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True North Strong and COVID Free

June 26, 2020

This Canada Day let’s stay ‘true north strong and COVID free’! The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit would like to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday. “Canada Day is a good time to celebrate how resilient we have been as a nation and community says Dr. Paula Stewart, Medical Officer of Health. “Over these past months we’ve gone to great lengths together to flatten the COVID-19 curve, so let’s continue with all the public health measures this Canada day, and beyond”.

Whether you are exploring our beautiful landscape ‘far and wide’ or sticking close to home, the Health Unit has some reminders and suggestions for your celebration.

  • If planning to travel, learn about and respect municipal and provincial precautions and restrictions in place. Do not travel if sick.
  • Check out the Government of Canada’s virtual celebrations and join the conversation on their social media platforms.
  • Celebrate on a smaller scale. Remember that the Provincial emergency order is still in place limiting social gatherings to a total of 10 people or less. Physical distancing of at least two metres should be maintained with those outside of your social circle.
  • If serving food at your small gathering, avoid sharing food from the same plate with those outside of your social circle. Follow the four steps to food safety (clean, separate, cook & chill) and provide individual dishes and cutlery for guests. Offer hand sanitizer or a place to wash hands before and after eating. Encourage guests to dispose of their own garbage.
  • Have fun decorating your house, and yourself, in red and white and listening to some great Canadian music. But if you want to sing, stay at least 12 feet away from those outside of your social circle, as respiratory droplets can travel further while singing. Consider using noisemakers instead of shouting in celebration.
  • If your plans involve camping or picnicking, use these tips for Food on the Go. Consider choosing foods that do not require special care and are shelf stable at room temperature and require less handling.
  • Exploring a local trail may be on the agenda. Check to see if it is open ahead of time, and what precautions are being advised. Be aware of ticks and dangerous weeds.
  • If it’s a hot and humid day, take precautions.
  • Local beaches are not able to be tested for water safety during the week of Canada Day but you can check with your local municipalities about which beaches are open; before going out, think about issues that may affect the quality and safety of the water, such as heavy rain in the area within 24 hours and water fowl droppings in the water or on the beach as these may contribute to high bacteria levels.
  • Fill your sand bucket with these tips before heading out to the beach: practice physical distancing and hand hygiene; avoid spitting when in the water; be prepared as not all change rooms may be open.

‘Stand on Guard’ for COVID-19: stay home if sick, practice physical distancing and good hand hygiene, cover your cough or sneeze, wear a face covering when physical distancing is a challenge, and clean & disinfect commonly touched surfaces.

COVID-19 Phone lines will not be available on Canada Day. Please contact us by email at [email protected] and we will reply on July 2 or call 613-345-5685 if you have public health emergency.

The following Health Unit Essential Services will not be available on Wednesday, July 1, 2020

  • Well water testing bottles will not be accepted Friday, June 26 to Wednesday, July 1, 2020 inclusive
  • Sexual Health Clinic appointments in Smiths Falls and Gananoque will not be available Wednesday, July 1, 2020
  • Breastfeeding Clinic appointments in Kemptville not be available Wednesday, July 1, 2020
  • Smart Works services will not be available at Health Unit sites on Wednesday, July 1, 2020 – check our website for where to get services.
  • Essential services will resume Thursday, July 2, 2020.

Assessment Centres are open for COVID-19 testing in Brockville and Smiths Falls on Canada Day. The Centre at the Brockville Memorial Centre is open to walk-ins 10:00am–2:30pm. Smiths Falls is open by appointment only from 10:00am–4:00pm, call 613-283-2330 extension 1402. For regular Assessment Centre hours, visit:


For media interviews, contact: Susan Healey, Communications Co-ordinator, 613-802-0550 or [email protected].