Protecting yourself and others
The best way to prevent COVID-19 is to avoid being exposed.
On April 1, Peel Public Health issued a class order under Section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act (PDF). For full details about how we're taking stronger steps to keep residents safe, read the news release.
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
Take the following precautions:
- Practice physical distancing (also called social 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 concentration is recommended for health-care settings.
- 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.
- Avoid social gatherings and organized public events of more than 5 people, as ordered by the Ontario government.
- 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.
The use of masks
Peel Public Health is not recommending the general public wear masks during day-to-day activities to provide protection against COVID-19.
In specific situations, mask use may be recommended. See our mask use fact sheet (PDF) for more information.
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.
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, encouraging people to stay home, when possible, and to reduce their interaction with others.
It's even more important than ever for residents to practice physical distancing.
We are now saying physical distancing instead of social distancing. The reason for this change is to better explain that officials are asking you to reduce your physical contact with people. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t stay socially connected with friends and family.
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.
We encourage you to stay healthy and active while observing physical distancing, such as taking walks and getting fresh air.
However, we recommend not using the playground structures as this is a place where people are in close contact.
To reduce the risk of spreading the virus, provincial parks are closed. Check with your local municipality for additional closures of parks and outdoor recreational areas.
Ensure you wash your hands with soap and water when you get back home.
Ontario declared a provincial state of emergency on March 17, 2020 and has issued orders to close:
- non-essential workplaces
- recreational programs
- publicly funded schools, private schools and daycares
- provincial parks
- churches and other faith settings
- bars and restaurants, except those that may only offer takeout or delivery
Essential services, such as grocery stores, convenience stores, pharmacies, public transit, manufacturing facilities, and supply chain companies remain open and operational.
With the Ontario government’s new emergency order social gatherings are now restricted to 5 people or less.
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 symptoms continue beyond the 14-day self-isolation period, continue to self-isolate until you are symptom-free for at least 48 hours.
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)
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.
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