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Are you experiencing a cough, sniffles, sore throat or other cold-like symptoms? Respiratory illness season brings a whole variety of symptoms. Experiencing any symptoms that cannot be explained by another condition or diagnosis (usual to you), means you should complete the Ontario screening for COVID-19 and other respiratory symptoms, and follow the guidance this provides. This screening is not just for COVID-19! What symptoms should I look for? What is the current public health guidance? More info can be found here.

We can’t repeat this simple message enough; “Stay home when sick”. What does this actually mean, and what do you need to know? For information about signs and symptoms, screening tools, isolation, vaccination and treatment options, the Government of Ontario website has all of the information you need.

Looking to do a self-assessment for COVID-19 or other respiratory illness? Find the self-assessment tool here.

For General information about assessment, testing and treatment, please visit Health811 – Health811 (

Assessment for Respiratory- Like Symptoms

  • Contact your Primary Care Provider (Family Doctor or Nurse Practitioner) or;
  • An urgent Care clinic (in – person or virtual) or;
  • For urgent health care concerns, your local Emergency Department

Get a rapid antigen tests for at home use

  • The Health Unit no longer has rapid antigen test kits available for COVID-19 for the general public. COVID-19 testing for the general public is no longer recommended. If you work in a high risk setting (ex. long-term care) or you may be eligible to receive anti-viral treatment, please contact your local pharmacy or health care provider.
  • For more information on at home RAT test, visit Rapid testing for at-home use |

Antiviral Treatment of COVID-19

Protecting Yourself from COVID-19 (including Vaccine)

As we have moved away from reliance on provincial direction through mandatory requirements, Directives will be replaced with operational guidance or recommendations from the Chief Medical Officer of Health and relevant ministry. Organizations and businesses can retain their own policies to keep their employees and patrons protected as needed. Individuals can monitor what is happening in the community to determine what to do to protect themselves and their loved ones, and decide when, how and who they will gather with.

Information for Schools

For questions related to COVID-19 symptoms, testing and isolation call 811 or visit

Screen for COVID-19 every day before your child goes to school. Answer the questions in this provincial screening tool to help you decide if your child should or should not go to school today.

Surveillance Reports, Local Cases and Outbreaks

Details about local COVID-19 cases are published on this site on Tuesdays by noon. Check here to read more about Surveillance Reports, Local Cases and Outbreaks.

COVID-19 and Business

Public Health does not follow up with individual cases in most workplaces. You do not need to report symptoms or the result of a Rapid Antigen Test to Public Health. Public Health will follow up with individual cases or the employer only in the highest risk settings:

  • Hospitals (including complex continuing care facilities and paramedic services),
  • Home and community care workers
  • Congregate living settings with medically and socially vulnerable individuals, including, but not limited to, Long-Term Care, retirement homes, First Nation elder care lodges, group homes, shelters, hospices, correctional institutions,
  • Provincial Demonstration Schools and hospital schools.

For more information on case and contact follow up please visit Case and Contact Tracing

You can access guidance on how to manage close contacts in your workplace by visiting

The Ontario Ministry of Health page on workers and their rights has more information for workers

For more information on providing health and safety guidance to protect workers, customers and the public you can visit the Government of Ontario info page:

Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination in some Public Settings

The Government of Ontario does not require proof of COVID-19 vaccination in any public settings. A business/organization can voluntarily choose to require proof of vaccination. If you do, ensure you are following all relevant legislation. You may wish to receive legal advice prior to implementing a voluntary proof of COVID-19 vaccination requirement. Boosters are an important part of ensuring your COVID-19 vaccinations are up to date and the boosters will help to provide better protection from transmission. See the guide on staying up to date and intervals between doses and this Provincial Vaccine Guidance for more information on COVID-19 Vaccines.

COVID-19 Workplace Safety Plan

It is a good idea for businesses/organizations to have a COVID-19 Workplace Safety Plan in place as these measures will reduce the spread of COVID and other respiratory infections. Use this sample COVID-19 Workplace Safety Plan and COVID-19 Safety Checklist as guides to create your own. The Safety Plan can help you to asses and plan what measures would be best for your workplace and what may be needed to maintain your workforce and reduce the spread to vulnerable clients. You can try this Workplace Safety Plan Builder from the Government of Ontario.

It is a good idea for business owners to conduct a risk assessment and to apply a combination of infection prevention and control practices as appropriate for your workplace. From most effective to least effective, the recommended practices are:

  • Limit in=person contact (e.g., work from home, use virtual services).
  • Introduce administrative protocols (e.g., screening, policies, staff training and education).
  • Use Personal Protective Equipment as appropriate (e.g., mask/face covering, eye protection)

Screening for Symptoms of COVID-19

Although active and passive screening are no longer required you may determine from a risk assessment of your workplace that you may continue with screening of staff and or patrons in some form. The following tool is still available for you to use:

Cleaning and Disinfection

Businesses/organizations are encouraged to ensure that equipment, washrooms, locker rooms, change rooms, showers and commonly touched objects (e.g., door handles, light switches, seating, debit machines, shopping carts, etc.) that are accessible to the public are cleaned and disinfected as frequently as is necessary to maintain a sanitary condition. For more information on cleaning and disinfecting high touch surfaces, see this Government of Canada resource: COVID-19: Cleaning and Disinfecting.

Post Signage

Use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)“]

For the Public Accessing Businesses

Businesses can put in place safety measures to protect staff and customers such as mandatory mask, distancing, screening for COVID-19 symptoms or proof of vaccination as they deem appropriate for the risks on their premises. As per the Trespass to Property Act, an Operator can refuse entry and/or service as long as they are compliant with other legislation, including but not limited to the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) or the Ontario Human Rights Code, R.S.O. 1990, c.H.19, as amended.

*NOTE: Businesses putting in measures to protect the health of their customers, staff and our community. Finding ways to work together is important. If you feel you are being denied service, reach out to the business to see if there are alternative ways to interact (e.g., curbside pick-up). 

The most important things about a mask are how well it fits and that it is made of adequate material.

Cloth masks:

  • Should be at least 3 layers of tightly woven fabric. The middle filter layer should be made of a polypropylene or hydro-phobic material.
  • A wire built-in to the nose area can help with a snug fit and reduce glasses fog.
  • Try blowing out a candle with the mask on to test it. The flame should not flicker when you blow through the mask.
  • Cloth masks should be washed regularly in hot water and dried fully between uses.

Disposable non-medical face masks:

  • These may look like surgical masks – but are not for use in medical settings.
  • They can provide protection if they have a snug fit and are meant to be single use.

Surgical or Procedural masks:

  • This style of mask can provide better filtration provided they are fit snugly to the face.
  • If the mask gaps at the sides try tying knots in the ear loops and tucking any excess mask material under so it fits snugly to the sides of the face and under the chin.

N95 style respirators:

How to put on, wear, and remove a mask properly:

  • Always wash or sanitize your hands well before and after putting on, adjusting or removing your mask
  • Handle the mask by the ear loops or straps
  • Ensure a snug fit over the nose, under the chin and against the sides of the face/cheeks
  • Adjust the straps if needed to reduce any air leaking out the sides
  • Keep facial hair trimmed to ensure a snug fit to the face
  • You can layer a cloth mask over a disposable mask for a better fit as long as you can breathe freely with both on
  • Don’t share masks with others
  • How to Put On and Remove a Face Covering/Mask

Additional resources for mask use:

Social Gatherings and Holidays

See this factsheet if you are planning a gathering or meeting.


Physical Activity and Mental Wellness

  • Limit your intake of media. Choose 1 or 2 times a day to update yourself on the latest news so you are not bombarded by a constant stream of negative information.
  • Focus on self-care by enjoying nutritious foods, being physically active and getting enough sleep. Our immune system works best when we take care of ourselves.
  • Assess your substance use. Many people may increase consumption of alcohol or cannabis because of excess stress or boredom. Excessive substance use can weaken your immune system and make you more susceptible to COVID-19. Check out Canada’s Guidance on alcohol and health to see if you are at risk.
  • Connect with friends and family over the phone or internet so you don’t feel isolated. Texting doesn’t give the same feeling of connection as seeing someone’s face or hearing their voice. There are lots of digital technologies that can help us connect while still keeping physically distant.
  • Recognize that our moods can shift frequently and it’s normal to be fine one day then not so much the next. Take the time to validate your feelings and practice self-care in a way that supports your mental well-being.

There are people ready to help you.

  • Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868
    • Or text CONNECT to 686868
  • Lanark, Leeds and Grenville Addictions and Mental Health Crisis Line: 1-866-281-2911.
    • Anyone who has questions, needs access to services, or is feeling anxious is encouraged to call the Case workers and counsellors working in close to a dozen rural offices throughout the region are also accessible through these main numbers. In addition, the following services are available:
      • Essential Services remain open including Group Homes, Co-op and Residential Treatment Facilities and Intake Screening.
      • All counselling, including Rapid Access and Case Management continue to take place by telephone.
      • Psychiatry appointments will continue through telephone contact.
      • Lanark, Leeds and Grenville Addictions and Mental Health offices are closed but employees are still working from home.
  • Lanark County Mental Health Mental Health Pandemic Helpline 1-833-283-9979 available Monday–Thursday: 8:00am–8:00pm and Friday 8:00am–4:00pm. This line is for everyone – to offer strategies and supports, without shame or judgement.
  • CMHA’s Mental Health Helpline: 1-866-531-2600
  • Good2Talk for post-secondary students: 1-866-925-5454
    • Or text GOOD2TALKON to 686868
  • A Friendly Voice – A phone line for older adults (55+) who may be feeling lonely or isolated: 1-855-892-9992 (note – this is not a crisis line)
  • Bounce Back phone and online mental health program for adults and youth ages 15 and over
    • Longer term program – needs referral from primary healthcare professional
  • Distress Centre of Lanark, Leeds and Grenville1-800-465-4442
    • Trained volunteers actively listen to your issues, focus in on your concerns and help you problem solve. Available 5:00pm–12:00am (midnight), 7 days a week.
  • If you or someone you know is in danger at home from domestic abuse, you can contact Interval House.
  • Assault Response and Care Centre provides help for anyone affected by sexual assault or domestic violence: 1-800-567-7415
  • #KnowWhereToGo – Check out these youth specific resources for mental well-being.

Resources for Children and Youth

Resources for All Ages

The COVID-19 pandemic has added to existing health inequities. This means that COVID-19 is disproportionately impacting the health and well-being of people based on their social determinants of health (e.g., income levels, housing, and experiences of social stigma). A response to COVID-19 that values and prioritizes health equity will support community resilience and well-being today, and into the future.

Government Links

The Ontario Ministry of Health has a comprehensive website with directives and announcements. Ontario Ministry of Health website – available in multiple languages

Information for Health Care Providers and Hospitals

Reportable Diseases Toolkit and Outbreak Resources

More Information and Guidance documents for COVID-19 found within our Reportable Disease Toolkit.

Information on Outbreak Management Resources.

Signs and Resources You Can Print and Share

If you have trouble finding something in the COVID-19 section or want to see something added, please call 1-800-660-5853 extension 2275.