COVID-19 Updates

While Ontario, like other jurisdictions, has taken measures to be able to live with and manage COVID-19 for the long-term, we still need to do our part to protect ourselves and others, especially during respiratory illness season. This includes practicing good hand hygiene, wearing a mask if required or if you feel it is right for you, staying home when you are sick, and staying up to date on your vaccinations.

Current public health measures and guidance

Stay home if you are sick
 If you are sick, stay home to prevent transmission to others, except to seek testing or medical care if required.

You should stay home until all of the following apply to you:

  • your symptoms have been improving for at least 24 hours (or 48 hours if you had nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea)  
  • you do not have a fever
  • you do not develop any additional symptoms

When your symptoms are improving and you are no longer isolating at home, doing the following can provide extra protection against the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses circulating in the community.

For 10 days after your symptoms started:

  • wear a well-fitted mask in all public settings
  • avoid non-essential activities where you need to take off your mask (for example, dining out)
  • avoid non-essential visits to anyone who is immunocompromised or may be at higher risk of illness (for example, seniors)
  • avoid non-essential visits to highest risk settings in the community such as hospitals and long-term care homes

For a list of symptoms of COVID-19, visit Ontario.ca/page/public-health-measures-and-advice.

 

 COVID-19 antiviral treatments

COVID-19 antiviral treatments are available to those with symptoms and a positive test result (PCR or rapid antigen test) who are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

Find out if you’re eligible for testing or antiviral treatment or talk to your health care provider to learn more.

If you are at a higher risk of severe illness due to COVID-19, you should get tested for COVID-19 and seek care as soon as possible as you may benefit from available COVID-19 treatments. These treatments must be taken immediately within the first five to seven days (depending on the treatment) of symptom onset.

Masking 
 To continue providing an additional layer of protection for the most vulnerable, the Province requires that masks still be worn in long-term care and retirement homes. Masking continues to be recommended in settings where there are individuals who are at high risk for severe outcomes.

In settings where masking is not required, wearing a mask is a personal choice. You are encouraged to wear a tight-fitting, well-constructed mask if you feel it is the right choice for you.

Learn more about how to properly wear, fit, remove and clean your mask.

COVID-19 vaccination

COVID‑19 vaccination includes a primary series and booster doses. All individuals aged six months and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. 

Primary series

A primary series is the initial number of doses of a COVID‑19 vaccine that a person needs to develop a strong initial immune response. Most people need two doses of an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer, Moderna) or Novavax (for those over 18 years of age) to complete their primary series. If you are immunocompromised, you may need a three-dose primary series.

Each dose in a primary series should be given at an interval of eight weeks between doses.

Eligibility: Available to everyone aged six months and older.

Booster doses

Booster doses are doses of a COVID-19 vaccine received after the primary series. Booster doses are recommended based on evidence of gradually waning immunity over time, especially against new variants. Booster doses will provide an extra layer of protection against severe outcomes from the virus.

Booster doses should be given at an interval of six months between completion of a primary series and a first booster dose or between booster doses.

Eligibility: Available to everyone aged five years and older. 

Note: Individuals aged 18 and older can receive their primary series followed by a bivalent booster dose at a recommended interval of six months since their previous dose (with a minimum of three months). Bivalent booster doses target both the original COVID-19 virus and the most recently circulating COVID-19 variants.

For more information about COVID-19 vaccines, including details about vaccine availability for individuals who are immunocompromised, visit the Government of Ontario's COVID-19 vaccines web page.

How to get a vaccine

Vaccination remains our best defense against COVID-19 and its variants. COVID-19 vaccine is now widely available from many sources, including primary care providers, and pharmacies.

HKPR District Health Unit immunization clinics

Vaccination clinics hosted by the Health Unit are now available on an appointment-only basis using the online Provincial Booking System or calling 1-833-943-3900. Please bring your Ontario health card.

Please visit the HKPR District Health Unitwebsite for a list of clinic locations, dates and times, and to learn more.

Pharmacies
COVID-19 vaccines are also available at local pharmacies. Some pharmacies are accepting walk-ins, others require an appointment. Hours of availability vary by pharmacy. Check the provincial website for a current list of all participating pharmacies. 
Primary Care Providers 
Some primary care teams and/or providers are offering vaccination clinics as well. Reach out to your primary care provider directly for information, or monitor their website and social media feeds for updates.

Have questions about the COVID-19 Vaccine?

Want to Talk to a Health Care Professional?
'Ask the Expert' videos

Medical experts answer common questions about COVID-19 vaccines for children 5 to 11 years old in the following videos:

For more information

For updates about local vaccine clinics and other helpful resources, please visit the HKPR District Health Unit website. For provincial information about COVID-19, including a list of COVID-19 symptoms, please visit Ontario’s dedicated COVID-19 website