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Media Release: HPEPH reminds residents to remain vigilant, enjoy safe and permitted activities this long weekend

Hastings and Prince Edward Counties/May 21, 2021

Hastings Prince Edward Public Health is reminding residents that this Victoria Day long weekend is not the time to let their guard down. To protect the progress we have made, please make every effort to continue essential precautions, avoid unnecessary travel, do not host visitors from out of region, and enjoy safe and permitted activities in our community. The current Stay-at-Home order remains in place until June 2, with the exception of the newly announced changes allowing safe use of some outdoor amenities. 

Effective May 22, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., outdoor gatherings of up to five people will be allowed but all public health precautions such as distancing, face coverings, and hand washing must be maintained. Some outdoor recreational amenities can reopen, with restrictions in place, , including:

  • Parks and recreational areas 
  • Baseball diamonds
  • Batting cages
  • Soccer, football and sports fields 
  • Tennis courts
  • Basketball courts
  • BMX parks 
  • Skate parks 
  • Golf courses
  • Frisbee golf 
  • Cycling tracks and bike trails
  • Horse riding facilities
  • Shooting ranges 
  • Ice rinks 
  • Playgrounds 
  • Boat and watercraft launches
  • Archery ranges
  • Lawn game courts

Team sports are still not permitted and individuals using the recreational amenities must maintain at least two metres of distancing, with the exception of members from the same household. 

“The community’s ongoing efforts and sacrifices have paid off and helped lower our case numbers. I encourage residents to get outside this weekend and safely enjoy low risk, healthy activities,” says Dr. Piotr Oglaza, Medical Officer of Health and CEO at HPEPH. “Going for a bike ride, having a family picnic, gardening, or playing tennis are a few of the ways you can enjoy the long weekend safely. However, to maintain our progress it is essential that everyone continues to limit close contact to those within their household. Please continue to follow public health precautions to prevent a spike in COVID-19 cases like we have seen after past holidays and long weekends.”

The Ontario government also released its Roadmap to Reopen, a three-step plan to safely reopen the province and gradually lift public health measures based on the provincewide vaccination rate and improvements in key public health and health care indicators.

The phases of the province’s plan are:

  • Before Step 1: Opening of select outdoor amenities (listed above) and outdoor gatherings of 5 people permitted with public health restrictions in place. Will begin Saturday, May 22.

  • Step 1: Initial focus on resuming outdoor activities with smaller crowds where the risk of transmission is lower. This includes allowing outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people, outdoor dining with up to four people per table and non-essential retail at 15 per cent capacity. Step One may begin after 60 per cent of Ontario’s adults receive at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and if public health indicators, such as hospitalizations, ICU occupancy and new admissions and case rates indicate the province can safely move to this step of the roadmap.

  • Step 2: Further expanding outdoor activities and resuming limited indoor services with small numbers of people. This includes outdoor gatherings of up to 25 people, outdoor sports and leagues, personal care services as well as indoor religious services, rites or ceremony gatherings at 15 per cent capacity. All indoor gatherings in this phase will require face coverings.

  • Step 3: Expanding access to indoor settings, with restrictions, including where there are large numbers of people and where face coverings can’t always be worn. This includes indoor sports and recreational fitness, indoor dining, museums, art galleries, libraries, casinos and bingo halls, with capacity limits.

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Media Contact:

Maureen Hyland, Communications Specialist
mhyland@hpeph.ca

Emily Tubbs, Communications Specialist
etubbs@hpeph.ca

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COVID-19 VACCINES IN HPEPH

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.

COVID-19 PROTOCOLS

Symptoms or exposure? Visit www.ontario.ca/exposed for the most up to date information about what to do.

For the most up to date information on current provincial restrictions, visit https://covid-19.ontario.ca/public-health-measures.

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.