COVID-19 (2019 Novel Coronavirus)

Living With COVID-19

Assess The Risk and Find Your Balance

Even as provincial regulations are lifted, the COVID-19 virus is still present in our community and globally. Public Health measures continue to reduce the spread and help protect the most vulnerable. This is a significant time of transition for everyone, please be kind to yourself and one another as we all find our balance, navigate personal risks, choose ongoing protective measures, and re-establish routines and activities. Consider:

  • Each individual will have a different perception of risk. Start an open conversation to talk about those needs and understand the risks of others.
  • Approach risk from your comfort level and the impact it may have on others.
  • Protecting the most vulnerable is very important.

The following links provide more information on what you can do to help protect yourself and others:

ALWAYS

  • Get Vaccinated
  • Stay Home When Sick
  • Practice Good Hand Hygiene and Respiratory Etiquette
  • Follow Federal Travel Guidance 

WHEN POSSIBLE

  • Wear a Mask
  • Gather Outdoors or in Well Ventilated Spaces
  • Practice Physical Distancing
  • Avoid Large Gatherings

Get Vaccinated

A complete vaccine series is the best defence against getting and spreading COVID-19. Vaccination for COVID-19 reduces the severity of the disease and helps limit the impact on the healthcare system. If more people are able to cope and stay home with less severity of the illness, it allows hospitals to care for the very sick.

Learn more about getting the COVID-19 vaccine

Stay Home When Sick

Your health and the health of others around you is important. If you feel sick or unwell, stay home and continue to monitor your symptoms. If you are in distress call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest Emergency Department.

Hand Hygiene & Respiratory Etiquette

Good hand hygiene is important to stop the spread of germs. We frequently touch surfaces and move from one point to the next. Hand washing or the use of hand sanitizer limits the spread by breaking the chain of transmission.

Wear a Mask 

A face mask can provide some protection when a person is in:

  • Closed spaces
  • Crowded places
  • Close contact settings

For more information on the safe use of face masks or covering please refer to: 

Do You Have Symptoms and/or Have Been Exposed?

Questions about COVID-19 testing or guidance for cases and contacts? Contact the Provincial Testing and Isolation Information Line at 1-888-777-0730. The line is available every day from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. or visit www.ontario.ca/exposed at any time.

Individuals with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or who test positive for COVID-19 must follow the below guidance:

See PDF Flowchart – page 12: Management of Cases and Contacts of COVID-19 in Ontario

Individuals who have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19 must follow the below guidance:

Individuals who are a high risk case or contact (work in a highest risk setting), report your exposure to your employer for further direction.

For more information please refer to the provincial guidance documents below: 

If you think you may have COVID-19 or were exposed to the virus, follow these steps to take care of yourself and protect others.

Testing 

Molecular testing for COVID-19 infection has been prioritized for high-risk individuals including, but not limited, to patient-facing healthcare workers; staff, volunteers, residents/inpatients, essential care providers, and visitors in highest risk settings; and household members of staff in highest risk settings and patient-facing health care. Highest risk settings/individuals include: hospitals, Long-Term Care, retirement homes, congregate living settings and health care workers providing care to immunocompromised people. 

Ontarians can get a free rapid testing kit for at-home use through participating pharmacies and grocery locations. Please check the provincial website to find the addresses of participating locations.

For more information about COVID-19 testing locally, please visit our Testing Eligibility webpage. 

School & Child Care Guidance

Do you have a child(ren) that attends school and/or childcare? Complete the COVID-19 School or Child Care Screening if you are unsure if your child should attend.

Frequently Asked Questions

MASKS: Where am I required to wear a mask?

Masks are still required to be worn in certain settings and in certain situations in Ontario. 
 
Settings that require masks include public transit, health care, home and community care, long-term care and retirement homes, and shelters and other congregate care settings. See here for more information. Workplaces or organizations may also have their own policy requiring masks to protect their staff and/or patrons.
 
Masks are also required in all public settings (including schools and workplaces) for individuals in the following situations:
• Persons with COVID-19 who complete 5 day isolation are required to wear a mask in public for the 5 days after the isolation period ends (or 10 days if you are immunocompromised).
• Household or close contacts that are exempt from isolation are required to wear a mask in public for 10 days following their last exposure. 
• Travellers returning to Canada that are exempt from quarantine are required to wear a mask in public for 14 days following entry to Canada. 

This also means avoiding activities where mask removal would be necessary, such as dining out or playing sports.

MASKS: How will mask policies be enforced in Lambton County?

The Reopening Ontario Act (ROA) and its Regulation describes the rules for businesses, organizations, and individuals to follow.

Enforcement begins with education to ensure clear information is shared in order to achieve compliance with the legislation. In Lambton County, the Reopening Ontario Act is enforced by the police and bylaw officers. They use their discretion to issue written warnings and provincial offense notices (tickets).

Visit our Enforcement page for reporting details.

In addition to the ROA, a business or organization may also create their own policies which would be enforced by the owner or manager of that location.

SYMPTOMS: How do you know if a child’s cough is a symptom of COVID-19?

Any respiratory symptoms in children should be assessed. If a child is simply clearing their throat, or has an underlying/pre-existing medical condition which is often accompanied by a cough, this is likely not a respiratory symptom of COVID-19. If a cough is unusual for the child – whether “barking” or mild – it should be considered a potential symptom of COVID-19 and the child should be removed from school to isolate.

ISOLATION: Can my child isolate in multiple households (ex. joint custody, multiple caregivers)

Children who need to self-isolate should try to do so in one location. In the case of multiple parents or caregivers across multiple households, it is recommended that one household is designated to isolate and provide ongoing support and care to the child. However, if there is a custody arrangement in place this must be followed. Any household with a member in isolation due to COVID-19 symptoms or testing positive for COVID-19 need to isolate for the duration of the case’s isolation, unless:
• They have tested positive for COVID-19 in the previous 90 days,
• They are fully vaccinated with a booster dose AND are 18 years of age and older, or
• They are fully vaccinated AND are 17 years of age or younger.

For further guidance when supporting children who need to self-isolate, refer to Public Health Ontario’s How to Care for a Child Who Needs to Self-Isolate or Steps to Justice’s FAQ.

ISOLATION: Can parents/guardians go to work? Can siblings go to school/daycare?

All household members of an individual who is sick with COVID-19 symptoms or has tested positive need to self-isolate away from the individual (where possible) for the duration of the ill individual’s isolation, unless:
• You have tested positive for COVID-19 in the previous 90 days,
• You are fully vaccinated with a booster dose AND are 18 years of age and older, or
• You are fully vaccinated AND are 17 years of age or younger.

If a household member is considered a close contact, they should self-monitor for 10 days following exposure and immediately self-isolate if they develop symptoms (5 days if fully vaccinated or under the age of 12, 10 days if not fully vaccinated over the age of 12).