Protecting Yourself and Your Family

The Eastern Ontario Health Unit is recommending that all residents of the region practise physical (social) distancing and stay home as much as possible.

In addition:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Sneeze and cough into your elbow or a tissue, not your hand.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth unless you have just cleaned your hands.
  • Stay/work at home as much as possible and avoid non-essential outings. Every time you leave your home, you increase your risk of getting or spreading COVID-19.
  • Order your groceries or other necessities online if possible.
  • If you must go out to shop for essentials: limit trips to once a week or less, avoid going to multiple stores, and follow recommendations for safe shopping.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick, and stay home if you are sick.
  • If you are over the age of 70, or have a medical condition or compromised immune system, it is strongly recommended that you self-isolate.
  • Check in on family, friends and neighbours by phone or online.
  • If you go outdoors for a walk or other physical activity, or to walk your pet:   
    • You can walk or exercise alongside other members of your home (e.g. spouse, children), as long as they are allowed to leave the home (see above).
    • Avoid crowds and always practise physical (social) distancing by keeping at least 2 metres distance from other people at all times, unless you are walking with someone that you live with.
    • Solo physical activities such as jogging or cycling are fine, however do not engage in physical activities that involve other people who do not live with you (e.g. group sports), as these activities can easily spread germs between participants.
    • While you are out, avoid touching handrails or other commonly touched surfaces
    • Remember to practise hand hygiene and sneeze or cough into your sleeve or a tissue.
    • Wash your hands as soon as you get home.
  • If you live in an apartment, you should take precautions if you go outdoors:
    • Wear a face covering when in common areas of the apartment buildings, such as lobbies, hallways, elevators, stairwells, laundry rooms and public bathrooms.
    • Avoid or minimize contact with commonly touched surfaces such as doorknobs, handrails, and elevator buttons. Use hand sanitizer after touching surfaces such as these while you are out.
    • Avoid using elevators if possible; if you do use an elevator, try to keep as large a distance as possible between you and any other people using the elevator. Do not enter the elevator if it is crowded.
    • When you return home, make sure to wash your hands with soap and water right away and remove mask safely.
  • Continue to take precautions as we progress through stage 3 of reopening the economy:
    • After months of being in isolation, we are all starting to experience “pandemic fatigue” and want things to return to normal.
    • However, the pandemic isn’t over yet and now is not the time to let your guard down.
    • Continue to take the infection prevention measures recommended by public health, such as wearing a mask in enclosed public spaces, maintaining a distance of 2 metres (6 feet) from others in public, and washing your hands often.
    • As a growing number of establishments open their doors, people are starting to go out more. Take the time to assess the level of risk associated with various activities. Make an informed decision about whether or not to participate in an activity based on the level of risk.
    • Do you need help assessing which activities are considered low risk, medium risk and high risk during the pandemic? Consult the Government of Canada’s “Going out? Do it safely!” document to learn more.
    • If you don’t feel comfortable enough to head out and participate in more activities, that’s a perfectly normal feeling. Give yourself the time you need to feel comfortable participating in the same activities you did before the pandemic began.
    • Remember these four elements for choosing lower risk activities during COVID-19:

      • Shorter amount of TIME = lower risk

      • More SPACE around you = lower risk

      • Fewer PEOPLE = lower risk

      • Outdoor, no touching PLACE = lower risk

Related information:

If You Have Symptoms of COVID-19

Physical (Social) Distancing

Face Coverings and Face Masks

Self-Monitoring, Self-Isolation and Isolation Instructions for COVID-19

How to care for someone with COVID-19

Mental Health During COVID-19

School During COVID-19: Information for Parents and Students

Eastern Ontatio Health Unit / Bureau de santé de l'Ontario