The Regional Municipality Of York

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Protect Yourself During COVID-19

You can protect yourself from COVID-19 by observing the following measures:

Wear a mask

Effective Friday, July 17, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., face masks or coverings are mandatory in enclosed public spaces.

Practice physical distancing

Effective Friday, June 12, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., the province will increase the limit on social gatherings from five to 10 people across the province. Continue to practice physical distancing when gathering with individuals outside your immediate household or social circle.

  • Avoid non-essential trips in the community
  • Work from home where possible
  • Limit trips to the grocery store to once per week and limit the number of people you go with
  • Maintain at least 2-metres distance between yourself and others (outside of your immediate household)
  • Keep children away from group settings, including play dates
  • When going outside for a walk, bike ride, or to play, keep a 2-metre distance between yourself and others
  • Continue with essential medical appointments
  • If you cannot maintain physical distancing between yourself and others, you should wear a 2-layer non-medical mask or face covering

Social Circles

The Government of Ontario has encouraged Ontarians to establish “social circles” of no more than 10 people. Each circle will be able to come into close contact with one another, without having to worry about physical distancing.

Establishing social circles will help to ease the burden of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated health measures on York Region residents while minimizing the risk of virus transmission.  Social circles will help:

  • Support mental health and well-being and reduce social isolation
  • Provide options for individuals and families that may need to receive additional support from people outside their household   this includes child care and elder care
  • Provide guidance on how to expand social contact while still reducing risk
  • Facilitate rapid contact tracing by limiting the number of close contacts

The government of Ontario has provided five simple steps to create a social circle. 

Social circles are different than normal social gatherings. While social circles can disregard usual physical distancing practices, the same can’t be said for social gatherings.

If you are having a gathering with people outside of your social circle, it is important to practice proper hand hygiene, maintain physical distancing of 2-metres and to wear a 2-layer face covering if physical distancing is difficult. 

Individuals at a higher risk may wish to limit the size of their social circle, limit the amount of interaction or not participate at all.

Anyone feeling ill should immediately limit their contact with anyone in their circle and immediately seek assessment.

Practice good hand hygiene and respiratory (e.g., coughing and sneezing) etiquette

  • Wash your hands thoroughly and often with soap and water for 20 seconds or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Sneeze and cough into your sleeve or a tissue and wash your hands afterwards
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth

Clean high-touch surfaces often

  • Increase cleaning and disinfection of high-touch surfaces like toys, phones, television remotes, toilets, sink tap handles, doorknobs and countertops using regular household cleaners
  • Avoid sharing toothbrushes, eating utensils, drinks, water bottles and towels

If you are over 70 years of age or immunocompromised

Individuals 70 years of age and older or who are immunocompromised are at higher risk of severe illness if they get COVID-19. The Ministry recommends these individuals talk with their doctor about self-isolating, reducing their time outside their home, wearing a face covering or mask and keeping distance from others as much as possible.

If you have returned from international travel, including the United States

Self-isolate for 14 days. Stay home and only leave your house if you need urgent medical attention. This means go straight home, do not stop for groceries and avoid close contact with others, even in your home.

This is a mandatory order from the Government of Canada. The Government of Canada has amended the emergency order under the Quarantine Act to mandate all who arrive in Canada by land sea or air, whether or not they have symptoms, to self-isolate or quarantine for 14 days. Returning travellers must demonstrate that they have an appropriate self-isolation plan with access to food and medication. People without an appropriate plan will have to self-isolate in a location selected by the Chief Public Health Officer, such as a hotel room, until their quarantine period is over. For more information, visit Government of Canada COVID-19.

If you have returned from travel, you may have been exposed to COVID-19 by airplane, cruise ship or train (any public conveyance). Being aware of the risk can help you take the necessary steps to protect your health and the health of others around you. Please visit Government of Canada for locations where you may have been exposed to COVID-19.

If you have returned from travel and you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, have been exposed to a close contact with COVID-19, or are concerned about your own health, please visit Symptoms, Transmission, Treatment, and Testing to learn about next steps.

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer and Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health have advised against all non-essential travel. Visit for the latest travel advice.

Related Resources

covid-19,physical distancing,hand hygiene,self-isolate,face masks The Regional Municipality of York en-US Protect Yourself During COVID-19 Help stop the spread. COVID-19 can be deadly. Find out what steps you can take to help stop the spread.

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