Protecting yourself and others
The best way to prevent COVID-19 is to avoid being exposed.
We're recommending that all residents stay home and only leave the house once a week for essentials like groceries, medicines and medical appointments. Daily exercise should be done alone with 1 family member, or to exercise a pet.
Residents over the age of 70 should stay home and go out for solo exercise or essential needs. Where possible, get help on family and social supports as much as possible for essential needs. This also applies if you have a medical condition or a compromised immune system.
You should also avoid social gatherings and of more than 5 people, as ordered by the Ontario government.
Beware of people contacting you by phone or at your door
Peel Public Health does not:
- Ask for credit card or health card information in communicating COVID-19 test results.
- Sell or deliver COVID-19 test kits or Personal Protection Equipment such as gowns and surgical masks.
You should report a fraud to the Police non-emergency line.
Continue to take the following precautions:
- Practice physical distancing.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer ranges in concentration from 60-90% alcohol content. A minimum of 70% alcohol content is recommended for health-care settings, and a minimum of 60% alcohol content is recommended for personal use.
- Avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose as much as possible.
- Avoid contact with people who are ill and their items.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue. If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands. Wash hands after coughing and sneezing.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle, including a healthy diet, exercise and enough sleep, to enhance your body's immune system.
- Daily exercise should be done alone or with one household member, or to exercise a pet.
- See the following guidance on self-monitoring and self-isolation from the Public Health Agency of Canada for more information.
There is currently no vaccine for COVID-19.
Masks and other personal protective equipment
General use of non-medical masks may be used to protect others against COVID-19 in situations where physical distancing is difficult to maintain. For example when using public transit or when in grocery stores. View our mask use information (PDF) for more details.
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. Learn more about how to sort your waste.
COVID-19 is being transmitted to others within the community in Peel. There are also confirmed cases of community transmission in other jurisdictions across Ontario.
Community transmission happens when the virus spreads from person-to-person and we are unable to identify a close contact with COVID-19 or no travel history. This means that someone contracted COVID-19 but we don't know the source.
The risk of exposure to COVID-19 increases with community transmission. For this reason, it's even more important than ever for residents to practice physical distancing. This means, avoiding physical contact and staying a safe distance of 2 metres away from other people.
This is also called social distancing.
The steps taken by all levels of government intend to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This includes, staying home and only leaving the house once a week for essentials like groceries, medicines and medical appointments. If you’re over age 70, stay home and ask family and friends for help with essentials, and go outside solo for daily exercise.
It's even more important than ever for residents to practice physical distancing.
Key steps include:
- Stay a safe distance of 2 metres away from other people.
- Avoiding handshaking.
- Working from home when possible.
- Choosing virtual meetings over in-person meetings.
- Avoiding crowds, and places where people are close together.
- Cancelling group gatherings.
Physical distancing doesn’t mean you can’t stay socially connected with friends and family. Look for new ways to stay connected during this challenging time.
Playgrounds and other outdoor recreational facilities
We encourage you to stay healthy and active while observing physical distancing, such as taking walks and getting fresh air.
Due to the Ontario government's extended emergency declaration, all outdoor recreational facilities such as playgrounds, sports fields, park shelters, and off-leash dog parks are closed in Ontario until further notice.
To reduce the risk of spreading the virus, provincial parks and conservation areas are also closed. Green spaces in parks and ravines that aren’t otherwise closed remain open for walkthrough access, but individuals must maintain the safe physical distance of at least two metres apart from others.
Ensure you wash your hands with soap and water when you get back home.
Ontario has extended its declaration of a provincial emergency and reduced the list of businesses classified as essential and order more workplaces to close. Closure orders have also been extended for the following:
- non-essential workplaces
- events and gatherings of more than 5 people
- recreational programs
- private schools and child care centres, excluding emergency child care to support essential workers
- bars and restaurants, except those that may only offer takeout or delivery
Essential services remain open and operational. The government is ordering all businesses not covered by the updated emergency order to close effective as of April 4, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. This closure will be in effect for 14 days, with the possibility of an extension as the situation evolves.
The Government of Canada has put in place emergency measures that require mandatory 14-day self-isolation for all individuals entering Canada, even if they do not have COVID-19 symptoms.
Self-isolation means you must stay at home and monitor yourself for symptoms (even if mild) for 14 days and avoid contact with other people. If you develop symptoms, you can come out of isolation 14 days after your symptoms began, if you are feeling better, and don’t have a fever (temperature of 38 C or less).
Exceptions apply to some individuals who cross the border regularly to ensure the continued flow of goods and services, and those who provide essential services (e.g., health care workers)
Peel Public Health does not currently have the authority to enforce the Government of Canada's Quarantine Order for returning travellers without COVID-19 symptoms who are not complying with self-isolation.
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.
Peel Public Health can be reached at 905-799-7700, Caledon 905-584-2216.
If you're feeling well, you do not need to contact public health. Our Public Health call centres are now open 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday to Sunday.
If you have severe symptoms you should seek medical attention by calling 911. Inform 911 of your symptoms and recent travel history to make sure the right infection prevention and control precautions are taken.
On April 1, Peel Public Health issued a class order under Section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act.
Requirements include the following:
All residents with COVID-19, those considered probable cases and all associated close contacts, must stay in their homes for 14 days or risk daily fines up to $5,000.
These residents may not leave their home or isolation facility for any reason during this period of isolation unless:
- They are on a private balcony or in an enclosed yard on their property where they can avoid close contact with others.
- They need to seek emergency medical attention.
These residents must avoid all contact with others including:
- Avoiding all contact with vulnerable persons (for example, those with underlying medical conditions, compromised immune systems, 65 years or older, or reliant on homeless shelter/other congregate living setting).
- Avoiding contact with household members as much as possible (for example, wear a mask if you need to be in the same room).
These residents must follow instructions for infection control as directed by Public Health.
- handwashing, changing and disposal of masks, not sharing any dishes/cutlery, using a separate washroom if available, sleeping in room by yourself if possible, using separate towels.
These residents should seek prompt medical attention if illness worsens.
On March 28, the Ontario government issued a new emergency order prohibiting organized public events and social gatherings of more than 5 people, effective immediately. This replaces a previous emergency order which prohibited organized public events of over 50 people.
This order does not apply to:
- Private households consisting of 5 people or more.
- Child care centres supporting essential workers, if the number of persons at each centre does not exceed 50 people.
- Funeral proceedings with up to 10 people at one time.
Organized public events include:
- events including weddings
- social gatherings
- communal services within places of worship
COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans.
The virus was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China. Coronaviruses that have emerged in recent years include Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause symptoms like the common cold but can advance, in some cases, to severe respiratory illness or even death. Coronaviruses are predominately passed from animals to people but can also spread from person-to-person.
Information available in multiple languages
The Ministry of Health has developed an information sheet about the COVID-19 to inform Ontarians about the virus, how they can protect themselves and what to do if they think they have contracted COVID-19. View information sheets in multiple languages.
How the virus spreads
Some coronaviruses can be transmitted from person to person, usually after close contact with an infected patient, for example, in a household, workplace, or health care centre.
There has been person-to-person transmission among those infected with COVID-19.
It's different than SARS or MERS-CoV
Although SARS and MERS-CoV are also coronaviruses, COVID-19 is a novel strain that has not been seen previously.
Symptoms of COVID-19
Common signs include fever, and respiratory symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties.
In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia and acute respiratory distress.
For more information please visit the Public Health Agency of Canada's Novel Coronavirus infection: Symptoms and treatment webpage
When to contact a health care provider
As with other illnesses, you should call a health care provider if you experience:
- a high fever
- shortness of breath
- trouble breathing