COVID-19 Updates

Response & Resources

Click the logos below to find out how we're all working to support
individuals, families, and businesses through the COVID19 pandemic.

Frequently asked questions

What is COVID-19?

On December 31, 2019, Chinese health authorities identified a new (or novel) coronavirus (referred to as COVID-19) through a series of reported cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, China. It is thought that this new coronavirus originated in animals.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that circulate both in humans and animals. Human coronaviruses are common and are typically associated with mild illness, similar to the common cold and spread easily between people. There are however, strains of coronaviruses that have spread from animals to humans which have caused more severe illness in humans in the past, such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). These tend to have more difficulty spreading from person to person.

COVID-19 spreads through the direct contact with the respiratory droplets of someone who is infected with the virus through their cough or sneeze. These droplets can spread up to 2 metres, or 6 feet. It may also be possible for a person to get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes

What Are the Symptoms of COVID-19?

COVID-19 symptoms range from common to severe respiratory illnesses and include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Muscle aches and tiredness
  • Difficulty breathing

Less commonly: sore throat, headache and diarrhea have been reported.

Your risk of severe disease may be higher if you have a weakened immune system. This may be the case for:

  • Older people
  • People with chronic disease such as diabetes, cancer, heart, renal or chronic lung disease

The World Health Organization advises that symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 10 to 14 days after contracting COVID-19. This time period may be refined as new information becomes available.

What Should You do if Experiencing COVID-19 Symptoms?

Do you know what to do if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or have been exposed to someone who has it? Visit the Province's Self-Assessment tool for more information here.
Do you think you have COVID-19 symptoms?

  • Fever, new cough, difficulty breathing?
  • Muscle aches, fatigue, headache, sore throat, runny nose or diarrhea?
Combined with any of the following:
  • Have you travelled outside of Canada in the last 14 days?
  • Are you in close contact with someone who has COVID-19?
  • Are you in close contact with a person who is sick with respiratory symptoms (e.g. fever, cough, or difficulty breathing) who recently travelled outside of Canada?
If you answered 'yes' to the questions in the Self-Assessment, you should:
  1. Contact your primary care provider and let them know you have used the self-assessment tool. They will direct you on the best course of action. 📞


  2. Contact Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 to speak with a registered nurse. They will direct you on the best course of action. 📞

Financial Support for Small Businesses?

Resources are being made available by each level of government to assist small business through the COVID-19 pandemic.

What Financial Resources are there for individuals & Families?

Resources are being made available by each level of government including deferred property taxes & utility bills, reduced hydro rates, and funding for those who have lost their jobs due to COVID19.

Visit the links below for extensive information of available resources.

Changes to City Services

Based on recommendations from Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eileen de Villa, the City of Toronto has cancelled most City-operated programs and closed a number of City facilities.

The City remains prepared to respond to emergencies. Emergency response by Toronto Police, Fire Services, and Paramedic Services is not impacted.

For a comprehensive list of impacted city services please visit here.

Resources for Seniors

Toronto Public Health recommends that if you are over 70 years of age, have a weak immune system or a medical condition, stay at home as much as possible. Please check in on your elderly neighbours to make sure they are ok. Considering going to the grocery store or pharmacy for them to pick up any items that they may need. Every trip that they do not have to take helps to reduce their risk. Resources for seniors from each level of government are available here:

What is Physical Distancing?

Overall, physical distancing means keeping 2 metres (6 feet) apart from others and avoiding mass gatherings and crowds. Limit trips outdoors

  • Minimize trips for groceries, medication and other essentials, to once a week
  • Offer to pick up essentials for neighbours, especially vulnerable community members
  • Order supplies online
  • Avoid crowded places when exercising or walking a dog outdoors
  • Consider doing aerobics or online exercise classes at home
  • Limit the number of people in elevators to keep distance and use an elbow to press buttons
  • Wash or sanitize your hands when entering and exiting buildings
  • Use tap to pay rather than handling money
  • Greet others from a distance with a wave or a nod
When taking transit or taxi
  • Travel during non-peak hours to avoid prolonged close contact with others
  • Take shorter trips rather than one long trip
  • With taxi and ride share, sit in the back and open windows
  • Wash or sanitize your hands often and avoid touching your face
Avoid in-person gatherings
  • Work from home, if possible
  • Facilitate virtual meetings (video or teleconferencing)
  • Cancel all group gatherings, parties or playdates with other children
  • Gatherings with more than five people are not allowed (excluding people who live together)
  • Do not go to playgrounds
  • Schedule virtual parties or playdates
  • Connect with loves ones by phone, email video or social media
  • Do not visit loved ones in long-term care homes, retirement homes or other care settings
If sick, stay home and self-isolate
  • People are most contagious when they are sick, or 48 hours before they show symptoms
  • Limit contact with household members
Learn how to self-isolate here.

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