PROVINCE OF ONTARIO

Symptoms and Information

(Source: Province of Ontario https://www.ontario.ca/page/covid-19-stop-spread#section-0)

Symptoms of COVID-19, which is the disease caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus, range from mild — like the flu and other common respiratory infections — to severe.

Call 911 if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • severe difficulty breathing (struggling for each breath, can only speak in single words)
  • severe chest pain (constant tightness or crushing sensation)
  • feeling confused or unsure of where you are
  • losing consciousness

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • fever (feeling hot to the touch, a temperature of 37.8 degrees Celsius or higher)
  • chills
  • cough that’s new or worsening (continuous, more than usual)
  • barking cough, making a whistling noise when breathing (croup)
  • shortness of breath (out of breath, unable to breathe deeply)
  • sore throat
  • difficulty swallowing
  • runny, stuffy or congested nose (not related to seasonal allergies or other known causes or conditions)
  • lost sense of taste or smell
  • pink eye (conjunctivitis)
  • headache that’s unusual or long lasting
  • digestive issues (nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain)
  • muscle aches
  • extreme tiredness that is unusual (fatigue, lack of energy)
  • falling down often
  • for young children and infants: sluggishness or lack of appetite

Complications from COVID-19 can include serious conditions, like pneumonia or kidney failure and, in some cases, death.

There is no specific treatment for COVID-19, and there is no vaccine that protects against the coronavirus that causes it. The majority of COVID-19 cases are mild and most people who get it will recover on their own. Typical treatment for common coronaviruses includes:

  • drinking plenty of fluids
  • getting as much rest and sleep as possible
  • using a humidifier or taking a hot shower to help with a sore throat or cough

If you begin to feel symptoms of Covid-19 you should:

  • go to a testing centre to get tested
  • stay home and self-isolate unless you are going to the assessment centre
  • tell people you were in close physical contact with in the 48 hours before your symptoms began to monitor their health and to self-isolate

Only call 911 if it is an emergency.

Some groups are at higher risk of getting COVID-19. You may be in an at-risk group if you:

  • are 70 years old or older
  • are getting treatment that compromises (weakens) your immune system (for example, chemotherapy, medication for transplants, corticosteroids, TNF inhibitors)
  • have a condition that compromises (weakens) your immune system (for example, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, other autoimmune disorder)
  • have a chronic (long-lasting) health condition (for example, diabetes, emphysema, asthma, heart condition)
  • regularly go to a hospital or health care setting for a treatment (for example, dialysis, surgery, cancer treatment)

What you need to do

COVID-19 is spread mainly from person to person through close physical contact.

Close physical contact means:

  • being less than 2 metres away in the same room, workspace, or area
  • living in the same home

There is no vaccine available to protect against COVID-19, but there are things you should do to help prevent it from spreading.

Everyday actions

Take these everyday steps to reduce exposure to the virus and protect your health:

  • wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • sneeze and cough into your sleeve
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
  • avoid contact with people who are sick
  • stay home and self isolate if you are sick

Physical distancing

Everyone in Ontario should practice physical distancing to reduce their exposure to other people — this means you should:

  • stay home as much as possible – go grocery shopping once a week or less, only visit pharmacies and banks when necessary and place orders over the phone or online
  • staying at least two metres away from anyone you do not live with

If you think you’ve been exposed to COVID-19

If you believe you have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19, you should go to an assessment centre to get tested.

Other than going to the assessment centre, you should stay at home and self-isolate for at least 14 days. You could be carrying the virus without knowing it.

Face coverings and face masks

The best way to stop the spread of COVID-19 is by staying home and avoiding close contact with others outside of your household.

It is recommended that you use a face covering (non-medical mask such as a cloth mask) to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 when physical distancing and keeping two-metres’ distance from others may be challenging or not possible.

How to self-isolate

Self-isolating means staying at home and avoiding contact with other people to help prevent the spread of disease.

You should self-isolate if you:

  • are in an at risk group
  • think you have symptoms of COVID-19
  • think you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or who has recently returned from travel

This means that you should only leave your home or see other people for critical reasons (like a medical emergency). Where possible, you should try to get what you need:

  • online
  • over the phone
  • from friends, family or neighbours

Your roommates or family you live with should self-isolate too, if they can.

Stay home

  • do not use public transportation, taxis or rideshares
  • do not go to work, school or other public places
  • your health care provider will tell you when it is safe to leave

Limit the number of visitors in your home

  • only have visitors who you must see (for example, for medical reasons or to drop of groceries) – do not invite people over to socialize
  • keep necessary visits short
  • do not visit with people who are in at risk groups

Avoid contact with others

  • stay in a separate room, away from other people in your home, as much as possible
  • use a separate bathroom if you have one
  • make sure that shared rooms have good airflow (for example, open windows)
  • keep a distance of at least 6 feet (2 metres) in shared spaces

Wear a mask

  • wear a face covering or mask when you:
    • leave your house to see a health care provider
    • are within two metres of other people or where it may be difficult to maintain physical distancing (for example, in a grocery store)
  • make sure you properly wear, fit, remove and clean your face covering or mask

Keep distance

  • if you are in a room with other people, stay at least two metres away from each other and wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth
  • if you cannot wear a mask, other people should wear a mask when they are in the same room as you

Cover your coughs and sneezes

  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
  • if you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hand
  • throw used tissues in a wastebasket that’s lined with a plastic bag
    • the plastic bag makes it safer and easier to empty the wastebasket
    • after emptying the wastebasket, wash your hands

Wash your hands

  • wash your hands often with soap and water
  • dry your hands with a paper towel, or with your own cloth towel that no one else shares
  • use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available

Read the Government of Canada’s guidance on how to self-isolate if you have:

If you are experiencing symptoms, have been exposed or would like to be tested please visit a testing centre. There is no cost to be tested.

FIND A TESTING CENTRE

The self-assessment is only meant as an aid and cannot diagnose you. Consult a health care provider if you have medical questions.

COVID-19 SELF ASSESSMENT