non-medical mask.
  • Use technology to keep in touch.
  • Shop online and arrange to have things dropped off at home.

Physical distancing don'ts

  • Don't leave home if you feel sick.
  • Don't congregate in groups of people from outside of your household unless in monitored settings with precautions in place (e.g., schools and workplaces).
  • Don't come within 2 metres (6 feet) of, shake hands with, hug or kiss people from outside of your household.

View our physical distancing poster.

  • Wearing a non-medical mask or face covering that covers your mouth and nose:
    • is now certain public indoor spaces in Halton region (PDF file), in addition to maintaining physical distancing;
    • is strongly encouraged in situations where physical distancing is a challenge;
    • can prevent your respiratory droplets from contacting others or landing on surfaces; and
    • is required when travelling by rail, bus/motor carrier, marine or air.
  • Please remember that wearing a face covering or non-medical mask is an additional measure that we can all take now to protect ourselves and others, but does not replace other measures. It should not be substituted for hand washing and physical distancing when out in public.
  • Those who are under the age of two, are unable to remove a mask without assistance, or have trouble breathing should not wear a non-medical mask or face covering.
  • Masks are most effective when they are worn correctly.
    • Wear a mask made of three layers, including a middle, filter layer for improved protection. Masks should be made of tightly woven materials such as cotton or linen. Two layer masks do not need to be discarded, instead consider making or buying a three-layered mask when it is time to replace your two-layer non-medical mask.
    • Wear a mask that fits well around your nose and mouth, without gaps at the sides (for example, cloth mask, balaclava, bandana, or scarf).
    • Clean your hands before putting on, taking off or adjusting your mask.
    • Touch only the straps when putting on and taking off a mask.
    • Avoid touching your mask while wearing it to avoid contaminating your hands.
    • If reusable, store in a clean place and wash regularly.
    • Discard non-reusable masks in a lined garbage bin if damp, soiled or damaged, and wash your hands afterwards.
    • Do not leave discarded masks on the ground or in shopping carts.
  • Masks or face coverings with an exhalation valve do not filter virus particles when you breathe out. In order to protect others nearby, wear a non-medical mask, balaclava, bandana, scarf, cloth or other similar item that covers the nose, mouth and chin without leaving a gap between the face and the mask.
  • Medical masks, such as N95 respirators, protect against respiratory droplets from others entering the nose or mouth. Medical masks are needed by healthcare workers for medical procedures and to care for individuals who have COVID-19. 
    • Some employers (that do not provide health care services) may require staff wear medical grade masks in order to meet safety requirements.

For more information, please visit the Public Health Agency of Canada's Non-medical masks and face coverings (external link) webpage.

 
  • Wearing rubber gloves in public does not reduce your risk of COVID-19. Regular handwashing with soap and water and avoiding touching your face, nose and mouth offer more protection.
  • Wearing eye protection alone (for example, face shield or goggles) has not been shown to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.
  • A face shield is not a substitute for wearing a face mask as it does not filter respiratory droplets.
    • A face shield may provide additional protection for the wearer against droplets expelled from another person, however these droplets may still be inhaled around the shield.
    • Respiratory droplets expelled by the wearer may escape around the sides of the face shield, which provides less protection (than a mask) to others.
  • If a face shield is worn, it is recommended that a non-medical mask or face covering also be worn.

Contact tracing is a process that is used to identify, educate and monitor people who have had close contact with someone who is infected with COVID-19. These people (known as contacts) are at risk of becoming infected and spreading the virus to others. Contact tracing can help contacts understand their risk and limit further spread of the virus. Halton Region Public Health communicates with each person who has tested positive for COVID-19 to identify anyone who they had contact with beginning 48-hours before their symptoms started, or 48-hours before they were tested (if they had no symptoms). A risk assessment is done for each “contact” identified. Contacts are categorized into two levels of risk exposure:

  • High-risk exposure
  • Low-risk exposure

The table below outlines actions each individual is to take based on the level of risk:

  Low-risk exposure High-risk exposure
Description
  • Used appropriate precautions when caring for a person with COVID-19 (for example, wore surgical/procedure mask, eye protection, used gloves and practiced good hand hygiene).
  • Maintained a physical distance of two metres at all times when spending time with a person with COVID-19.
  • Only had brief interactions with a person who has COVID-19 (for example, walking by, or briefly in the same room).
  • Had close physical contact (less than 2 metres) from a person diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • Was in the same room, workspace, area and/or living in the same home (longer time increases the risk).
  • Provided direct care for a person diagnosed with COVID-19 without consistent use of recommended precautions.
  • Had direct contact with bodily fluids (for example, coughed or sneezed on).
Actions
  • Self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days.
  • Avoid close contact with any high-risk individuals who have a medical condition, compromised immune system, or older adults.
  • Get tested if COVID-19 symptoms develop (such as fever, cough, or difficulty breathing).
  • You are required to self-isolate (external PDF) at home for 14 days.
  • Do NOT go to work, school or other public places.
  • Get tested for COVID-19. Halton Region Public Health will provide further instructions.

Halton Region Public Health monitors individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 and their close contacts. Public Health will provide guidance to cases and their contacts, such as self-isolation protocols and monitoring for symptoms to minimize the risk of spread.

In accordance with the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (external link), Halton Region Public Health makes every effort to protect the personal health information of individuals, the confidentiality of that information, and the privacy of individuals when conducting contact tracing.

Public Health and Workplace Safety Measures

This section provides additional information on sector-specific measures identified in the COVID-19 Response Framework (external link) and reflects Halton Region’s current Control Level. You will also find additional guidance from Halton Region Public Health, The Ontario Government and other health and safety organizations.

Visit the Province’s website to learn about the COVID-19 Response Framework (external link) and proposed measures in this category.

Establishments/operators are required to follow O. Reg. 364/20: Rules for Areas in Stage 3 (external link) while in the Prevent (Green), Protect (Yellow), Restrict (Orange) and Control (Red) levels. In Control (Red) level, there are additional requirements detailed in O. Reg. 263/20: Rules for Areas in Stage 2 (external link).

Halton Region Public Health will not be reviewing reopening plans or providing exemptions.

Halton Region Public Health’s Guidance

Additional guidance

Resources

Posters

Calls to the COVID-19 hotline related to food premises are directed to Public Health for response. An educational approach is taken with these complaints to assist operators in achieving compliance to protect customers. If Public Health notes repeat issues and observes continued non-compliance, a progressive enforcement approach would be employed (potentially including warnings, tickets and summons, if necessary).

Visit the Province’s website to learn about the COVID-19 Response Framework (external link) and measures in this category.

Establishments/operators are required to follow O. Reg. 364/20: Rules for Areas in Stage 3 (external link) while in the Prevent (Green), Protect (Yellow), Restrict (Orange) and Control (Red) levels. In Control (Red) level, there are additional requirements detailed in O. Reg. 263/20: Rules for Areas in Stage 2 (external link).

Halton Region Public Health will not be reviewing reopening plans or providing exemptions for sport organizations. Refer to the following public health guidance to keep coaches and athletes safe. Additional guidelines and recommendations for reopening may be provided by the sport organizational body.

Halton Region Public Health’s Guidance

Additional Guidance

Visit the Province’s website to learn about the COVID-19 Response Framework (external link) and proposed measures in this category.

Establishments/operators are required to follow O. Reg. 364/20: Rules for Areas in Stage 3 (external link) while in the Prevent (Green), Protect (Yellow), Restrict (Orange) and Control (Red) levels. In Control (Red) level, there are additional requirements detailed in O. Reg. 263/20: Rules for Areas in Stage 2 (external link).

Halton Region Public Health will not be reviewing reopening plans or providing exemptions.

Halton Region Public Health’s Guidance

All Ontarians are advised to only have close contact with people living in their own household, and maintain two metres physical distancing from everyone else. While limits on private, unmonitored social gatherings continue to be no more than 10 people permitted indoors and 25 people outdoors, at this time, Halton residents should avoid events and social gatherings with those from outside their immediate household.

Visit the Province’s website to learn about the COVID-19 Response Framework (external link) and proposed measures in this category.

Establishments/operators are required to follow O. Reg. 364/20: Rules for Areas in Stage 3 (external link) while in the Prevent (Green), Protect (Yellow), Restrict (Orange) and Control (Red) levels. In Control (Red) level, there are additional requirements detailed in O. Reg. 263/20: Rules for Areas in Stage 2 (external link).

Halton Region Public Health will not be reviewing reopening plans or providing exemptions.

Halton Region Public Health’s Guidance

Additional Guidance

Visit the Province’s website to learn about the COVID-19 Response Framework (external link) and proposed measures in this category.

Establishments/operators are required to follow O. Reg. 364/20: Rules for Areas in Stage 3 (external link) while in the Prevent (Green), Protect (Yellow), Restrict (Orange) and Control (Red) levels. In Control (Red) level, there are additional requirements detailed in O. Reg. 263/20: Rules for Areas in Stage 2 (external link).

Halton Region Public Health will not be reviewing reopening plans or providing exemptions.

Halton Region Public Health’s Guidance

Additional Guidance

Visit the Province’s website to learn about the COVID-19 Response Framework (external link) and proposed measures in this category.

Establishments/operators are required to follow O. Reg. 364/20: Rules for Areas in Stage 3 (external link) while in the Prevent (Green), Protect (Yellow), Restrict (Orange) and Control (Red) levels. In Control (Red) level, there are additional requirements detailed in O. Reg. 263/20: Rules for Areas in Stage 2 (external link).

Halton Region Public Health will not be reviewing reopening plans or providing exemptions.

Halton Region Public Health’s Guidance

Additional Guidance

Additional Sector-Specific Guidance

This section provides additional sector-specific guidance for businesses, services and public settings not specifically identified in the COVID-19 Response Framework (external link). These guidance documents have been created by Halton Region Public Health, the Ontario Government and other health and safety organizations.

Halton Region Public Health will not be approving reopening plans or providing exemptions for individual organizations or businesses. Public Health inspections are only required prior to reopening of public pools, spas, public beaches and farmer’s markets.

Businesses with questions about how to reopen safely can call the Province's Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659.

Licensed child care centres and home care providers were permitted to reopen starting June 12, 2020, and must follow strict health protocols to ensure the safety of children and child care staff.

Effective September 1, 2020, licensed child care centres can open at full capacity. EarlyON and Family Centres can also resume in-person programming and before and after-school programs for school-aged children. All of these programs are subject to health and safety protocols.

The following guidance is intended for child care operators and staff, including home care providers.

Halton Region Public Health’s Guidance

Additional Guidance

Resources

Posters

The following guidance documents are intended for employers of farm workers to help control the spread of COVID-19 on farms.

Halton Region Public Health’s Guidance

Additional Guidance

To access personal protective equipment, please visit:

The following guidance documents are intended to support operators of group homes and other congregate settings.

If you are a long-term care or retirement home administrator or employee looking for information about COVID-19 infection prevention and control, please visit Halton’s Long-term Care and Retirement Homes - Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) page. 

The following guidance document is intended to support owners and operators of multi-unit housing (for example, apartments and condominiums) to ensure public safety and reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Halton Region Public Health’s Guidance

The following guidance is intended for operators of outdoor recreational spaces to ensure public safety as these spaces reopen. Outdoor recreational spaces include any area that is accessible to the public including: parks, trails, beaches and playgrounds.

Halton Region Public Health’s Guidance

Additional Guidance

Attendance at places of worship must be limited to no more than 30 per cent of the building capacity. Refer to the following public health guidance for faith-based organizations.

Halton Region Public Health’s Guidance

Additional Guidance

The following guidance is intended for public transit agencies and passengers to help control the spread of COVID-19 on public transit.

If you are a school professional looking for COVID-19 Public Health guidance, please visit our School Years Program page.

If you are a resident looking for information and resources to help your family safely return to school, please visit our Reopening Schools page.

If you are a post-secondary school professional seeking information for these settings, please see Health Canada's Guidance for post-secondary institutions during the COVID-19 pandemic (external link).

The following guidance document is intended for taxi and ride share companies, drivers, and passengers to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Halton Region Public Health’s Guidance

Additional Guidance

Resources to Prevent COVID-19 in the Workplace

Mandatory Mask By-Law

Effective July 22, 2020, wearing a non-medical mask or face covering is mandatory in certain enclosed indoor public places in Halton region. Some individuals are exempt. Please be kind and support each other. The by-law is in effect until May 31, 2021, unless extended by Regional Council.

On September 16, 2020, Halton Regional Council approved amendments to Consolidated By-law 47-20. The amended by-law takes effect at 12:01 a.m. on September 23, 2020. The updated by-law is provided below. Details of the amendments are outlined in Halton Region’s September 22 media release.

Learn more:

Mask by-law frequently asked questions

The following information is also available for download as a PDF for the Residents (PDF file) and Business Owners and Operators (PDF file)

On July 15, 2020, Halton Regional Council passed By-law 47-20, making it mandatory to wear a non-medical mask or face covering in certain enclosed public places. On September 16, 2020, Halton Regional Council approved amendments to the by-law. The amended by-law takes effect at 12:01 a.m. on September 23, 2020 and is in effect until May 31, 2021. Details of the amendments are outlined in Halton Region's September 22 media release. Some individuals may be exempt from the by-law.

Individuals five years of age and over are required to wear a non-medical mask or face covering in certain enclosed (indoor) public places in Halton Region, unless exemptions apply.

The by-law applies to certain indoor public places, including, but not limited to:

  • premises (or any part of premises) used as places of business for the sale of goods or services;
  • churches, mosques, synagogues, temples or other places of worship;
  • community centres including indoor recreational facilities;
  • libraries, art galleries, museums, aquariums, zoos and other similar facilities;
  • community service agencies providing services to the public, including municipal administrative buildings;
  • banquet halls, convention centres, arenas, stadiums and other event spaces;
  • premises utilized as an open house, presentation centre, or other facility for real estate purposes;
  • common areas of hotels, motels and other short-term rentals, such as lobbies, elevators, meeting rooms or other common use facilities;
  • concert venues, theatres, cinemas, casinos and other entertainment facilities; 
  • public transportation and private transportation services (such as taxis, private limousine services, Uber, Lyft and other similar ride programs); and
  • enclosed common areas of an apartment or condominium building, including the lobby elevator, laundry room and mailrooms.
The City of Burlington and Halton Region’s by-laws are also the same. When in Burlington, follow the Burlington By-law. 

Wearing of masks or face coverings is not required in these premises:

  • schools and post-secondary institutions
  • child care facilities
  • indoor/outdoor day care and day camps
  • correctional centres and jails
  • hospitals, independent health facilities and offices of regulated health professionals
  • court facilities and professional offices where clients receive purchased services (such as lawyer or accountant office) that are not open to members of the public except by appointment
  • staff-only areas within a public place
  • indoor areas of a building accessible to only employees

Note: This premises may have their own requirements for masks or face coverings. Contact before visiting.

Consolidated By-law No. 47-20 does not require individuals to wear a mask outdoors. However, Halton Region’s Medical Officer of Health encourages all individuals to wear a non-medical mask or face covering in situations where physical distancing is a challenge, including crowded outdoor spaces.

Some individuals are exempt from the by-law and not all exemptions are visible. Please be kind and supportive to those who may be exempt from wearing a mask. No person shall be discriminated against for not wearing a non-medical mask or face covering due to an exemption.

The following individuals are exempt from the by-law, and are not required to provide proof of their exemption:

  • persons under the age of five (5) years old;
  • persons who have an underlying medical condition where wearing a Mask or Face Covering would inhibit the person’s ability to breathe in any way;
  • persons who may experience a negative impact to their emotional well-being or mental health;
  • persons who have a developmental disability which inhibits their ability to wear a Non-Medical Mask or Face Covering;
  • persons who have a disability whereby the wearing of a NonMedical Mask or Face Covering would limit their ability to reasonably communicate with others or otherwise present a hardship for a person or persons assisting the individual;
  • persons unable to place or remove a Non-Medical Mask or Face Covering without assistance;
  • persons temporarily removing their Non-Medical Mask / Face Covering when necessary for receiving services (such as having a meal), or while actively engaging in an athletic or fitness activity; and
  • employees and agents of the person responsible for the Public Place within an area designated for them and not for public access, or within or behind a physical barrier; in both instances where a physical distance of at least 2 metres can be maintained at all times between the patron(s) and the employee(s).

The primary goal is educate people about the importance of wearing of non-medical masks or face coverings in indoor public places. Halton Region Public Health, local by-law enforcement or Halton Regional Police Service may respond to reports of significant or on-going non-compliance. This may include enforcement measures such as set fines.

Halton residents and businesses are asked to do their part to protect the health of the community, and comply with the by-law.

If you have concerns about someone not wearing a mask or face covering, please keep in mind that there are a number of exemptions to the by-law and there is no requirement for people to prove they are exempt. Residents and business owners should take people at their word, and be kind and respectful. For additional questions about the by-law, please email accesshalton@halton.ca or call 311.

To report an incidence of significant or ongoing noncompliance, contact the Halton Regional Police Service COVID-19 Hotline: 905-825-4722. Staff will follow up within one business day.

  • If a customer has been refused entry, they should seek their own legal advice.
  • It should be noted that no person shall be discriminated against for not wearing a non-medical mask/face covering.

For more information about the by-law, please email accesshalton@halton.ca or call 311.

 

Additional information

Halton Region Public Health is working to protect the safety and health of all Halton residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. The latest evidence from local data suggests that physical distancing and other public health measures are helping to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the region. Learn how Public Health is protecting residents and what you can do to stay safe.

Local hospitals are responsible for COVID-19 testing. Please contact your local hospital testing and assessment centre to arrange a test if required.

Public Health:

  • educates the public (individuals, organizations, businesses) regarding steps they can take to reduce the spread of COVID-19;
  • provides infection prevention and control recommendations and guidelines to support local organizations and businesses throughout the stages of reopening;
  • assesses the risk among residents with symptoms and determines what further care is required;
  • coordinates testing (when required) at an appropriate location;
  • ensures those who are showing symptoms understand how to reduce the risk of transmission to others; and
  • provides guidance to cases and their contacts, such as self-isolation protocols and monitoring for symptoms to minimize the risk of spread.

Physical activity and getting fresh air are important for our overall physical and mental wellness. For most residents, it is safe to go outside for a walk, run or bike ride, or play in the park; others may need to stay on their private property for their own safety and the safety of the community.

Follow the instructions below:

Your situation Can I go outside in my private property (backyard, balcony or porch)? Can I go for a walk, run or bike ride off my private property?
I have tested positive for COVID-19 Yes No
I have symptoms of COVID-19 (even if mild) Yes No
I have returned from travel outside Canada in the past 14 days (unless you are exempt) Yes No
I am a close contact of a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 Yes No
I am over 70 years of age Yes Yes, however, please be aware that you are at increased risk for severe illness associated with COVID-19
I am immunocompromised or have underlying medical conditions Yes Yes, however, please be aware that you are at increased risk for severe illness associated with COVID-19
All other Halton residents (except those listed above) Yes Yes, but only if you stay 2 metres (6 feet) from those outside your social circle and have no symptoms of COVID-19

Other steps you can take to reduce your risk while being active outside:

  • Maintain 2 metres (6 feet) distance from others. You may need to change your route or the time of day that you go out in order to keep this distance.
  • Step aside or pass others quickly and courteously on sidewalks.
  • Do not enter spaces that are barricaded or have signage indicating the area is closed.
  • Keep your dog on a leash.

Remember to wash your hands when you return home.

  • To report an incident of non-compliance with the provincial emergency orders in Halton, please call the Halton Regional Police Service COVID-19 hotline at 905-825-4722.
  • The hotline will accept non-compliance reports for the following Provincial emergency orders:
  • A police officer or by-law officer will follow up to address the situation and describe the importance of the emergency measures. If necessary, the officer will issue a ticket or summons.
  • Halton residents can also report non-compliance with public health recommendations involving food premises and/or personal service settings by calling the Halton Regional Police Services COVID-19 Enforcement Hotline. All complaints will be forwarded to Halton Region Public Health for follow-up by a Public Health Inspector within one business day. After-hours calls will be returned the next regular business day.
  • Please call 911 for emergencies only. To report non-compliance with Regional by-laws or to contact Halton Region Public Health, please call 311.

As the spread of COVID-19 continues in Halton region, it’s recommended that you only have close contact with your immediate household. Avoid attending or organizing social gatherings with those from outside your immediate household.

If you interact with others from outside your household for social reasons, stay safe by:

  • limiting private gatherings to no more than 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors. These limits do not apply to events or gatherings held in staffed businesses and facilities.
  • keeping a physical distance of two metres (six feet) at all times.
  • wearing a non-medical mask or face covering.
  • staying home if ill.
  • reducing the amount of time that people gather indoors.
  • holding gatherings outdoors where possible.

For more tips on gathering safely, read the following documents.

To prevent COVID-19 from spreading, Canada has put the following travel measures in place:

  • advising all Canadians to postpone or cancel all non-essential travel;
  • restricting all non-essential travel at the Canada-U.S. border;
  • banning entry of most foreign nationals entering Canada by air;
  • preventing symptomatic passengers from boarding a plane to Canada; 
  • redirection of the vast majority of international passenger flights to four airports (external link);
  • encouraging staff and passengers travelling by air, bus/motor carrier, rail, marine or air to wear a non-medical mask or face covering as much as possible, especially when physical distancing is not possible; 
  • requiring passengers to demonstrate they have the necessary face covering or non-medical mask before they are permitted to board an aircraft; and
  • requiring anyone entering Canada to self-isolate for 14 days, even if they do not have symptoms, under the Quarantine Act (external link), except those who are exempt (for example, cross-border workers).

Non-essential travel includes travel that is considered tourism or recreational in nature.

  • Parents looking for information about the reopening and safe operation of schools, visit COVID-19 School Information
  • School administrators and staff looking for more information on public health guidelines for schools and post-secondary institutions, visit the School Years Program
Background
 
  • On June 19, 2020, the Ontario government released its safety plan and approach to reopening schools for the 2020-21 school year.
  • On July 30, 2020, the Ontario government announced that elementary students will return to school full-time in September 2020, remaining in a single cohort, including during recess and lunch. Class sizes will remain at the mandated maximum levels in place prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Secondary students in designated boards will open using an adapted model, with class cohorts of approximately 15 students attending on alternate days or schedules, and with in-person attendance accounting for at least half of instructional days. Remote learning will continue to be available to all students. For more information, refer to the Guide to reopening Ontario’s Schools (external link).
  • Visit the School Years Program for more information on public health guidelines for schools and post-secondary institutions.
  • Halton Region Public Health will provide support to schools in implementing appropriate infection prevention and control (IPAC) measures and with developing protocols for managing any probable or confirmed COVID-19 cases in students or staff.
  • Planning for immunization catch-up clinics, regular grade 7 school-based vaccine clinics and the enforcement of ISPA (including vaccine education sessions) for the 2020-2021 school year is underway. Schools and families will be updated when information is available; please check our immunization page regularly for updates. 
  • On June 9, 2020 the Ontario government announced that all licensed child care centres across the province were permitted to open as early as June 12, 2020. See the provincial News Release Ontario Helping Parents Return to Work (external link).
  • Licensed child care centres were able to open at full capacity starting September 1, 2020.
  • All child care centres and home child care providers are required to have enhanced health and safety measures in place, including but not limited to:
    • enhanced cleaning
    • mandatory screening of staff and children
    • a plan in place to support operation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • See above for more information on requirements for child care operators
  • On or after September 1, 2020, operators are permitted to begin charging fees or deposits in order to hold a space. Parents must be given 14 days’ notice to accept a placement for their child that will be available on or after September 1, 2020.
  • For information on available child care in Halton, contact the Child Care Directory and Information Line (CCDIL) (external link) at 905-875-0235 or childcaresearch@thrc.ca.
  • Latest testing guidance (exernal PDF) released from the Provincial Government recommends testing the following populations:
    • all Ontario residents presenting with at least one symptom or sign of COVID-19;
    • those who have been exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19 (as informed by Halton Region Public Health or exposure notification through the COVID Alert app);
    • are a resident or employee at a setting that has a COVID-19 outbreak (as identified by Halton Region Public Health); and
    • those who are eligible for testing as part of a targeted testing initiative directed by the Ministry of Health or the Ministry of Long-Term Care.
  • Low risk, asymptomatic individuals should not be considered for testing. For more information, refer to the COVID-19 Provincial Testing Guidance on the Ministry of Health Website (external PDF)
  • Please report all individuals who are tested to Halton Region Public Health by calling 311.
  • It is now mandatory for all travellers returning to Canada to self-isolate for 14-days from return. If symptoms develop, they are to remain in self-isolation for 14 days from when symptoms began. 
  • Several categories of people are exempt from mandatory 14-day self-isolation provided they have no symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Returning travelers who are considered “essential workers” at their place of employment may be able to return to work earlier and should consult their employer’s policy for further direction regarding returning to work. They should continue to follow self-isolation guidelines outside of work.

Refer to the Public Health Agency of Canada’s website (external link) for more information on the requirements of travellers returning to Canada

  • If you have access to testing supplies (nasopharyngeal swabs) AND appropriate personal protective equipment for droplet precautions (gown, gloves, surgical mask, eye protection), you can perform COVID-19 testing in your clinic.
  • Anyone with symptoms compatible with COVID-19 can be assessed and tested. (Refer to the Ministry of Health’s Provincial Testing Guidance).
  • Individuals without symptoms who meet any of the provincial testing criteria (external link) may contact select pharmacies (external link) to book an appointment for testing.
  • N95 respirators are NOT required for COVID-19 testing.
  • If you are testing someone in your clinic, you must report this to Halton Region Public Health by calling 311.
  • If you are not able to perform COVID-19 testing at your clinic:
    • Refer patients who live in Oakville, Milton or Halton Hills to call 905-203-7963 to book an appointment at a Halton Healthcare Assessment Centre.
    • Refer patients who live in Burlington to call 905-632-3737, extension 6550, or visit covidtesting.josephbranthospital.ca to book an appointment at the Joseph Brant Hospital COVID-19 Assessment Clinic or drive-thru clinic. The drive-thru clinic is dedicated to testing individuals without symptoms, while the Assessment Centre is dedicated to testing individuals who are experiencing symptoms.
    • Refer patients without symptoms to call select pharmacies (external link) to book an appointment for testing.
Patients without OHIP coverage are still eligible to access COVID-19 services.
  • Updated guidance (PDF file) from the Ontario Ministry of Health outlines that health care providers are encouraged to continue to implement a system for virtual and/or telephone consultations when and where possible.
  • Refer to the Ontario College of Family Physicians’ COVID-19: Tips for Family Doctors for information on providing virtual visits.
  • The Province has implemented provincial rate and billing code changes to allow for virtual care for patients, including physician services (PDF file), nursing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, social work and dietetics.
  • Please see the memo and guidance document attached to the March 20, 2020 Physician Update.

For the most recent physician communications from the Halton Region Medical Officer of Health on COVID-19 and links to physician directives and guidance documents, please visit our Information for Physicians page.

If an employee is confirmed positive for COVID-19, the following steps should occur.

  • Employers are not required to report your employee to Halton Region Public Health. Confirmed and suspected cases of COVID-19 are reported by health care providers and laboratories to public health units.
  • Employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 must self-isolate (external PDF) at home for 10 days.
  • Surfaces that were touched by the ill employee should be disinfected as soon as possible (external PDF).
  • The employee will be asked to inform their employer that they have been confirmed positive for COVID-19. Halton Region Public Health will be contacting the employer to perform a risk assessment for all exposures that may have occurred in the workplace.
  • Halton Region Public Health will work closely with the employee who tested positive and/or the employer to identify all close contacts at work while the case was infectious including: clients, vendors and third-parties. Individuals that have had close contact with this employee may need to take additional precautions such as self-isolation (external PDF).
  • If close contacts have been identified and the employee does not have their contact information, the employer will be asked to provide contact information for these individuals. Halton Region Public Health will follow up with each of these individuals accordingly.
  • In some situations, employers may be directed by Public Health to notify all staff who worked during the exposure dates of their potential risk of infection as directed by Public Health. When notifying staff, employers must maintain confidentiality and not identify the name of the employee. In this communication, employers should consider explaining the actions that will be taken to protect the ongoing health and safety of employees (for example, cleaning and disinfection of the workplace (external PDF)).
  • If the employee contracted COVID-19 from an exposure at the workplace, employers are required to provide written notice within four days of being advised that a worker has an occupational illness, or if a claim has been made to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) to the:
    • Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development;
    • Joint health and safety committee (or health and safety representative); and
    • Trade union, if any.
  • Halton Region Public Health monitors individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 and will advise the employee when it is safe for them to return to work.
  • Other employees who are identified as close contacts of a COVID-19 case may also be asked to self-isolate (external PDF) and will not be able to work during that time. Public Health will advise these employees when it is safe for them to return to work.
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