What is Social Distancing?
In order to decrease transmission of COVID-19, there are recommendations that all residents in Ontario practice social distancing. Social distancing involves taking steps to limit the number of people you come into close contact with. This will help to limit the spread of COVID-19 within our communities.
Social distancing includes, but is not limited to:
Talking to your supervisor, manager, or employer about the possibility of working from home where possible.
Avoiding sending children to daycare, if you are able to.
Avoiding visits to Long-Term Care Homes, Retirement Homes, Supportive Housing, Hospices and other congregate care settings unless the visit is absolutely essential.
Avoiding non-essential trips in the community.
If you have to go into the community for an essential trip via taxi or ride-share, be sure to keep the windows down.
If possible, limit or consider cancelling group gatherings.
If you have meetings planned, consider doing them virtually instead of in person.
Whenever possible, spend time outside and in settings where people can maintain a 1-2 metre (3-6 feet) distance from each other.
Please note: that these guidelines are not meant to say “you must stay in your home!”
You can still go outside to take a walk, go to the park, or walk your dog. If you need groceries, go to the store. It is simply recommended that while outside you make sure to avoid crowds and maintain a distance of 1-2 metres (3-6 feet) from those around you.
Remember: While you may not feel sick, and while we know these measures are an inconvenience, please be mindful of the members of our communities who are more vulnerable to COVID-19 than others. We are all in this together.
What is self-isolation?
Self-isolation is when you have been instructed to separate yourself from others, with the purpose of preventing the spread of the virus, including those within your home. If you are ill, you should be separated from others in your household to the greatest extent possible.
Even if you do not have symptoms, it is recommended to self-isolate for 14 days if:
You have travelled anywhere outside of Canada (including the United States of America).
You live with, provided care for, or spent extensive time with someone who has:
Tested positive for COVID-19, OR is suspected to have COVID-19, OR who has respiratory symptoms (fever, cough, or shortness of breath) that started within 14 days of travel outside of Canada.
What is self-monitoring?
This is when you monitor your health for symptoms of COVID-19 like fever, cough and difficulty breathing.
When are are self-monitoring, you should:
Avoid public spaces
Avoid crowded public spaces and places where you cannot easily separate yourself from others if you become ill.
What to do if you develop these or any other symptoms?
Self-isolate immediately and contact your public health unit and your health care provider.
To self-isolate you will need:
Instructions on how to self-isolate
Supply of procedure/surgical masks (enough for 14 days)
Soap, water and/or alcohol-based hand sanitizer to clean your hands
When you visit your health care provider, avoid using public transportation such as subways, taxis and shared rides. If unavoidable, wear a mask and sit in the back seat.
For more information about these symptoms and what to do should they appear, use 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Ontario Self-Assessment Tool here or call Telehealth Ontario 1-866-797-0000.