On this page you’ll find guidance regarding COVID-19 for specific municipal topics. For general information and resources on COVID-19, visit the COVID-19 section of our website.
- Parks and other outdoor spaces are important for maintaining and improving physical, mental, and social well-being. During the COVID-19 pandemic, these outdoor spaces provide valuable spaces for people to recreate in a relatively safe way. Municipalities have important considerations to help protect the health of their staff and residents:
- Share with your residents what activities are permitted on public and private property (e.g., hiking on trails, golf, tennis, dog parks, community gardens, splash pads, pools, etc.).
- If operating a community garden use this Fact Sheet: COVID-19 Safe Operating Requirements for Community Gardens
- If you are a gardener at a community garden use this Fact Sheet: COVID-19 Public Health Guidelines for all Community Gardeners
- Educate residents on how they can reduce their risks while engaging in permitted activities.
- Post signage in parks and recreation areas reminding users of these facilities about measures they can take to protect themselves and others. (e.g., COVID-19 & Activities: Know the Risks, Tips to Protect Yourself and Those Around You Poster, Physical Distancing Sign).
- Refer to our Physical Activity & Mental Wellness webpage.
- When cleaning and sanitizing public washrooms, follow our guidance on cleaning and disinfecting bathrooms and our Frequently Asked Question and Answers document.
- Consider providing hand wash stations or alcohol-based hand sanitizer dispensers, especially if public bathrooms have been closed.
- For local information on who to call if you have a concern or complaint see the COVID-19 Response Chart.
- Maximize distance and minimize interaction between park users. Increase available pedestrian and cycling space to encourage people to spread out.
- Consider temporarily converting some spaces (e.g., parking lots) to pedestrian space.
- Consider creating temporary “health corridors” along busy streets where physical distancing may become difficult. Corridors can be created by placing pylons or installing temporary bollards to block off a lane of traffic or on-street parking spots. Refer to the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) guidance document on Streets for Pandemic Response and Recovery for more ideas.
Visit our COVID-19 & Business webpage for information for employers, employees, and members of the public accessing businesses/organizations.
Visit our COVID-19: Roadmap to Reopen webpage for more information on opening pools, splash pads, wading pools, and other water features during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Refer to our Health Equity and COVID-19 webpage for more information on how the COVID-19 pandemic has added to existing health inequities in our communities and how municipalities can help improve these inequities.
With recent amendments to the Liquor Licence Act, some municipalities may be looking to strengthen, update, or establish Municipal Alcohol Policies and by-laws that support and protect health and reduce the harms associated with alcohol. Reach out to your Municipal Public Health Nurse Liaison for guidance in developing a comprehensive, local policy that can help to strengthen and support provincial regulations.
To help protect our communities from COVID-19, many of us are spending more time outside. Community members have been waiting in outdoor lines, visiting with family and friends outdoors while keeping their distance, and keeping active on local trails and active transportation networks.
While residents are spending more time outside to help limit the spread of COVID-19, local governments can provide residents with greater protection from second hand smoke and vapour than the minimum standards set by the Smoke Free Ontario Act (2017).
The legalization and subsequent inclusion of cannabis and e-cigarettes and vaping under the SFOA 2017 presents an opportunity for municipalities to open and expand No Smoking by-laws.
Local Tobacco Enforcement Officers and your Municipal Public Health Nurse Liaison can provide support as you strengthen your smoke and vapour free policies. Find additional resources on our Alcohol, Cannabis & Drugs webpage.
Please refer to our Emergency Cooling Centres webpage for information on operating an Emergency Cooling Centre during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Visit our COVID-19: Roadmap to Reopen webpage, particularly the Sports and Recreational Fitness Facilities and Outdoor Recreational Amenities menus and our Physical Activity and Mental Wellness webpage, particularly the Sports and Recreation menu, for guidance on sports and recreation during the COVID-19 pandemic.