Microscopic view of COVID-19

Municipal COVID-19 Safety Measures

A State of Local Emergency has been declared in Highlands East as of 12:30 p.m. on March 19, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more.

Please visit our dedicated COVID-19 news page for all articles pertaining to the pandemic.

COVID-19 Self-assessment

If you think you have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, use this self-assessment tool to help determine how to seek further care.

Launch Self-assement Tool

The Municipality of Highlands East continues to monitor the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as issued by the World Health Organization (WHO). 

We are working together to put into effect community-based measures that will protect the general population in Highlands East and our surroundings in order to do our part to slow the spread of the virus. 

New information continues to be communicated by the Government of Canada as well as the Province of Ontario regarding preventative measures for communities. We will be posting new safety information to our COVID-19 Information page when applicable and our social media pages are updated with all of this information as soon as we receive it. 

Media Releases

All media releases are emailed to stakeholders and added to the archive below when they are first published. The content is then made available in an enhanced and accessible format on our COVID-19 News and Notices page.

Highlands East COVID-19 Media Release Archive

Highlands East municipal offices 

The Highlands East Municipal Office and all sub offices (Building Department and Environment Department) will be closed for public entry effective immediately (Monday, March 16) until further notice due to the concerns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates when available. 

Emergency Operations Centre

On March 18, 2020 Highlands East activated its Emergency Operations Centre that allows us to effectively respond to emergencies, deploy resources and provide services in the best interests of residents. Learn more.

Council and committee meetings

As a result of building closures, all Council meetings and Advisory Committee meetings scheduled during this time period will be postponed. 


At this time, municipal staff are available by calling the municipal office or sub offices. However, we encourage patrons to use our online resources available to conduct business with the Municipality.

Staff members have been instructed to inact infection control practices and self-isolate if they feel unwell or if they have recently travelled. 

Effective March 30, 2020 our staff members will be working on rotating shifts as well as working from home. These measures allow for operations to continue, while still meeting the appropriate social distancing requirements.

Highlands East buildings and facilities 

All programming and gatherings at any of the Highlands East facilities will be postponed until further notice due to the concerns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Landfill sites

Currently, our Landfill Sites remain open to the public and our attendants will be practicing infection control practices such as social distancing.

We are placing restrictions on the amount of bulk items that can be disposed of in a single visit. We have also issued guidelines to help increase safety for our attendants. Learn more about these changes.

Cash will no longer be accepted for landfill tipping fees. Your information will be collected and an invoice will be mailed to you. Learn more about this change.

Parks and playground equipment

We have implemented additional safety measures that involve the closure of playground structures and equipment, basketball and tennis courts and ask that appropriate physical distancing be observed when enjoying green spaces in public parks. Learn more.

Glamor Lake Park and its boat launches will reopen for limited day-use access beginning on the Victoria Day long weekend. Learn more.

Public beaches, geocaching and mineral collection sites

Geocaching and mineral collection sites have been closed to prevent infection on high touch surfaces and social gathering. Public docks will not be put into the water to prevent groups forming at beaches. Water access points (boat launches) will remain open at this time. Learn more.

Information centre

Our information centre will remain closed in accordance with Ontario's emergency order that restricts social gathering and public recreation. Learn more.

Summer swim program and Cardiff pool

Swim lessons in Highlands East will not be running for the 2020 season due to the pandemic and the Cardiff Pool will not be opening until further notice. Learn more.

Public water taps

To enhance safety, access to public water taps will be restricted to certain times on Saturdays and Wednesdays. During the specified times municipal staff will operate the taps for the public. Learn more.

Water sample service

Due to the main office in Wilberforce being closed to the public, water sample bottles will be placed outside the main office door on Monday and Wednesday morning for those needing kits. 

A small cooler will be placed beside outside for those wishing to drop off samples they have taken. Place the sample inside the cooler and close the lid to keep the samples cool. 

Staff will endeavor to ship samples for as long as the courier is in operation. 

Municipal property tax payments

The due date for your property taxes has been extended to June 30, 2020. We are discouraging the use of cash for payments, however your cheque or money orders can be dropped off using the Drop Off Box at the Wilberforce Municipal Office.

Learn more about how and when payments can be made.

Building and septic system permits

As of Tuesday, May 19, 2020 the provincial restrictions for the construction industry have been lifted and the Building Department will be issuing building permits in accordance with this recent announcement. The Building Department previously resumed issuing septic permits earlier in the month. Special protocols regarding office access, payments, inspections and permit pick ups have been put in place to protect staff and clients during the pandemic. Learn more.

Licensing disruption

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak all business, lottery, and marriage licensing services are suspended until further notice.

Burn permits

The Highlands East Fire Department has resumed issuing open air burning permits for large, daytime fires as of May 20, 2020. For details on our summer burning restrictions and how to apply for a permit please visit Burning Permits and By-law.

Health and safety is our priority

Highlands East encourages social distancing and self-isolation measures as a way to minimize COVID-19 transmission in the community. This means minimizing close contact with others during the peak of this outbreak. 

The health and safety of the community is our priority and we will continue to update the community as information becomes available to us.