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HPEPH Guidelines Support Safe Operation of Community Gardens

Hastings and Prince Edward Counties/April 29, 2020 – 11:35 am

Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH) has outlined basic requirements for the operation of local community gardens this year. The province recently advised that the operation of community gardens is permitted throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, but must follow recommendations from the local Medical Officer of Health. The HPEPH COVID-19 Safe Operating Requirements for Community Gardens, outline how these important sources of fresh and healthy food can be accessed as safely as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Community gardens can provide households with a cost-effective way to source healthy food and encourage consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, while enabling outdoor physical activity. They are especially helpful for individuals who may not have the opportunity to garden on their own property. However, any use of community gardens must be carefully monitored to ensure safety and reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19. HPEPH will advise and support local municipalities and community organizations in implementing the Safe Operating Requirements, which include basic principles such as:

“Community gardens are a great way for residents to access fresh, healthy food throughout the summer months, and provide an opportunity to get active outdoors” says Sheryl Farrar, Healthy Communities Program Manager at HPEPH. “These guidelines will help ensure that any community gardens operating in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties do so as safely as possible.”

There are 18 community gardens in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties (HPEC), operated by both community organizations and local municipalities. Additional information about healthy eating, and finding food in HPEC, can be accessed at  


Media Contacts:

Veronica Montgomery, Foundational Standards Manager  

Emily Tubbs, Communications Specialist  

About Hastings Prince Edward Public Health

Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH) is a public health agency that serves the counties of Hastings and Prince Edward from four local offices. We monitor the health of our local population, deliver programs and services within our communities, and help develop healthy public policies. We provide information and support in many areas to help improve the health and well-being of our residents. Together with our communities, we help people become as healthy as they can be. For more information, please visit You can also find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

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Appointments for individuals 5+ can be booked through the provincial vaccine booking site, or by calling 1-833-943-3900 from 8 am to 8 pm, 7 days a week.  

Due to limited supply, HPEPH will initially be prioritizing available bivalent vaccine for residents and workers at identified highest-risk facilities.  Some HPEPH vaccination clinics MAY offer the bivalent vaccine, as availability allows. Vaccine clinics in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties will continue to offer monovalent vaccines (the same mRNA vaccines given as the primary series) for all eligible individuals until a steady supply of the bivalent vaccine is available.

Visit the HPEPH vaccine booking web page for details.


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The Ministry of Health has launched a new toll-free line as an additional resource to help answer questions from the public regarding evolving COVID-19 testing and isolation guidance. The line can be reached at 1-888-777-0730, and is available from 8 am to 6 pm, 7 days a week.