DAN CEARNS, Journalism Initiative Reporter, for The Standard
UXBRIDGE/KAWARTHA LAKES: Municipalities and health units are discouraging people from holding yard and garage sales during this COVID-19 pandemic. At a meeting on Monday, May 11th, Uxbridge councillors discussed a letter from Frank Charamonte asking if Uxbridge should ban yard and garage sales at this time. “If you look at what is going on with transactions in retail and restaurants, everything is paperless. At yard sales, there’s money being passed [to] each other, and I’m not sure we’ve gotten to the point where we’re sanitizing dollars. It seems like it is the right idea, to make this approach, and put out a communication to discourage this activity at this time,” Ward 4 Councillor Willie Popp said. Ward 3 Councillor Bruce Garrod agreed, explaining, the municipality should discourage the hosting of garage and yard sales until “the province lifts all [COVID-19] related restrictions.” The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPR) is also asking people not to hold yard sales right now. “The nicer weather means many people may be spring cleaning and looking to sell and get rid of unwanted items,” Lynne Franke, HKPR’s Manager of Organizational Initiatives said, in a press release. “This year, because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Health Unit urges you to postpone holding a garage sale. Doing so will protect you, your loved ones and your community from getting sick with COVID-19. Hosting a garage or yard sale can put you and those who attend it in harm’s way,” HKPR explained, in a press release, that maintaining social distancing is a concern at events like yard sales. “Keeping a safe two-metre (six-foot) physical distance at a garage sale is difficult, given that cash transactions are usually required and the number of people who stop by at a sale can grow unexpectedly. Many times, garage sale enthusiasts may also visit multiple sale locations, increasing the risk of the spread of COVID-19.” The local health unit had a message about what currently can’t be sold. “People should also be aware that baby walkers, infant self-feeding devices and other items are banned products in Canada. There are also common second-hand items, like car seats, cribs, helmets, playpens, strollers, children’s jewellery and kids’ sleepwear that must meet certain federal regulatory requirements before they can be bought or sold in Canada,” a press release read.