COVID-19 - As Ontario reopens, learn about public health and workplace safety measures. Learn about the COVID-19 vaccination and service disruptions.

Prevent the Spread of COVID-19

To prevent the spread of infectious diseases and keep healthy, follow these steps.

  • Stay home if you're sick. If you think you have symptoms, contact your health care provider for an assessment and / or referral for testing or the Niagara Health COVID-19 assessment centre to book an appointment.
  • Clean your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds or hand sanitize and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or into your sleeve. Throw used tissues into a covered, plastic lined garbage can and clean your hands.
  • Practise physical distancing by staying at least two metres away from others
  • Avoid sharing personal items, especially those that come into contact with saliva, such as toothbrushes and eating utensils
  • Clean and disinfect high touch surfaces regularly using a disinfectant and following manufacturer’s instructions

COVID-19 vaccination

Get your COVID-19 vaccination. Learn about vaccinations, including how to book your appointment and what you need to know before going to your appointment.

Face coverings

Face coverings help slow the spread of COVID-19 and are required:

  • In enclosed public places
  • Where physical distancing is a challenge
Learn about face coverings.

Physical Distancing

Physical distancing means avoiding close contact with others to prevent the spread of COVID-19. To practise physical distancing:

Avoid non-essential trips in the community
Limit, postpone or cancel gatherings
Work from home, where possible
Conduct meetings virtually
Keep kids away from group settings
Avoid visits to long-term care homes and other care settings
Stay two metres away from others when going for walks or shopping for groceries

Cleaning and disinfecting

  • Households
    • Clean and disinfect high touch surfaces at least twice daily, and more often if visibly soiled
    • High touch surfaces can include toilet handles, sink tap handles, doorknobs, light switches, electronics (cell phones, tablets, iPads, head sets, gaming devices, remotes) and bedside tables should be cleaned and disinfected at least twice daily, and more often if visibly soiled
    • Place contaminated items that can't be cleaned in a lined container; secure the contents and dispose of them with other household waste
    • Put the lid of the toilet down before flushing
    • Use a product that states it’s a disinfectant and follow manufacturer’s instructions
  • Public settings

    Public settings include child care facilities, schools, universities, colleges, retirement facilities, transit and workplaces.

    Based on Public Health Ontario’s recommendations for cleaning and disinfection for public settings:

    • High touch surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected at least twice daily and when potential contamination has occurred or the surfaces are visibly soiled
    • High touch surfaces can include doorknobs, elevator buttons, light switches, toilet handles, counters, hand rails, touch screen surfaces and keypads
    • Environmental disinfectants should be classed as a hospital grade disinfectant and registered in Canada with a drug identification number and labelled as effective for both enveloped and non-enveloped viruses. A drug identification number confirms the product is approved for use in Canada. See disinfectants with evidence for use against COVID-19.
    • Follow manufacturer’s instructions for use of the disinfectant including contact time, expiration date, use of personal protective equipment and pre-cleaning requirements
    • Commonly used disinfectants are effective against COVID-19 but it's extremely important that the user pays attention to contact times to understand how long the product must stay wet on the surface in order to meet the kill claims

    Download and print COVID-19 Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection for Public Settings Fact Sheet.

  • Healthcare settings

    Healthcare setting include hospitals, health care professional offices and long-term care facilities.

    • Clean and disinfect all equipment and surfaces in contact with the patient or potentially contaminated with bodily fluids (such as from coughing / sneezing) between each patient
    • High touch surfaces / equipment should be cleaned and disinfected at least twice daily and when potential contamination has occurred or the surfaces are visibly soiled
    • Environmental disinfectants should be classed as a hospital grade disinfectant and registered in Canada with a drug identification number and labelled as effective for both enveloped and non-enveloped viruses. A drug identification number confirms the product is approved for use in Canada. See disinfectants with evidence for use against COVID-19.
    • Follow manufacturer’s instructions for use of the disinfectant including contact time, expiration date, use of personal protective equipment and pre-cleaning requirements
    • Commonly used disinfectants are effective against COVID-19 but it's extremely important that the user pays attention to contact times to understand how long the product must stay wet on the surface in order to meet the kill claims
    • Equipment covered by a barrier is to be removed and discarded between patients; if equipment is contaminated, clean and disinfect prior to replacing a new barrier on the equipment
    • Items that cannot be easily cleaned and disinfected should be removed, such as magazines and plush toys
  • Select products

    Cleaners

    • Break down grease and remove organic material from the surface
    • Used separately before using disinfectants
    • Can be purchased with cleaner and disinfectant combined in a single product

    Disinfectants

    • Have chemicals that kill most germs
    • Applied after the surfaces have been cleaned
    • Have a drug identification number

    Disinfectant wipes

    • Have combined cleaners and disinfectants in one solution
    • May become dry due to fast drying properties. Should be discarded if they become dry.
    • Not recommended for heavily soiled surfaces
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