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)
- 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)
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.
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
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.
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.
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:
- over the phone
- from friends, family or neighbours
Your roommates or family you live with should self-isolate too, if they can.
- 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
- 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.
The self-assessment is only meant as an aid and cannot diagnose you. Consult a health care provider if you have medical questions.