The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit has activated its emergency response plan after the Ontario government declared a state of emergency on Tuesday due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

This move allows local municipalities to set up emergency operation centres. The health unit is also enforcing actions ordered by the province, including the closure of libraries, licensed child-care centres, private schools, bars and restaurants.

Restaurants offering takeout and delivery options only can remain open.

“This is an unprecedented but warranted action for a very challenging time,” said Dr. Lynn Noseworthy, the health unit’s medical officer of health. “We need to do everything we can to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health of our residents.”

The health unit is also encouraging all residents to wash their hands thoroughly and frequently. Anyone who feels ill should stay home. Residents are also encouraged to practise social distancing while out in public, staying at least two metres away from others.

Anyone who travels outside Canada should also self-isolate for 14 days and monitor themselves for symptoms.

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