Updated: Public Service Announcement #4: COVID-19 in Durham Region

PSA #4: March 16 at 5:05 p.m.

Whitby, Ontario – Public health and safety is Durham Region’s top priority as the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve.

The Durham Region Health Department is working with residents who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 (also known as the Novel Coronavirus), and public health risk is continually reassessed as new information becomes available.

The Region of Durham continues to actively monitor the situation and offers the following updates to residents regarding the current status of its programs and services:

  • All Regionally operated Early Learning and Child Care Centres will be closed as of Tuesday, March 17 and are currently scheduled to re-open on Monday, April 6. Parent fees will be waived during this time. This includes:
    • Ajax Early Learning and Child Care Centre
    • Edna Thomson Early Learning and Child Care Centre (Bowmanville)
    • Clara Hughes Early Learning and Child Care Centre (Oshawa)
    • Lakewoods Early Learning and Child Care Centre (Oshawa)
    • Pickering Early Learning and Child Care Centre
    • Sunderland Early Learning and Child Care Centre
    • Whitby Early Learning and Child Care Centre
  • For child care centres not located in schools and not operated by the Region of Durham, families should contact their child care centre directly for information about closures.
  • All court appearances for Provincial Offence Act matters—scheduled between March 16 and April 3—will be adjourned until further notice. For more information, visit the Ontario Court of Justice website.
  • Visiting is restricted to essential visitors only at Durham Region’s Long-Term Care Homes (Hillsdale Estates, Hillsdale Terraces, Fairview Lodge and Lakeview Manor).
  • Counselling services delivered by Family Services Durham at the Region’s long-term care homes are cancelled. A Family Services staff member will connect with clients to rebook appointments.
  • Regionally operated Adult Day Programs out of Hillsdale Estates, Lakeview Manor and the Port Perry Hospital are suspended.
  • Many Regional public events have been suspended (such as waste management events, EarlyON programs, public information centres, advisory committee meetings and others) until further notice.

For a full list of impacts to Regional programs and services, visit durham.ca/closures. Get the most up-to-date information about COVID-19 in Durham Region at durham.ca/NovelCoronavirus.

PSA Update #3 issued March 14, 2020 at 1:20 p.m.:

Whitby, Ontario – As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, the Region of Durham is taking steps to protect the health and wellness of the community.

In order to ensure the safety of vulnerable residents in Durham Region’s Long-Term Care Homes (Hillsdale Estates, Hillsdale Terraces, Fairview Lodge and Lakeview Manor), visiting is now restricted to essential visitors only. Essential visitors are those who have a loved one who is dying or very ill. No other visitors are permitted to enter the premises, including volunteers, entertainers and church groups. Residents are encouraged to keep in touch with loved ones by phone or other technologies wherever possible. Essential visitors will be actively screened as they enter the premises, for the safety of facility staff and residents.

Regionally operated Adult Day Programs out of Hillsdale Estates, Lakeview Manor and the Port Perry Hospital are also suspended, effective immediately.

Get the most up-to-date information about COVID-19 in Durham Region at durham.ca/NovelCoronavirus. For information about impacts to Regional programs and services, visit durham.ca/closures.

PSA Update #2 issued March 13, 2020 at 5:53 p.m.:

Whitby, Ontario – As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, the Region of Durham is taking steps to protect the health and wellness of the community.

  • Regional Early Learning and Child Care Centres (ELCC) in Durham schools will be closed effective immediately until Monday, April 6 (Clara Hughes ELCC, Lakewoods Before & After School; Sunderland ELCC). This measure is being implemented in tandem with the Province of Ontario’s order to close all publicly funded schools in Ontario for two weeks following March break, in order to reduce the spread of germs and protect our community from illness. For information about fee subsidy, please contact the Children’s Services Division at 905-666-6238 or toll-free at 1-800-372-1102.
  • Regional Early Learning and Child Care Centres not located in schools remain open at this time (Edna Thompson ELCC, Whitby ELCC, Lakewoods ELCC, Ajax ELCC and Pickering ELCC). These sites will implement active COVID-19 pre-screening process for anyone entering the building.
  • For child care centres not located in schools and not operated by the Region of Durham, families should contact their child care centre directly for information about closures.
  • Effective immediately, all EarlyON programs will be closed until Monday, April 6.
  • The Ontario Ministry of Health has recommended the suspension of all large events and public gatherings of more than 250 people. Residents should recognize the risk of attending public gatherings and to practice social distancing as much as possible. This means that residents should stay home when possible, and avoid crowds, to help prevent the spread of germs and illness.
  • For information about local recreation programming and/or recreation facility closures, please refer to your local-tier municipality:

Get the most up-to-date information about COVID-19 in Durham Region at durham.ca/NovelCoronavirus. For information about impacts to Regional programs and services, visit durham.ca/closures.

Original PSA issued March 13, 2020 at 10:45 a.m.:

Whitby, Ontario – The health and safety of residents is the Region of Durham’s top priority as the COVID-19 (also referred to as Novel Coronavirus) situation continues to evolve.

The Region of Durham is actively monitoring the situation and offers the following information to residents:

  • There is no testing available for COVID-19 at Durham Region facilities. If you are displaying symptoms of COVID-19, and have recently returned from travel outside of Canada, please contact your health-care provider and the Durham Region Health Department at 905-668-2020 or 1-800-841-2729. Please note that the Region of Durham is experiencing significant call volumes. Priority will be given to health-care providers and residents with travel history and symptoms.
  • Active screening for COVID-19 is in place at Region of Durham long-term care homes and clinical settings. At Regional Headquarters, hand hygiene stations have been set up and signs are in place to remind staff and visitors to take steps to reduce the spread of germs.
  • Region of Durham employees are aware that they are not to report to work if they are displaying symptoms of COVID-19, are ill, or have recently returned from travel from an affected area.
  • The Region of Durham is working collaboratively with local hospitals, health-care providers, the Province of Ontario and its local-tier municipalities. Business continuity plans are being evaluated. Public health risk is continually reassessed as new information becomes available.

To reduce the spread of germs, including COVID-19, the Durham Region Health Department recommends that residents:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water and/or hand sanitizer.
  • Cough or sneeze into their sleeve or elbow and encourage others to do the same.
  • Avoid touching their face; and clean hands before touching eyes, nose or mouth.
  • If you are ill, stay at home and keep yourself away from others.
  • If you are ill and must visit a health-care provider, call ahead or tell them right away when you arrive that you have a respiratory illness and wear a mask while waiting to be seen.
  • A full list of recommendations is available at durham.ca/NovelCoronavirus.

The Region encourages residents to follow trusted sources for information about COVID-19. For information regarding the status of cases in Ontario—including Durham Region—visit the Ontario Ministry of Health website, which is updated twice daily, seven days a week. The Government of Canada has issued several travel advisories related to COVID-19. The most up-to-date information can be found on the Government of Canada website.

Get the most up-to-date information about COVID-19 in Durham Region at durham.ca/NovelCoronavirus.