Protecting yourself and others
Your actions matter to stop the spread of COVID-19
Peel Region is under a provincewide stay-at-home order
Learn about the current measures and how they impact residents, businesses, and public spaces.
Enhanced public health measures are in place, effective April 17 at 12:01 am. For more information, please refer to the provincial announcement.
Stay home except for essential purposes
Stay at home as much as possible. This means only leaving the house for essential trips such as food, medication, medical appointments, work, school, exercise, or supporting vulnerable community members. Limit close contact to only the people you live with and your essential supports (such as caregivers).
If you are leaving your home for any essential purpose, keep track of where you go and who you come into contact with. If you do contract COVID, this information will help identify who else might have been exposed. You can also download the COVID Alert app, which notifies you and others in the case that you have been exposed to COVID.
If you must interact outside of your household or essential supports, follow these actions to stay safe and take care of each other.
Know the symptoms of COVID-19 and what to do if you’ve been exposed.
Community spaces and other settings
Refer to community spaces and other settings for guidelines about community and allotment gardens, apartments and other multi-unit residential buildings, group living settings, food banks, and places of worship.
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.
When a virus infects someone, it replicates or makes copies of itself, which can cause changes known as “mutations.” A virus with 1 or more new mutations is known as a “variant” of the original virus.
All viruses, including the virus that causes COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2), change over time, and it’s common to expect new variants to appear.
Most mutations have little to no impact, while others can change a virus’ characteristics, such as how it spreads and the severity of disease it causes.
COVID-19 variants of concern
Among the virus that causes COVID-19, there are currently 3 main variants of concern. These include the B.1.1.7 (first identified in the United Kingdom), B.1.351 (first identified in South Africa) and P.1 (first identified in Brazil). Information on these variants is rapidly evolving.
These variants are concerning because they appear to spread more easily and quickly than other variants. There are studies underway to confirm whether B.1.1.7 leads to more severe outcomes. There is also some evidence that both the B.1.351 and P.1 variants may increase the risk of being infected again. This means people who have already had COVID-19 could be infected again by these strains more easily.
We’re still learning more about the effectiveness of approved vaccines against the variants of concern. So far, there is no sign that the approved vaccines will be less effective against the new B.1.1.7 variant, although studies are ongoing. There is some evidence that current approved COVID-19 vaccines could be less effective against the B.1.351 and P.1 variants.
The same actions we take to prevent COVID-19 will be effective in protecting our community against these variants.
It's more important now than ever to continue to take care of each other and follow these actions to stay safe. Limit contact with others and avoid all non-essential travel to reduce the spread of the virus and any of its variants.
COVID-19 variants in Peel
At this time, both the B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 variants have been found in Peel.
Ontario laboratories are increasing their capacity to screen positive COVID-19 tests to determine if people are infected with COVID-19 variants of concern.Public Health Ontario provides daily updates on variants across Ontario in their daily summary reports, including a summary of confirmed variant of concern cases in each public health unit.
Stay safe while carpooling
It can be difficult to maintain proper physical distancing when carpooling. If you need to carpool, take care of each and follow these 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 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.
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:
- Well-fitted to your face, fully covering your nose, mouth and chin with no gaps. If a mask is ill-fitting, find a different mask that is better suited for your face shape to ensure there are 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. Using a filter adds an extra middle layer of protection against COVID-19 by trapping smaller infectious particles.
You do not need to throw away your 2-layer non-medical masks. If making or buying more masks, consider a 3-layer mask for improved effectiveness.
If you choose to make your own non-medical mask or want to learn how to add a filter to your mask, you can follow these instructions.
Handling your mask:
- Put on and remove your mask safely by washing or sanitizing your hands before and after touching your mask.
- Do not touch the mask while wearing it.
- Store your mask 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. Do not reuse masks that are damp, dirty or damaged.
- Wash your mask in a washing machine if it’s made of fabric or throw it into the garbage if it’s disposable.
Masks or face coverings are not a replacement for other public health measures. You must also wash your hands often and practise physical distancing. Do not put masks on anyone who is under age 2, has trouble breathing, or is unable to remove the mask without help. Remember that some people are not able to wear masks, and to show kindness in these situations.
Learn more about non-medical masks.
On April 2, 2021, Health Canada advised Canadians that face masks containing graphene may pose health risks. For more information, see Health Canada’s advisory statement.
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.
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 advised against all non-essential travel outside Canada until further notice. Travellers returning to Canada must follow specific testing and isolation requirements.
Mandatory quarantine or self-isolation in Canada
The Government of Canada has put an emergency order in place that requires mandatory 14-day quarantine or 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.
Before returning to Canada
International travellers, with some exemptions, are required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test prior to arrival to Canada.
If you arrive in Canada by land or air, you’re required to:
- Enter your travel details, contact information and quarantine plan electronically in ArriveCAN and have your receipt ready before arriving.
- Provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result taken 72 before arrival at a land border or 72 hours before your scheduled flight. If you previously tested positive for COVID-19, provide proof of a positive test taken 14 to 90 days prior to arrival.
- Take a COVID-19 test on arrival as well as toward the end of your 14-day quarantine.
If arriving by air, you’re also required to book a 3-night stay in a government-authorized hotel at your own cost.
The Ontario government requires all international travellers to take a COVID-19 test when arriving at Toronto Pearson International Airport. This program will help to quickly identify and stop the spread of COVID-19.
Learn more about the mandatory testing program and what travellers need to do.
Violating instructions provided to you when you entered Canada is an offences 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.
Section 22 Class Order for workplaces
As of March 2, 2021 Peel Public Health issued an updated class order under Section 22 of theHealth 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.
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 within 4 days at 1-877-202-0008 or e-mail their notice to MLTSDoccillness.email@example.com.
- Notify the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) within 3 days at 416-344-1000 or toll-free at 1-800-387-0750.
- 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.
Workplaces that fail to comply with the order may be liable for a fine of up to $5,000 and a corporation may be liable, on conviction, to a fine of not more than $25,000, each for every day or part of each day on which the offence occurs or continues.
Questions about this Order can 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.
Section 22 Class Order for self-isolation
On February 24, 2021 Peel Public Health issued an updated class order under Section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act to help enforce COVID-19 isolation requirements. 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.
Find out who is defined as a close contact.
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. You can also learn more about our COVID-19 Voluntary Isolation Housing program.
Questions about this Order can 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.