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 May 23, 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 Please let our Community Outreach Worker ( know if you find certain information on this section is significantly outdated.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. Limited Access to Licensed Retirement Homes (Mar 18)
  4. 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 and School (except Financial Support)


*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),
  • wear a mask or face covering, and
  • take physical distance at all times.

While staying at your place of isolation for 14 days;

  • Not going out except to receive medical service
  • Necessities to be delivered
  • Limit contact with people in the place; avoid having visitors
  • Even with no symptoms, do not go to school, work, or public places.
  • If you have or develop symptoms, immediately isolate yourself from others, and contact local public health.

If you need financial help to return to Canada, check COVID-19: Financial help for Canadians outside Canada

Contact:1-833-784-4397 /


(2) Ontario Ministry of Health

!! Ontario allowing certain types of businesses to open on Mon, May 4, including garden center (pickup/delivery only), auto dealerships (appointment only), and lawn care & landscaping services. See the list of the corresponding businesses. The list has extended for certain types of business to open on May 9 & 11 and, May 14.

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)

As a result, the following establishments are legally required to close immediately:

  • 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.

3. Limited Access to Licensed Retirement Homes (Mar 18)

The Chief Medical Officer of Health “has recommended that licensed retirement homes only allow essential visitors—people visiting residents who are very ill or require end-of-life care—until further notice. It is recommended that no other visitors should be permitted to enter these premises. Instead, they should be asked to keep in touch with loved ones by phone or other technologies, as available.”

4.  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 hands frequently with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer. *Read the link above for more details.


(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)
  • provincial orders banning organized social gathering of more than 5 people
  • bans on using closed playgrounds and other parks amenities
  • the closure orders on non-essential businesses that remain open

Fines for violating a provincial order can range from $750 to $100,000, including up to one year in jail.

3.  Diagnosis and Assessment Centres

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.


(4) Ontario Government 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: May 14)

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: May 9)

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 and School (except Financial Support)

3-a. School / Childcare Closure Extension - until this school year ends (newest: May 19)

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)

3-b. Online Schooling (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)



**Go to the COVID-19: