COVID-19 Basic Information (Government Issued)

Summary Information on COVID-19

*If you are having difficulty breathing or experiencing other severe symptoms, call 911 immediately. Advise them of your symptoms and travel history.

The resources in this section are the summary of the information from the governments, and valid as of July 13, 2020. For other community resources around COVID-19, click here.

The situation and recommendations around COVID-19 can change very frequently, sometimes within one day. We try our best to stay up to date, however, we appreciate your understanding towards our limited capacity. Please let our Community Outreach Worker ( know if you find certain information on this section is significantly outdated.


COVID-19:Government Sources


(1) Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC)

  1. Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)
  2. Increased risk of more severe outcomes for canadians
  3. How COVID-19 spreads / prevention
  4. Travel Advice

(2) Ontario Ministry of Health

  1. COVID-19 self-assessment and lab result
  2. Declaration of Emergency to Protect the Public (March 17)
  3. When and How to Wear a Mask

(3) Toronto Public Health

  1. COVID-19: Health Advice
  2. COVID-19 Law Enforcement
  3. Diagnosis and Assessment Centres

(4) Government of Ontario: News Release

  1. Business Restrictions and Re-opening
  2. New Regulations around Safety and Workplace
  3. Family, School and Social Safety Rules


*Go to this link for the government economic support

Contents :

(1) Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC)

1.  Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

World Health Organization (WHO)  announced of its pandemic on March 11, 2020. In Canada, there was the first case of death related to COVID-19.

To read more details, go to PHAC: COVID-19 Outbreak Update.

2.  Increased risk of more severe outcomes for Canadians

  • aged 65 and over
  • with compromised immune systems
  • with underlying medical conditions

The risks for COVID-19 may be increased for certain settings such as:

  • Cruise ships
  • Crowded areas (e.g. public transit, shopping)
  • Gatherings (e.g. spiritual and cultural settings, theatres, sports arenas, festivals and conferences)

3.  How COVID-19 spreads / Prevention

The government recommends physical distancing and practicing proper hygiene. This section also talks about if people should or should not wear masks.

*Current evidence suggests person-to-person spread is efficient when there is close contact. At this time, there is
no vaccine for COVID-19 or any natural health products that are authorized to treat or protect against COVID-19.


4.  Travel Advice

  • ”Level 3: Avoid non-essential travel outside Canada until further notice.”
  • “Avoid all travel on cruise ships”
  • Air travellers are required to undergo a health check prior to boarding. If COVID-19 symptoms are observed, the air operator will be required to refuse to board the person for travel for a period of 14 days or until a medical certificate (proof of non-COVID-19) is presented.
  • If you feel sick during your flight or upon arrival, you must inform the flight attendant or a Canada Boarder Services Agent.

Wearing non-medical masks or face coverings (as of April 20, 2020)

Wearing non-medical masks or fave coverings

  • Air travellers: Asked to wear. At Canadian airport checkpoints, individuals who can’t demonstrate having mask or face covering will not be allowed to continue on their journey.
  • Marine travellers: Encouraged to wear whenever possible. Individuals who do not comply where physical distancing is not possible, may be denied of boarding.
  • Rail or motor carrier/bus travellers: Strongly encouraged to wear. Individuals may be asked to wear when physical distancing is not possible.

Mandatory self-isolation for 14 days upon arrival to Canada

Every traveller will need to confirm of a suitable place to isolate themselves with access to basic necessities (e.g. food, medication), in which, travellers are expected to arrange for themselves. If such arrangement is not possible, they must go to a designated place by Public Health of Canada.

Go immediately to your place of isolation where you won’t be in contact with vulnerable people (e.g. older adults, individuals with underlying medical conditions). On your way there;

  • use private transportation only (e.g. personal vehicle) if you have symptoms,
  • wear a non-medical mask or face covering, and
  • take physical distance at all times.

While staying at your place of isolation for 14 days;

  • If you have symptoms:
    • Stay inside and do not leave for 14 days unless it is to seek medical attention
    • Stay in a separate room and use a separate bathroom from others, if possible
    • Limit contact with others in the place of isolation, including children
    • Contact local public health and receive instruction, if your symptoms get worsen
  • Stay in a private place like your yard or balcony if you go outside for fresh air
  • Do not have/allow visitors
  • Arrange all necessities to be delivered to you
  • Limit contact with people in the place of isolation
  • Even with no symptoms, do not go to school, work, or public places.
  • If you develop symptoms during isolation, extend your quarantine to 14 days following the appearance of symptoms

If you need financial help to return to Canada, check COVID-19: Financial help for Canadians outside Canada
Contact:1-833-784-4397 /

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(2) Ontario Ministry of Health

Ontario (except certain areas) has entered the Stage 2 of its reopening plan, that allows certain businesses to operate with conditions. (Click this link for more details about Reopening Ontario)

The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Ontario Government  *Japanese version

1.  COVID-19 Self-assessment
(click “Start self-assessment”) and lab result

!! Severe Symptoms – If you are having difficulty breathing or experiencing other severe symptoms, call 911 immediately. Advice them of your symptoms and travel history.

2.  Declaration of Emergency to Protect the Public
(March 17)

Newest date of extension: July 9 (extended to July 22)

As a result, the following establishments were legally required to close immediately in March:

  • All facilities providing indoor recreational programs
  • All public libraries, private schools (as defined in the Education Act)
  • All licensed child care centres
  • All bars and restaurants, except to the extent that such facilities provide takeout food and delivery
  • All theatres including those offering live performance of music, dance, and other art forms, as well as cinemas that show movies
  • All concert venues
  • communal or shared, public or private, outdoor recreational amenities including but not limited to:
    • playgrounds, sports fields, basketball and tennis courts
    • off-leash dog parks
    • beaches
    • skateboard and BMX parks
    • picnic areas, park shelters
    • outdoor community gardens
    • outdoor exercise equipment
    • condo parks and gardens
    • other outdoor recreational amenities

Also, all organized public events of over 5 people are prohibited, including parades and events (including weddings, social gatherings and communal services within place of worship).

This order would not apply to private households with 5 people or more, as well as operating child care centres for frontline health care workers (does not exceed 50 people). Funerals would be permitted to proceed with up to 10 people at one time.

This order will be re-assessed for an extension or end the closures.

**For the re-opening conditions, please see  (4) Ontario Government News Release, located at below this page.


3.  When and How to Wear Mask (Public Health Ontario)

Wearing a mask can help to prevent the spread of some respiratory illness, but it can also become a source of infection if not worn or discarded properly. If you need to wear a mask, you should also be sure to clean your <a
hands frequently with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer. *Read the link above for more details.

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(3) Toronto Public Health (TPH)

1.  COVID-19: Health Advice

If you think you have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, you must isolate yourself from others. If you have symptoms, find out from here:

  • if you should / should NOT visit an assessment centre,
  • where the nearest assessment centre is, or
  • if you should go to your nearest emergency department

If you’re having difficulty breathing or experiencing other severe symptoms, call 911.

More new COVID-19 cases arise daily, and there has been an evidence of community spread. Best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed. Stay home except for the following reasons:

  • Accessing healthcare or medication;
  • Shop for groceries once per week;
  • Walk their dogs; and,
  • Get daily exercise while maintaining physical distancing of at least 2 meters.
  • Anyone over the age of 70 is strongly encouraged to stay home as much as possible

Printable information cards and posters are found here.


2.  COVID-19 Law Enforcement

A COVID-19 Enforcement Team will enforce:

  • The physical distancing by-law (take 2m distance between you and a person who is not from the same household)
  • bans on using closed playgrounds and other parks amenities
  • Mandatory Mask or Face Covering Bylaw, July 7 – Oct 1, 2020 (possibility of extension). *Exception: certain businesses/spaces, child under age 2, individuals with certain disability and/or physical/mental health conditions (see the link for more details).

There are fines (including incarceration) for violation of a provincial order or municipal by-law.

3.  Diagnosis and Assessment Centres

**”Who should visit an Assessment Centre” has been changed in late-May and the assessment is available to wider range of individuals. See the above link for more details.

    • Toronto Public Health (TPH) is NOT an assessment centre and testing is not provided at TPH offices.
    • OHIP coverage is not required to be seen at a COVID-19 Assessment Centre. The assessment is provided at no cost to the individual.

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(4) Government of Ontario: News Release

The ones here are related to restrictions and new regulations COVID-19 (e.g. safety, business closure/re-opening). Due to limited space, we recommend you to read whole release of each summary by clicking each link.

  • Click here (other resource page) for COVID-19 related financial support and other support for business/worker.
  • Click here for the whole list of News Release by Ontario Government.

1.  News related to Business restrictions and re-opening

1-a. Business Reopening (newest: July 13)

July 13:The Stage 3 of Ontario’s reopening framework will allow nearly all businesses and public spaces to reopen. Moving to Stage 3 will start to be considered based on the regional data in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health expert. As part of the Stage 3, gathering limits will be increased to max 50 for indoor and 100 for outdoor, which are subject to physical distancing requirements. Social circles of max 10 people, at this point will be maintained, province-wide, regardless of stage.

On the other hand, the experts have advised the following high-risk places and activities are not yet safe to open even with Stage 3; amusement parks, water parks, buffet-style food services, dancing at restaurants and bars (except performers hired by the establishment with specific requirements), overnight stays at camps for children, private karaoke rooms, prolonged/deliberate contact while playing sports, saunas, steam rooms, bath houses, oxygen bars, table games at casinos and gaming establishments. (source)

Jun 24: Reopening Windsor-Essex into Stage 2 from Jun 25, with exceptions to Leamington and Town of Kingsville, due to higher transmission rates in the local agriculture and agri-food sector. (source)

Jun 22: Toronto & Peel Region moving into Stage 2, due to positive trend of key local public health indicators (e.g. lower transmission, ongoing hospital capacity, public health capacity to do rapid case and contact management, a significant increase in testing. (source)

Jun 15: Following areas in Ontario can be reopen based on the Stage 2: Durham Region, Haldimand-Norfolk, Halton Region, Lambton, Niagara Region, York Region. Toronto, Peel, and Windsor-Essex County will remain at the Stage 1. (source)

Jun 13: Ontario eases restrictions on Wedding and Funeral ceremonies to max of 30% capacity for indoors, 50% for outdoors of the venue, from Jun 12, based on positive public health trends. (source)

Jun 11: From Jun 18, Long-term care homes are allowed to have outdoor visit of one person per resident each week. Retirement homes will resume in/outdoor visits in designated areas or resident suits. Other residential care settings will be able to allow outdoor visits of two people at time. All visitors have to maintain physical distancing. The facilities must meet the requirement before opening its door. (source)

May 14:  On May 16 – golf courses, marinas, private parks & campgrounds (for prep), animal-related businesses; On May 19 – certain retail services, certain seasonal businesses, pet care and veterinary appointments, in/outdoor household services, certain health & medical services (e.g. in-person service, scheduled surgeries). See the link for more details and each condition. (source)

May 6:  On May 9, hardware stores and safety supply stores will be permitted to open for in-store payment and purchases. On May 11, retail stores with a street entrance can begin offering curbside pickup and delivery. (source)

May 1:  Certain businesses allowed to reopen under strict guidelines. From May 4, certain business including garden center (pickup/delivery only), auto dealership (appointment only), and lawn care and landscaping. See the link for its full list. (source)

Mar 25 (extended until May 12): Ontario government originally ordered non-essential workplaces to shut down. The order may be extended after, depending on the situation. * List of “essential businesses”

1-b. Ontario Parks (newest: Jun 10)

Jun 10: Beginning on June 12, Ontario Parks will start GRADUALLY opening campgrounds (partially on Jun 15), providing more washrooms and drinking water, along with roofed accommodations, park store and rental operations, visitor centres, and sports fields. Some facilities will remain closed for the rest of the 2020 season. Check what facilities and services are available before visiting. (source)

May 30:  Starting June 1, backcountry camping (incl. access points, paddle and portage routes and hiking trails), picnicking and off-leash pet areas will become available at Ontario Parks. The closure of all other overnight camping and some day-use activities at Ontario Parks and conservation reserves has been extended to June 14 and continue to be reassessed. (source)

May 9:  Opening Ontario Parks and conservation reserves. Day-use access for limited recreational activities permitted while maintaining physical distancing. The first area opens on May 11, with the remaining areas open on May 15. Visit park website to see the status. (source)

Apr 25:  Ontario Parks to remain closed until May 31, 2020. This includes car / backcountry camping, roofed accommodations, day use opportunities, access points and public buildings. (source)

Mar 19:  Update on Ontario Parks operations in response to COVID-19: All provincial parks are closed between Mar 19 and Apr 30. (source)

2.  News related to New Regulations around Safety and Workplace

2-a. Health and Medical Services (newest: May 7)

May 7:  Ontario releases plan to resume scheduled surgeries and procedures. The framework with clear criteria that must be met before hospitals can resume scheduled surgeries. (source)

2-b. Provincial Programs and Systems (newest: Mar 31)

Mar 31:  Public required to identify themselves if charged with breaching an emergency order during the COVID-19 outbreak. Failing to do so carries a fine of $750 for failure to comply, $1,000 for obstructing any person in exercising a power if an officer issues a ticket. (source)

Mar 30:  Ontario extends emergency declaration to stop the spread of COVID-19. All outdoor recreational amenities across province now closed. See the link for the list of amenities. (source)

Mar 20:  Ontario expands coverage for care – Enhanced health care coverage critical to support efforts to contain COVID-19. (source)

Mar 19: (1) Ontario extending validation periods for driver, vehicle and carrier products, services and health card – New measures and regulations will reduce in-person visits to help contain spread of COVID-19. (source)

(2) Ontario protecting critical front-line justice services in response to COVID-19. (source)

2-c. Safety Regulations (newest: May 20)

May 20: As Ontario business gradually reopens, Ministry of Health released specific recommendation on how to choose, wear and care for appropriate face coverings used in public where physical distancing is not possible, along with additional safety measures. (source)

May 12:  Emergency declaration extended until June 2 while Ontario gradually reopens the economy. (source)

Apr 30:  Ontario providing employers with workplace safety guidelines. More than 60 guidelines (sector-specific) developed for various sectors such as health care, construction, transportation, police services, firefighters and transit employees. Inspection has already begun. (source)

Mar 29:  Ontario measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 on construction sites – emphasizes that the employers must take every reasonable precaution to keep worker safe by following government recommendations, and that workers have the right to refuse unsafe work. (source)

Mar 28:  Gatherings of more than 5 people are prohibited with strict exceptions, except private households with 5 people or more, operating child care centres for frontline health care workers (not exceeding 50 people), and funerals (up to 10 people at one time). Effective immediately. (source)

Mar 18:  Ontario recommended that licensed retirement homes only allow essential visitors (visitors to residents who are very ill or in end-of-life care) until further notice. Other visitors should be asked to keep in touch with loved ones by phone or other technologies, as available. (source)

Mar 16:  Ontario urges social service providers, where feasible, to consider only allowing essential visitors (including legal counsel) until further notice, if alternative options such as teleconference is not available, and to place a screening process according to the assessment checklist. (source)


3.  News related to Family, School and Social Safety Rules

*For searching government financial support, please see this page.

3-a. School Closure until end of this school year, postsecondary / childcare partially reopen (newest: Jun 109)

Jun 19: Ontario released its safety plan for a resumption of class for the 2020-21 school year, requesting the school boards to consider the scenarios. The plan also provides choice to parents, enhanced online learning, and additional funding. The decision to return to the normal school day routine will continue to be based on medical advice. (resource)

Jun 12: Ontario is planning to improve Student Nutrition Program (providing breakfast, snack, lunch at school) to deliver to the families with school-aged children in need. See more details at the program website. (source)

Jun 11: Ontario is lifting the 30-day supply limit for dispensing Ontario Drug Benefit program medications. Effective June 15, the recipients can return to filling up to 100-day supply at a time from their pharmacy or dispensing physician, when appropriate. (source)

Jun 10: Postsecondary education can reopen from July 1, with limited in-person education and training for students who could not graduate due to COVID-19, starting with those in essential, frontline, and high labour market demand areas (e.g. nursing, PSWs, engineering). From September, all students will have the opportunity to attend postsecondary education via virtual, in-person or hybrid formats. It is up to the educational institution to whether participate this process. (source)

Jun 9: Effective immediately, childcare staff can re-enter child care facilities and begin preparation for reopening. When these operators have met all the strict and stringent guidelines for reopening, they will be permitted to reopen. (source)

May 19:  Ontario determined to keep schools closed for the rest of this school year, and is planning for the reopening of schools for the 2020-21 school year, the gradual reopening of child care, and the opening of summer day camps subject to the continuing progress in trends of key public health indicators. (source)

Mar 31:  School / child care closure extension – public schools until May 4; private schools, licensed child care centre, EarlyOn programs until April 13 – all can be extended upon assessment. It also announces second phase of Learn at Home to support continuity of learning for children from Kindergarten to G12. Go to the link to see the focus of this phase. (source)

Mar 20: Province launches first phase of the Learn at Home portal: It offers to practice math and literacy skills for Children between Kindergarten and G12. For students who do not have access to a computer, support to provide the necessary technology is underway. (source)

3-b. Social Safety Rule (Jun 12)

Jun 12: Ontario encourages people to establish a social “circle” of no more than 10 people (including those outside the immediate household) who can interact and come into close contact with one another without physical distancing, says it supports mental health and well-being of Ontarians and help reduce social isolation. See the link for the 5 simple steps to follow. (source)

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**Go to the COVID-19: