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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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1) Our offices are temporarily closed to the public to allow us to respond to COVID-19 demands. However, phone lines remain open. The COVID-19 information line is operating 7 days a week (excluding statutory holidays) from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. All other program lines are operating Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.

2) Returning travellers must self-isolate for 14 days and contact Public Health if symptoms of COVID-19 develop.

If you have returned from travel anywhere outside of Canada, you must self-isolate for 14 days and immediately contact Public Health or your local health care provider if you develop symptoms of COVID-19. Earlier this month all travellers were asked to self-isolated when they returned to Canada. Effective March 25, the federal government made this isolation mandatory under the Quarantine Act to better protect our most vulnerable citizens. Each of us must make the responsible decision to follow the advice of health authorities. It’s in everyone’s best interest to do everything we can to stop the spread of COVID-19.