Guidelines

Current Guidelines


If you think you may have COVID-19 symptoms, such as fever, cough and difficulty breathing, please click here to take a self-assessment. 

If you are in Ontario and have been tested for COVID-19, Ontario has launched an online portal to view your lab results. Please click here to be redirected to the online portal.

Below is a summary of COVID-19 information available from Ontario’s Ministry of Health and the Government of Canada. 


Protecting Yourself

  • Coronaviruses spread through close contact. To protect yourself and your family:
    • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and often, especially  after using the washroom and when preparing food. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water is unavailable.  
    • Cough and sneeze into your sleeve or tissue. Dispose of tissue immediately and wash your hands.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Keep surfaces clean and disinfected.
    • Avoid contact with those who are sick.
    • Stay home if you are sick.

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Physical Distancing

  • Physical distancing should be practiced by everyone. This means avoiding close contact with people outside your immediate household. A distance of at least 2 arms-length (~2m) should be kept from others.

Symptoms of COVID-19

  • It can take up to 14 days for someone who has been exposed to COVID-19 to show symptoms.
  • Some people infected with COVID-19 can have little or no symptoms.
  • Others infected with COVID-19 can present with the following symptoms:
    • Fever
    • Cough
    • Difficulty breathing  
    • Other cold like symptoms such as fatigue, aches and pains, sore throat, headache, chills, nausea, nasal congestion and diarrhea

When to self-monitor, self-isolate, and isolate? (PDF by PHAC)

Self-monitoring 

  • Practice self-monitoring for 14 days if you have no symptoms AND a history of possible exposure to COVID-19 in the last 14 days.  
  • Self-monitoring involves:
    • Monitoring yourself for one or more symptoms of COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days.
    • Avoiding crowded places and increasing personal space from others by practicing physical distancing.
    • If you develop symptoms, isolate yourself from others immediately and contact your Public Health Authority as soon as possible. Contact information for Public Health Units in Ontario can be found here.

Self-isolation

  • Practice self-isolation for 14 days, if you have no symptoms AND a history of possible exposure to COVID-19 due to travel outside Canada within the last 14 days or your Public Health Authority has identified you as a close contact of a person diagnosed with COVID-19
  • Self-isolation involves: 
    • Staying at home and monitoring for symptoms (even if mild) for 14 days.
    • Avoiding contact with other people to prevent spread of disease in your home and community.
    • Limiting contact with others by practicing physical distancing.
    • If you develop symptoms, stay home, avoid other people and contact your Public Health Authority as soon as possible. Contact information for Public Health Units in Ontario can be found here.
    • For more details on how to self-isolate, see this poster

Isolation

  • Practice isolation if you have symptoms even if they are mild, OR if you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or are waiting for the results of a lab test for COVID-19
  • Isolation involves: 
    • Staying at home until your Public Health Authority tells you are no longer at risk of spreading the virus to others
    • Avoid contact with other people to prevent spread of disease in your home and community, particularly to people at risk of severe illness outcomes (e.g. older adults or medically vulnerable people).
    • Limit contact with others and do not leave home unless absolutely necessary, such as to seek medical care. 
    • If your symptoms get worse, immediately contact your healthcare provider or Public Health Authority and follow their instructions.
    • For more details on how to isolate, see this poster

When to wear a mask? (PDF by PHO)

  • Wearing a mask if you are healthy is not recommended for preventing spread of COVID-19.
  • Masks should be worn if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or are caring for someone with COVID-19. 
  • How to wear a mask?
    • Before wearing your mask, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 15 seconds. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water is not available.
    • Depending on the mask, secure elastic loops of the mask around your ears or tie the mask strings securely behind your head.
    • Cover your mouth and nose with the mask, ensuring no gaps between face and mask.
    • Do not touch the front of the mask while you wear it. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 15 seconds if you accidentally touch your mask. 
    • If the mask becomes damp or humid, replace with a new mask.
  • How to dispose of your mask?
    • Do not touch the front of the mask to remove it. Remove elastic loops around your ears or untie the strings from behind your head to take off the mask.
    • Holding onto only the loops or strings, place your mask into a garbage bin with a lid.
    • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 15 seconds after disposing your mask.
    • Do not reuse a single-use mask.

What to do when caring for a person with COVID-19? (PDF by PHO)

  • When caring for someone with COVID-19, ensure to do the following:
    • Wash your hands with soap and water after each contact with the person with COVID-19 for at least 20 seconds. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water is not available.
    • Wear a mask and gloves when you have contact with the person’s saliva or other bodily fluids. Following contact, take off gloves first and dispose. Wash your hands with soap and water before taking off the mask. Dispose of the mask and wash your hands again with soap and water before doing anything else.
    • Limit visitors in your home and keep seniors and people with chronic medical conditions away from the person with COVID-19.
    • Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding or other items. After use, wash items with soap or detergent in warm water. Dishwashers and washing machines can be used.
    • Do not share cigarettes. 
    • Clean your home with regular household cleaners. Clean regularly touched times such as toilets, sink handles, and doorknobs daily.  
    • Laundry does not need to be separated but gloves should be worn when handling items. Wash hands with soap and water immediately following removal of gloves.
    • All waste can be disposed of in regular garbage bins. Take care to not touch tissues with hands. Wash hands with soap and water after emptying waste.

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