General information about COVID-19

About COVID-19

What is COVID-19?

From the World Health Organization: "COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019."

What is the status of the virus?

On March 11th, the World Health Organization (WHO), declared COVID-10 a pandemic. You can find updates on the number of cases in Ontario here:

What does that mean? What is a pandemic?

From the WHO: A pandemic is the worldwide spread of a new disease.

What are the symptoms?

Again, information from the WHO: "The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat, or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don't feel unwell.

Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people who get COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems, or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention."

Staying safe

Prevent COVID-19 Transmission

We all have a role to play in preventing the transmission of COVID19. The Government of Canada has information on:

And, watch this video on proper handwashing technique (shared with us by a Family Council member. Thanks!)

How can I keep myself and loved ones safe?

From the government of Ontario:

Coronaviruses are spread mainly from person to person through close contact, for example, in a household, workplace or health care centre.

There is no vaccine available to protect against the 2019 novel coronavirus.

There are everyday actions that can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses. 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 if you are sick

How can we talk about COVID-19 without panic?

Where can I get more information on COVID-19?

Your loved one's long-term care home will have information for you.

The Ontario government is providing regular updates on COVID-19 here: The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Other trusted sources include:

Additional resources:

Declaration of Emergency

Declaration of emergency - March 17 2020

On March 17th, 2020, the Government of Ontario announced that it is taking decisive action by making an order declaring an emergency under s 7.0.1 (1) the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. Read more in the news release.


Ontario has extended orders currently in force under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act until September 22, 2020, with the following exceptions:

The government will continue to review all orders and will report on order extensions to the newly created Select Committee on Emergency Management Oversight.