Fall is here and we are starting to spend more time indoors. It remains important to follow public health measures. When spending time with people outside of your household, avoid:
Before making plans to participate in activities outside of your home:
Certain people are at a higher risk for severe complications from COVID-19.
The best and most caring thing you can do to help your loved ones, friends and community safe is to do your part to stop the spread. It is a shared responsibility; we all pay a role!
Before going to an event this fall, plan ahead and be prepared:
Gatherings, holidays and celebrations are going to look and feel different during the COVID-19 pandemic. All individuals should assess their own level of risk, and the health of every person in their household, when deciding how if and when to gather with others. Social gatherings can be any group of up to 10 people indoors and up to 25 people outdoors. Indoor and outdoor events and gatherings cannot be merged together for a total of 35. Remember to maintain a 2-metre distance from those not in your household. Individuals who live alone may consider having close contact with another household.
These gathering limits apply to social gatherings in private residences, backyards, parks and other recreational areas. This includes:
These limits do not apply to events or gatherings in staffed businesses and facilities because they must already follow specific public health and safety guidelines to minimize risk and limit the spread of COVID-19. They include:
Who am I able to have close contact with?
What is close contact?
What if I live alone?
Am I allowed to spend time with people who I don’t live with?
What can I do to stay safe?
The Thanksgiving holiday is often celebrated with family and friends. Consider celebrating within your immediate household or hosting a virtual celebration. Family members and students should assess the risk they may pose to their families and loved ones before returning home for Thanksgiving, looking at their own recent travel and potential exposure to the virus, including time spent in the "Three Cs": closed spaces, in close contact, and crowded spaces.
If you are planning an event with others from outside your household, please remember that private social gatherings like functions, parties, dinners, gatherings, BBQs or wedding receptions held in private residences, backyards, parks and other recreational areas have new gathering limits. Private social gatherings with more than 10 people indoors or more than 25 people outdoors are prohibited across the province as of September 19, 2020. Be a safe and responsible host or guest!
As a host, here are a few tips to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19:
This a great time like any other to support our local farmers and shop local. To make it safe for everyone, it is important to keep public health measures and the Farmers' Markets of Ontario (FMO) protocols in mind:
Visit our webpage on Halloween for information on how to celebrate safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Remembrance Day is an important day to recognize and honour our Veterans. To keep everyone safe during the ceremonies, public health measures and social gathering guidelines must be respected. If you are organizing an event, follow the Event Checklist. Check back here or on our Facebook page regularly.
With school and some extracurricular activities starting up again, parents may be considered hosting children’s birthday parties or sleepovers. At this time, these events are not recommended unless they adhere to physical distancing and social gathering limits.
We are encouraging people to stay home as much as possible. Those who choose to head out to their cottage are encouraged to go only with members of their household. In addition, bring food and supplies from home, remain in Northern Ontario area if possible, return home if you start to feel unwell and be safe while out.
Together, we want to limit the potential impact on Emergency Management Services (EMS) and the hospital emergency rooms. Attending an emergency outside city or town limits, can leave the community without services and put them at risk. The potential increased risk of injuries when camping can overwhelm hospital ERs.
When visiting other cottages or hosting group events, ensure that physical distancing is maintained and respect social gathering limits.
As of right now, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNR) has not announced any changes to the fall hunting seasons and the fall hunt has started. Hunting must take place in accordance to public health guidelines. This means hunters may need to reconsider their traditional hunting season. Many hunters traditionally travel long distances, congregate in hunting parties and stay in accommodations where it is difficult to maintain proper physical distancing.
In the event that big game hunting is closed due to public health restrictions, the ministry is considering options for reimbursing or credits for purchased big game licences and draw applications (elk). The ministry will provide detailed communications to hunters in the event of hunting season closures. Visit the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters website for more information.
Tips when going hunting:
For the same reasons above, fishing and hunting can bring risks that requires emergency services.
Canadians are being asked to stay close to home and practice physical distancing to decrease the spread of COVID-19 in their communities. We know these new restrictions have the potential to impact the physical and mental wellbeing of residents. It is more important than ever to engage in a healthy lifestyle, which includes increasing physical activity, limiting sedentary time, getting a good night’s sleep and eating well.
Follow the instructions for your situation below:
|Can I get fresh air on my private property (backyard, balcony, porch/deck)?||Can I go for a bike ride, walk, run, etc., off my private property?|
|Individuals who have returned from travel outside of Canada||Yes||No|
|Individuals with symptoms of COVID-19 even if they are mild||Yes||No|
|Individuals who are a close contact of a confirmed/suspected case of COVID-19||Yes||No|
|All persons over 70 years of age||Yes||You are considered high risk for getting sick from COVID-19. We recommend that you stay home and limit interactions to members of your immediate household.|
|Individuals who are immunocompromised (or underlying medical conditions)||Yes||You are considered high risk for getting sick from COVID-19. We recommend that you stay home and limit interactions to members of your immediate household.|
|All other Cochrane district residents||Yes||Yes, but only if you can keep 2 metres from others and have NO symptoms of COVID-19.|
Unless you are told to self-isolate, practicing physical distancing can still include going outdoors, and being active outdoors. Our neighbourhood sidewalks, streets, and multi-use paths can be your best options for getting outside and getting moving. Below are some important steps to follow before heading out:
Playgrounds and play structures, parks and open spaces and sporting fields (e.g., soccer, baseball, basketball courts, tennis courts) in our area are open for the public keeping in line with group-size limitations. Washroom facilities may be limited. To safely use these areas, it’s recommended that you maintain physical distancing and wear a non-medical mask or face covering when physical distancing cannot be maintained, and use hand sanitizer frequently or wash your hands if possible.
Here are some age-based activity ideas:
For infants, under 1 year of age
For children, under 5 years of age
For children, and adolescents aged 5-17 years
Many sport groups and facilities are adjusting to life in the COVID-19 pandemic and guidance can vary between sports play (e.g., tennis, dance, martial arts), individual (e.g., weight training) and team sports (e.g., hockey, baseball). Organizers and coaches are required to follow public health measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Remember to keep your team safe. If you are unwell, stay home.
For the specific regulations, consult your local sport groups or visit the government of Ontario website on the laws and regulations.
This year will be a different flu season with the COVID-19 pandemic. The annual spread of influenza presents an additional challenge to the response to future waves of COVID-19. This year, it’s especially important to get the flu vaccine so you can be as healthy as possible in the event that you are exposed to COVID-19.
Flu vaccines will be offered by the Porcupine Health Unit during the month of November throughout different regions in the area. It takes about two weeks for the flu shot to reach full effect, so be sure to get the shot when it becomes available.
Both COVID-19 and influenza are spread by droplets and:
Protect yourself from influenza and COVID-19:
For more information on this year’s flu season or to book an appointment for your flu shot, visit our influenza webpage.