Protecting yourself and others
Your actions matter to stop the spread of COVID-19
State of emergency declared in Ontario
The Ontario government has declared its second state of emergency, including a stay-at-home order that requires everyone to stay at home except for essential purposes.
Learn about the current measures and how they impact residents, businesses, and public spaces.
Stay home except for essential purposes
The Ontario government’s stay-at-home order requires everyone to remain at home with exceptions for essential purposes, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services, for exercise or for essential work. This order is meant to reduce our contact with others to help limit the spread of COVID-19.
In addition to limiting outings to essential trips, all businesses must ensure that any employee who can work from home, does work from home.
As the spread of COVID-19 continues in Peel, you should only have close contact with your immediate household and essential supports (such as caregivers).
If you must interact outside of your household or essential supports, practice the Core Four actions:
- Keep a physical distance of 2-metres.
- Wear a mask.
- Wash your hands often.
- Stay home if sick.
Know the symptoms of COVID-19 and what to do if you’ve been exposed.
Get the latest information about the Ontario government’s Reopening Ontario Act and related emergency orders.
COVID-19 is a new respiratory disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. COVID-19 can spread from person to person through respiratory droplets or by touching something that had the virus on it.
Most people infected with COVID-19 will experience mild to moderate illness, while others may have no symptoms at all. Some individuals, especially seniors and those with underlying medical conditions or weakened immune systems, are more likely to develop serious illness.
Find out what to do if you have symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19.
Ontario has reported confirmed cases of a COVID-19 variant, which was first identified in the United Kingdom (UK). This variant has been detected in multiple countries beyond the UK, including Denmark, Belgium, Australia and the Netherlands.
Early data suggests that the COVID-19 UK variant can spread easier and faster, but there is no evidence that it’s more likely to cause severe illness. There is also no current evidence to suggest that the approved vaccines will be any less effective against the new variant. The Governments of Ontario and Canada continue to monitor the situation.
It’s important to continue to follow the Core Four actions, limit contact with others and avoid all non-essential travel to reduce the spread of the virus and any of its variants.
Stay safe while carpooling
It can be difficult to maintain proper physical distancing when carpooling. If you need to carpool, follow the Core Four actions to stay safe.
If you feel sick or think you may have been in contact with someone with COVID-19, stay home and get tested.
We need to continue to be careful with our actions. Consider the risks and make choices that will keep you, your family and your community safe.
Avoid activities that put you at a higher risk of getting COVID-19.
Your risk is lower when:
- You have limited contact with people outside of your household or essential supports.
- People wear a non-medical mask or face covering when physical distancing is difficult to maintain and where mandated, especially in crowded places.
- You have short interactions with people.
Your risk is higher when:
- You’re a senior or have an existing medical condition, as it’s possible for you to have a more severe illness if you get COVID-19.
- You’re in small, crowded or enclosed spaces, where it’s challenging to maintain 2-metres physical distance from others.
- You spend a long period of time with people.
Avoid or strictly limit your time spent in situations, including private gatherings, such as:
- Closed spaces with poor ventilation.
- Crowded places with many people.
- Close contact where you can’t keep 2-metres of physical distance from others.
Understand the risks of each situation or activity. Learn more about going out safely during COVID-19.
Masks and face coverings
In Peel and Ontario, it’s now mandatory to wear a mask inside all public spaces, including transit, offices and workplaces, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
COVID-19 is spread from person-to-person through respiratory droplets. Infected droplets can spread before a person shows any symptoms. Wearing masks can help control spread by preventing your droplets from accidentally infecting others.
When combined with distancing and hand-hygiene, emerging and available evidence indicates that non-medical masks and face coverings are likely beneficial in controlling COVID-19 at its source by minimizing the spread of droplets from the person wearing the mask to others. This can protect others if the wearer has COVID-19. This is especially important in situations where it’s difficult to maintain physical distance.
Public Health Ontario’s evidence brief outlines the science in greater detail.
Learn why you should wear a mask.
Wear your mask right
If a non-medical mask or face covering is worn correctly, it can help reduce spread by blocking droplets that leave your mouth and nose when you talk, cough, sing, or sneeze.
Make sure your mask is:
- Fully covering your nose, mouth and chin with no gaps.
- Ideally made with 3 layers of fabric: 2 layers of tightly woven but breathable fabric such as cotton or linen and a third (middle) layer of a filter-type fabric, such as non-woven polypropylene. Do not throw away your 2-layer non-medical masks. If making or buying more masks, consider a 3-layer mask for improved effectiveness.
- Safely put on and removed. Wash or sanitize your hands before and after touching your mask.
- Stored in a dry, clean paper bag or container when you’re out and need to take it off. Keep clean masks separate from dirty masks.
- Properly washed if it’s made of fabric or thrown into the garbage if it’s disposable. Clean cloth masks in the washing machine.
If you choose to make your own mask, you can follow these instructions.
- Reuse masks that are damp, dirty or damaged.
- Touch the mask while wearing it.
- Have gaps around the nose, mouth and chin. It should be a comfortable but snug fit.
- Place face coverings on anyone who is under age 2, has trouble breathing, or is unable to remove the mask without help.
Masks or face coverings are not a replacement for other public health measures. You must also wash your hands often and practise physical distancing. Remember that some people are not able to wear masks, and to show kindness in these situations.
Medical masks are a form of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and must be kept for health care workers, others providing direct care to COVID-19 patients and in workplaces as required by the employer.
Check what masks are approved for use as PPE using Health Canada’s list of authorized medical devices.
Mandatory mask bylaws
Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga have each passed mandatory mask bylaws. The bylaws are very similar across all 3 municipalities, but there are minor differences to keep in mind. Visit the website of your local municipality: Brampton, Caledon, and Mississauga for information about the mandatory bylaw requirements.
Visit your local municipality website for information on the application and enforcement of each of the municipal bylaw. For specific questions, find out where to call based on the municipality.
A face shield is not an effective alternative to wearing a mask or face covering as it does not provide full coverage of the mouth, nose and chin and does not contain your respiratory droplets.
If a face shield is used, it should be used together with a mask. A face shield should cover below the chin and wrap around the sides of the face. Throw out disposable face shields after each use, or if reusable, clean and disinfect after each use.
Access our videos on mask use for more information about why, when and how to wear a non-medical mask. Visit COVID-19 questions and answers.
Gloves are recommended for specific situations like caring for sick individuals or food preparation safety.
Wearing of gloves in public for general activities is not recommended. If not worn properly, it may increase the chance of transmission. Gloves are not a replacement for good handwashing practices.
If you do decide to wear gloves, follow these steps:
- Don't touch your face or cover your cough or sneeze with gloves.
- Wash your hands before putting gloves on and taking them off.
- Throw out disposable gloves after you've used them.
Always put masks, gloves and other home health care waste in a bag before throwing them in the garbage.
Get the app
Download the free COVID Alert app on your phone to:
- Get a notification if you may have been exposed to COVID-19.
- Ensure that others who you've had close contact with are notified if you test positive for COVID-19, without sharing any personal information.
Alerts from the app
If you receive an alert from the app that you've been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, follow these steps:
Self-isolate and book an appointment to get tested for COVID-19.
Stay home until you get your test results.
If you tested positive, stay in self-isolation.
Public health will call you and provide instructions for what to do after getting tested. Tell your household members to get tested and self-isolate for 14 days after their last exposure to you.
If you tested negative, you can come out of self-isolation and self-monitor for symptoms, unless you're notified that you're a close contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19, or you know you were in contact with someone in the past 14 days who was sick. In those cases, self-isolate for 14 days from when you were exposed to the person. If you develop symptoms, self-isolate and get re-tested.
Learn what to do if you can't self-isolate in your home.
The Government of Canada has put an emergency order in place that requires mandatory 14-day self-isolation for all individuals entering Canada, even if they do not have symptoms of COVID-19, tested negative for COVID-19, or have recovered from COVID-19.
Find out what to do if you develop symptoms.
Returning to Canada
Effective January 7, 2021, all air passengers 5 years of age or older are required to test negative for COVID-19 before travelling from another country to Canada. Learn more from the Government of Canada.
When you return to Canada you will need to confirm that you have a suitable plan for isolation where you will have access to necessities such as food, water, medication and heat during the winter months. Under the order by the Canadian government, you cannot isolate in a place where you would be in contact with vulnerable people, including seniors, or people with pre-existing medical conditions. You must also confirm that you won’t be in a group or community living arrangement such as living in the same household with large families or many people.
Get more information about what to do when arriving in Canada.
For more information on COVID-19 travel restrictions in French, see the Government of Canada website.
Voluntary border testing at Toronto Pearson airport
A free and voluntary COVID-19 testing pilot program is available at Toronto Pearson International Airport for eligible returning travellers to help quickly identify and stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community.
Learn more about the testing program and how to participate.
Violating instructions provided to you when you entered Canada is an offence under the Quarantine Act. Such offences could result in a fine and/or imprisonment. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) is the lead enforcement agency for the Quarantine Act.
The Government of Canada has advised against all non-essential travel outside Canada until further notice. Read the COVID-19 travel advisories for more information
Section 22 Class Order for workplaces
As of November 16, 2020 at 6 p.m. Peel Public Health issued a class order under Section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act to help enforce COVID-19 requirements within workplaces. For more information, refer to the COVID-19 class order fact sheet.
Under the class order workplaces must send home anyone who:
- Has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
- Has signs and symptoms of COVID-19, and has tested and are awaiting their test results.
- Otherwise has reasonable grounds to believe they have symptoms of COVID-19.
- Is a close contact of a person diagnosed with or has symptoms of COVID-19.
These individuals will need to self-isolate.
Workplaces must implement measures outlined through Ontario regulation, the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health of Ontario, and sector-specific guidance documents such as screening, physical distancing, limiting non-essential visitors etc.
If 2 or more cases of COVID-19 are identified within the workplace within a period of 14 days, the workplace must:
- Immediately notify Peel Public Health.
- Prepare the list of close contacts of these workplace cases.
- Maintain a log of all people who were on the premises.
- Notify the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development or other relevant government authorities.
- Provide contact details for the site manager.
- Be available to be contacted by Peel Public Health to implement any additional measures immediately as required by Peel Public Health.
- Cooperate with infection protection and control staff from Peel Public Health including allowing entry into the workplace for inspection.
A close contact is a person who has had a high-risk exposure to a confirmed or probable COVID-19 case within the past 14 days (for example, caring for or living in the same household as person with COVID-19), or is identified as a close contact by Public Health.
Workplaces that fail to comply with the order may be liable for a fine of up to $5,000 for every day or part of each day on which the offence occurs or continues.
Questions about this Order should be directed to Peel Public Health at 905-799-7700 (Caledon 905-584-2216) Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Emergency Order under the Regional Chair
As of November 7, 2020, the Chair of the Regional Municipality of Peel issued an Emergency Order to help address the spread of COVID-19 in our community.
Letter of instruction from the Medical Officer of Health
Peel's Medical Officer of Health has outlined enhanced public health measures to address the COVID-19 situation in Peel. Instructions contained within these measures may be legally enforceable as indicated. We're asking Peel residents to follow all of these measures equally, as they all contribute to controlling the spread of COVID-19 in our community.
Section 22 Class Order for self-isolation
The revised class order is similar to the original class order issued on April 1, 2020, with some changes to the length of time required for self-isolation. For more information, read the COVID-19 class order fact sheet.
Under the class order residents, or visitors to Peel, must self-isolate if they:
- Are identified as a person diagnosed with COVID-19.
- Have the signs and symptoms of COVID-19, have been tested for COVID-19 and are awaiting their test results.
- Otherwise have reasonable grounds to believe they have symptoms of COVID-19.
- Are a close contact of a person diagnosed with COVID-19 or with symptoms of COVID-19.
- Are a parent or caregiver of a person under 16 years of age that has been diagnosed with COVID-19, has symptoms of COVID-19, or is a close contact of a confirmed or probable COVID-19 case.
A close contact is a person who has had a high-risk exposure to a confirmed or probable COVID-19 case within the past 14 days (e.g., caring for or living in the same household as person with COVID-19), or is identified as a close contact by Public Health. These individuals must self-isolate even if they don't have symptoms because the virus may still be incubating for up to 14 days.
Individuals who fail to comply with the order may be liable for a fine of up to $5,000 for every day or part of each day on which the offence occurs or continues.The Region of Peel is available to assist residents who need help self-isolating while subject to these measures (e.g., food, water, accommodation, clothing, appropriate medical treatment, and family or religious arrangements). Individuals who need support can contact Peel Public Health at 905-799-7700.