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Virus Facts

Read the OMA’s recommendations for Ontario’s ongoing pandemic response.

  • General recommendations

    Take your doctor’s expert advice to reduce the spread of COVID

    • Get your full dose of COVID-19 vaccines
    • Wash your hands often
    • Wear a mask
    • Avoid crowded places
    • Self-isolate if you develop symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) or have been in contact with a known case and get tested
    • Follow all of the public health recommendations in your region

    For information, visit the government’s COVID-19 website.

  • When and how can I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

    Health Canada has approved four safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines. In Ontario, vaccines are being administered at mass vaccination sites, pharmacies and family doctors’ offices. Visit the government’s website for the latest information on the COVID-19 vaccine.

    Doctors urge all eligible Ontarians to get the COVID-19 vaccine. It is essential that everyone continues to practise public health measures such as physical distancing, wearing masks and hand hygiene to slow the spread of COVID-19.

  • How should I decide what activities are safe?

    It is important for Ontarians to stay vigilant. Stay home if you feel sick. Do not participate in any activity that doesn’t adhere to public health restrictions or respect gathering limits in your region.

    If any activity makes you feel unsafe, you should inquire about safety precautions, propose a safer activity, or decline to participate.

    Read the OMA’s recommendations on how to stay safe during the holiday season.

  • When to get tested?

    If you develop any COVID-19 symptoms (including fever, cough, or difficulty breathing), self-isolate and take a self-assessment to determine if you should be tested for COVID-19.

    If you have COVID-19 symptoms:

    • Complete the Ministry of Health self-assessment. The self-assessment will direct you to Telehealth Ontario (1-866-797-0000), your family physician, nurse practitioner, family practice clinic or your local public health unit. You may be directed to a hospital or a regional assessment centre.

    If you are experiencing worsening symptoms and have not yet tested positive for COVID-19:

    • Go to your local emergency department. Call before you go and let them know you have used the government's self-assessment tool.

    If you are experiencing worsening symptoms and have tested positive for COVID-19:

    • Go to your local emergency department. Call before you go and let them know you have tested positive for COVID-19.
  • How do I know when it’s safe to return to my regular activities?

    If you feel sick you should stay home. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 you should take a self-assessment to determine if you should be tested for COVID-19.

    Knowing when it’s safe to return to your regular activities depends on whether or not you tested positive for COVID-19 and the symptoms you’re currently experiencing. If you are unsure if it’s safe to resume your usual activities, contact your local public health unit.

    You do not require a doctor’s note to return to work, school, child care or other activities. The OMA has developed a self-clearance attestation form in English and French that you can provide.

    What if I tested positive for COVID-19?

    If you had symptoms and tested positive for COVID-19 you are considered recovered after 10 days from when your symptoms started if you have no fever and your symptoms have been improving for at least 24 hours. If you still have symptoms or a fever after 10 days do not resume regular activities. Continue to self-isolate and contact your doctor or Telehealth Ontario (1-866-797-0000) for further direction. If your symptoms get worse, visit your local emergency department. Call before you go and let them know you tested positive for COVID-19.

    If you tested positive for COVID-19 but did not have any symptoms, you should isolate for 10 days from your confirmed exposure to COVID-19. If you don’t know when you were exposed (for example, you received a COVID Alert notification), you should isolate for 14 days from the date you were swabbed.

    What if I tested negative for COVID-19?

    If you tested negative for COVID-19 you can return to normal activities after your symptoms have been improving for 24 hours.

    If you are returning from international travel or are a confirmed contact of someone who tested positive for COVID-19 and you test negative, you still must self-isolate for 14 days and be symptom-free before resuming your regular activities.

    What if I didn’t get tested for COVID-19?

    If you did not get tested for COVID-19 you are considered recovered and can resume your regular activities 10 days after your symptoms began if you have no fever and your symptoms have been improving for at least 24 hours.

    How do I know if it’s safe to send my child to school?

    Use Ontario’s School and Child Care Screening Tool to help you decide if your child should go to school or child care.

    This screening cannot diagnose your child. If you have medical questions, consult a health care provider or your local public health unit.   Listen to the advice of your local public health unit first, as their advice overrules the advice in this screening.

    Your school board may have a screening checklist. Check your school board for more information about its requirements.

  • What is contact tracing? Why is it important?

    Contact tracing is the process of identifying, educating and monitoring people who have had close contact with someone infected with COVID-19. These people are at greater risk of becoming infected and sharing the virus with others. Public health officials use contact tracing to help people who’ve been in contact with the virus understand their risk and limit further spread of the virus by getting tested and self-isolating.

    Ontario’s doctors recommend that you download the COVID Alert mobile app to protect yourself and your community. You can also keep a personal record of places you have been and people you have been in contact with for the past two weeks.

    The OMA has put together a Contact Tracing Fact Sheet with more information on how you can help stop the spread of COVID-19.

    I tested positive for COVID-19. What information should I have prepared to tell my public health unit?

    If you test positive for COVID-19, your public health department will need to know who you’ve had contact with and your symptoms when you were in contact with these people.

    What if I don’t know the person I had prolonged contact with?

    Note where and when the contact took place, and anything you do know about them. For example, you had a prolonged conversation with a produce worker in your local grocery store. Contact tracers can use the information you do have to trace your contacts.

    Advice from an expert

    Listen to Dr. Chris Mackie, the Medical Officer of Health and CEO for the Middlesex London Health Unit talk about the importance of contact tracing in stopping the spread of COVID-19.

  • How is Ontario going to resume in-person medical care safely?

    Doctors across the province have implemented new protocols to keep you safe.

    • Washing and sterilizing clinic surfaces and equipment multiple times a day
    • Observing strict physical distancing protocols by everyone in the clinic
    • Wearing personal protective equipment to keep everyone safe.

    Wear a mask or face covering if seeing your doctor in person.

  • Can I still see my doctor or a specialist if I have a medical concern?

    Ontario’s doctors and specialists are open for business during the COVID-19 pandemic and are doing everything they can to continue to care for patients.

    If you need health care – including non-COVID care, please call your doctor’s office.

    In addition to in-person care, family doctors and specialists are able to deliver care through virtual means – by phone or video.

    Virtual care helps to keep patients out of waiting rooms where they could be at risk of infecting others or becoming infected themselves.

    Patients can access virtual care two main ways:

    • By calling their primary care doctor or specialist
    • By contacting a virtual care clinic directly, including the province’s Ontario Virtual Care Clinic, which is for patients with non-COVID-19 health concerns. Visit the Ontario Virtual Care Clinic at

    Virtual care visits by phone or video are covered by OHIP. Learn more about what to expect from a virtual visit.

If you have questions regarding medical advice please contact your doctor or other medical provider.

For general information please visit

For the latest on travel information please visit

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If you have questions about COVID-19 in your region, contact your public health unit