As organizers of local farmers markets anxiously await to re-open their weekly events, the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) is working out the details and practices over how exactly the markets will function during these public health-conscious times.

Locally, farmers’ markets are planning to re-open in Vankleek Hill and Maxville.

According to EOHU Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, outdoor farmers’ markets are less likely to contribute to the spread of coronavirus and its more dangerous variant, COVID-19.

Roumeliotis said that the EOHU is working with neighbouring health units on developing protocols and procedures that will allow outdoor farmers’ markets to operate.

Municipalities throughout the EOHU territory have been notified by the EOHU and they are assisting with getting the rules in place.  They will be finalized and displayed on the EOHU website during this week.

Farmers’ markets will be limited to a modified walk-through format to permit physical distancing, or a pre-order format with curbside pick-up.  Merchandise sold at farmers’ markets will be limited to food products.

Roumeliotis said he wants to encourage residents to support the local entrepreneurs who sell products at farmers markets.  He also acknowledged that the market season is important to them because it is a short window of time for vendors to earn income.