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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 hpePublicHealth.ca.  

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Media Contacts:

Veronica Montgomery, Foundational Standards Manager
vmontgomery@hpeph.ca  

Emily Tubbs, Communications Specialist
etubbs@hpeph.ca  

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 hpePublicHealth.ca. You can also find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

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COVID-19 VACCINES IN HPEPH

Individuals turning 12 and over in 2021 who have not yet had a first dose, or those who meet the minimum second dose interval are now eligible to attend HPEPH walk-in clinics. To view the schedule, visit the Booking and Eligibility Page.

If you attended a clinic and did not receive an email copy of your vaccination receipt you can download a copy off the provincial booking site at covid19.ontariohealth.ca.

PHARMACY-BASED VACCINATIONS

Individuals turning 12 and over in 2021 can also receive their vaccination at participating local pharmacies. Please visit covid-19.ontario.ca/vaccine-locations for location and registration information.

CURRENT RESTRICTIONS IN HPEPH

On Friday, July 16 at 12:01 a.m., Ontario moved to Step 3  of the the Roadmap to Reopen. We must all continue to follow the public health measures, advice and restrictions. Outdoor gatherings are limited to 100 people in Step 3, and distancing must be maintained. For more information, visit our COVID-19 page.

POTENTIAL EXPOSURE TO COVID-19?

If you are concerned about potential exposure to a positive case of COVID-19, please be reassured that any contacts of a confirmed case will be contacted directly and monitored by public health.

Low-risk and indirect contacts should self monitor for symptoms for 10 days from the time of potential exposure and seek testing if symptoms develop. Low risk contacts do not need to isolate unless symptoms develop, and can continue to attend school/work/daycare while monitoring for symptoms.