Summer & COVID-19


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As we are slowly on the way to reopening, it’s important to continue protecting yourself and your loved ones while getting back to some of your favourite summer activities.  Here is what you can do during Step 1 of the Roadmap to Reopen to ensure a safe, healthy and fun start to the season.

Camping, Cottages and Seasonal Residences  

Are you planning a camping trip or heading to the cottage? Here are some things to keep in mind before travelling:  

DO NOT travel if you:    

  • are sick;   
  • are required to self-isolate;   
  • are waiting for a COVID-19 test result; or    
  • had a recent contact with someone who is sick or has COVID-19.   

Plan ahead: 

  • purchase and pack enough items for your stay. Include items such as food, sunscreen, bug spray, cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, prescriptions, facial coverings, and anything you may need if you become sick.  
  • do your research: visit the municipal website for updates and restrictions.  
  • explore options to safely open your cottage or to complete projects, especially if you need to hire someone for these tasks.  
  • Eat and gas up before you leave and do not stop on the way.  
  • Only travel / stay with members from your home (i.e., primary residence)  

At the cottage or seasonal residence:  

  • Limit gathering to a maximum of 10 people outdoors – indoor gatherings with people outside of your household are not yet permitted  
  • Practice physical distancing (2m / 6ft)  
  • Wear a face covering if physical distancing is not possible  
  • wash or sanitize hands often 

If you become sick with symptoms of COVID-19, self-isolate and seek testing at the closest testing centre.

Garage Sales

By their very nature, garage sales can make it challenging to maintain personal safety for community members. Here are some tips to help reduce the risk:  

  • Wear a face covering when physical distancing is a challenge  
  • Maintain physical distance of two metres at all times; even in any lineups that may form.  
  • Limit the number of persons to 10 outdoors – included in the 10 are those working the garage sale.   
  • Setup the sale outside instead of inside the garage.  
  • If using tents, ensure at least two sides of the tent are open.  
  • Increase sanitation of high-touch surfaces.  
  • Host should encourage people not to touch items unless they are ready to buy it; disinfect any items that are touched and not purchased.  
  • Increase hand hygiene; hand wash or hand sanitizer after transactions.  
  • Use of gloves is an option for those handling money; encourage money be left on table and step away, likewise if providing change.  
  • Do not host a garage sale if feeling sick or unwell and have a sign asking people to stay away if feeling sick.  

Ensure the event, including queuing off the premises, does not block pedestrians or prevent passers-by from maintaining a two-meter distance from attendees.  

Socializing safely during COVID-19: Be a safe and responsible host or guest

Are you planning to host or attend a social gathering? Will there be other people there who are not part of your immediate household? Here’s how to be a safe and responsible host or guest during COVID-19.  

*Adapted with permission from Algoma Public Health.  

Before the event

  •  Invite only the number of guests that are safe for your space. Your space should allow everyone to be comfortable socializing, while staying 2 metres apart from others outside their household. For example, set up different tables or picnic blankets for groups from different households. 
  • Tell guests to expect physical distancing and to stay home if they have any symptoms. This helps protect you and your own family, and can reassure those who are worried about possible exposures. Also, it lets everyone know that they must do their part as responsible guests. 
  • Make a guest list with up-to-date contact information. This is important for quick notification and public health contact tracing, just in case someone becomes ill after the event. 
  • Consider options for people to join in virtually if they prefer to do so for personal health reasons. 
  • Wash hands before preparing food, cook food thoroughly and follow safe food handling tipsServe food in ways that limit cross-contamination and avoid sharing utensils. For example, plate individual portions of food ahead of time, instead of serving buffet-style. 
  • RSVP ahead of time. This helps your host know how many people are attending, so that they can prepare the space for a safe and physically distanced gathering. 
  • Plan your transportation. Avoid carpooling with people outside your household. Have a designated driver. 
  • If you have any symptoms, stay home. Don’t risk exposing other people if you might be sick. Let your host know you won’t attend in person, and ask if there’s an option to join in virtually. 

During the event

  • Invite guests to sit with their household and remind everyone to practice physical distancing with others who are not a part of their household, even if they have been vaccinated against COVID-19. 
  • Show guests where they can wash their hands. Make sure you are well stocked with hand soap or hand sanitizer. 
  • Consider wearing a mask when serving food to guests, especially if this will bring you closer than 2 metres with others.
  • Sit at the same table as members of your household. Practice physical distancing and stay 2 metres apart from everyone else. 
  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before eating. Remind any children to do the same. 
  • Give others their comfort space. Stay 2 metres apart from others who are not part of your household.

After the event

  • Write down details of any close contact. Sometimes people get too close. If you spent more than 15 minutes together with someone outside your household, and you were less than 2 metres apart, that is considered a close contact. Write down the person, place and time. Any close contact could be a possible exposure to the coronavirus. 
  • Monitor yourself for any symptoms. If you get sick, stay home and seek testing. If someone at the event does test positive for COVID-19, the Health Unit will notify and call you, if you are considered a close contact.  

Tips on Preparing Meals Safely (BBQs, Picnics & More)

  • Wash your hands before cooking and in between tasks.  
  • Avoid potlucks or buffet style meals.   
  • Do not cross contaminate cooked food with raw meat. Use a designated flipper for raw meat, and use different utensils for cooked food.  
  • Prevent foodborne illness by cooking food to the correct internal temperature. Use a probe thermometer to make sure your food is fully cooked; clean and sanitize the thermometer before use.  

Do not leave food sitting out in the “danger zone” at temperatures between 4°C and 60°C. Bacteria can grow and multiply on food left out at room temperature, which can make people sick.  

Size of Gatherings

Whether you are hosting a birthday party, dinner with friends or a pool party, you must follow public health measures. Please visit our private social gathering page for more details.  

Sports & Outdoor Activities

To find out how you can enjoy your favourite outdoor activities and to learn what sports are currently permitted, visit our Sports, Recreation and COVID-19 page. 


Swimming can be a great outdoor activity as long as public health measures are followed. Current research suggests the risk of transmission from recreational waters is very low. However, if you plan to hit the beach, there are a few things you should keep in mind to make sure you are protected:  

  • Ensure you are following the gathering guidelines in place (currently no more than ten people can gather outdoors; indoor gatherings are limited to members of your household only).  
  • Limit travel and use beaches close to your own communities, when possible.  
  • Use an alternate beach if the beach is crowded.  
  • Do not go to the beach if you or any member of your household is experiencing any symptoms (i.e. fever, cough, difficulty breathing, muscle aches, fatigue, headache, sore throat, runny nose) or if you have come into contact with someone who has COVID-19 symptoms.  
  • Practice physical distancing – stay two (2) metres from others who do not reside in your home. This includes while on the beach and in the water.  
  • Wear a face covering indoors and outdoors as required and whenever physical distancing is difficult. Do not wear a face covering to swim.  
  • Wash or sanitize your hands often. Bring alcohol-based hand sanitizer and make sure you sanitize your hands when arriving at the beach and before eating or drinking.  
  • Cough and sneeze into your sleeve.  
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.  

To learn more on the provincial Roadmap to Reopen, go to  

Playgrounds & Parks 

Going to the playground is a great way for children to get some fresh air and physical activity. Here are a few tips to make sure your experience at the playground is a positive one: 

  • Use an alternate playground if the playground is crowded.   
  • Do not go to the playground if you or any member of your household is experiencing any symptoms (i.e. fever, cough, difficulty breathing, muscle aches, fatigue, headache, sore throat, runny nose) or if you have come into contact with someone who has COVID-19 symptoms.   
  • Physically distance at least 2 metres from people you do not live with   
  • If physical distancing is a challenge wear a face covering   
  • Wash your hands often with either soap and water or an alcohol based hand sanitizer   
  • Cough and sneeze into your sleeve.   
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. 


Before you hit the lake this summer, find out if there are any local restrictions.    

  • Only allow people who live with you in your boat   
  • Practice physical distancing – stay 2 metres (6ft) from people who do not live with you   
  • Limit gathering to a maximum of 10 people outdoors.*  
  • Consider the use of a facial covering if physical distancing is hard or not possible    
  • Wash or sanitize your hands often   
  • Cough and sneeze into your sleeve   
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth   
  • Remember, stay home if you:    
  • are sick;   
  • are required to self-isolate;   
  • are waiting for a COVID-19 test result; or    
  • had a recent contact with someone who is sick or has COVID-19.   

*Ensure number of passengers does not exceed the boat manufacturer’s capacity.

Summer Camps

For information on summer camps please visit our summer camp page. 

North Bay

345 Oak Street West

Parry Sound

70 Joseph Street Unit #302

Burk's Falls

17 Copeland Street (by appointment only)