State of emergency: COVID-19 in Niagara

Risk and Symptoms of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).

The new (novel) coronavirus is a new virus in this family which we have not previously seen.

Across the globe, we're seeing 80 per cent of cases having mild to moderate illness. Elderly people and those with underlying medical conditions are often experiencing more severe illness.

Currently, there is no vaccine that protects against coronaviruses in humans.


If you think you have Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms, use this COVID-19 self-assessment to help determine how to seek further care.

If you took the assessment before March 27, you must take it again. Updates include more specific instructions for people who have returned to Canada in the past month or have higher risks associated with getting COVID-19.

Common signs of infection include:

  • Fever and /or
  • New cough or a cough that is getting worse

Other symptoms can include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Sore throat
  • A runny or congested nose (not allergies)

Other non-specific symptoms are:

  • Muscle aches
  • Fatigue (feeling weak, tired, exhausted)
  • Headache
  • Severe chest pain
  • Having a very hard time waking up
  • Feeling confused
  • Lost consciousness

Non-specific symptoms for young children may include:

  • Lethargy (feeling sluggish, tired, exhausted)
  • Poor feeding

If you have any of the above symptoms, self-isolate and contact your health care professional or call our COVID-19 Info-Line to speak with a nurse. Those that require testing and meet the testing criteria will be prioritized.

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