COVID-19 Information Guide

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Definition of COVID-19

COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).


The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea.

These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don't feel unwell.

Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment.

Around 1 out of every 6 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness.

(Source: Q&A on Coronaviruses (COVID-19), World Health Organization.)


What to do

This section provides practical information: advice about staying healthy, mentally as well as physically, and who to contact if you develop symptoms.


This section provides links to advice about protecting yourself, including handwashing and wearing masks, talking about COVID-19 with children and keeping healthy and occupied while in isolation.

Resources for Families with Children

Hand washing

Mask wearing

Coping with stress

Keeping occupied


Phone Numbers

This section contains phone numbers to call if you develop symptoms, including severe symptoms, or have questions about COVID-19 or City services.

  • Telehealth Ontario. Call if you develop symptoms.

Telephone: 1-866-797-0000

  • Toronto Public Health Hotline, 8:30 am – 8 pm. Call if you have questions about COVID-19. Translation is available in multiple languages.

Telephone: 416-338-7600 | TTY: 416-392-0658 | Email:

  • 311 Toronto. Call if you have questions about City services.

Telephone: 311 | TTY: 416-338-0889

Outside City limits: 416-392-2489.

  • Emergency Services. Call if you’re having difficulty breathing or experiencing other severe symptoms.

Telephone: 911


(Source: COVID-19. Contact Information, City of Toronto)


Assessment Centres

If you think you have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, find out if you should visit an assessment centre and where the nearest location is.

Criteria and locations

Self-assessment tool



This section contains links to what is open and what is closed, including hospitals, schools, colleges and universities.

City of Toronto

See also COVID-19: Orders, Directives & Bylaws (City of Toronto) for information on the enforcement of closures, physical distancing, etc. and for self-isolation directives.

Government of Ontario

University Health Network

School boards, Colleges and Universities



This section has links for current advisories and restrictions for travel in and out of the country and travel in the city.


Economic and Social support

This section provides information about economic relief from the City, Provincial and Federal governments for residents and businesses of Toronto as well as resources and support (Toronto) for vulnerable residents and housing help for tenants.

City of Toronto

Government of Ontario

For additional information about the law as it relates to the COVID-19 situation, see COVID-19: Updates on the law and legal services (Steps to Justice: Your guide to law in Ontario).

Government of Canada

For additional information, see Who can get the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and how do I apply? (Steps to Justice).



This section provides links to City, Provincial and Federal updates about the pandemic and to updates from the World Health Organization and the major U.S. and European public health agencies, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

City of Toronto

Government of Ontario

Government of Canada

Additional Updates


General Resources

This section provides links to sources of  general information about COVID-19. 


COVID-19 Deaf and Disability Community Resources

An additional page is available for online resources related to the COVID-19 coronavirus from organizations supporting people who are Deaf and people with disabilities, mostly in the Toronto area. It will be updated as more resources are made available.

Visit the COVID-19 Deaf and Disability Community Resources page.

Download the Covid-19 Deaf and Disability Community Resources (PDF).


Last updated May 20, 2020