COVID-19 Information Guide
On this page
- Definition of COVID-19
- What to Do
- Closures and Restrictions
- Economic and Social Support
- General Resources
- Deaf and Disability Community Resources
- LGBTQ2s+ Community Resources
COVID-19 is the disease caused by a new coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough and fatigue.
Other symptoms that are less common and may affect some patients include:
- Loss of taste or smell
- Nasal congestion
- Conjunctivitis (also known as red eyes)
- Sore throat
- Muscle or joint pain
- Different types of skin rash
- Nausea or vomiting
- Chills or dizziness
Among those who develop symptoms, most (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing hospital treatment. About 15% become seriously ill and require oxygen and 5% become critically ill and need intensive care.
Complications leading to death may include respiratory failure, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), sepsis and septic shock, thromboembolism, and/or multiorgan failure, including injury of the heart, liver or kidneys.
(Source: Q&A on Coronaviruses (COVID-19), World Health Organization.)
This section provides practical information: advice about staying healthy, mentally as well as physically, and who to phone if you develop symptoms.
This section provides links to advice about protecting yourself and others, including handwashing and wearing masks, talking about COVID-19 with children and keeping healthy and occupied while in isolation.
- Reduce Virus Spread, City of Toronto. "Everyone has a role to play." See also Posters & Graphics. "Use these printable information posters, graphics and questionnaires to help the City share messages about how to stay safe."
- What You Need to Do, Government of Ontario
- Measures to Reduce COVID-19 in Your Community, Government of Canada. See also Awareness Resources (some of which are available in multiple languages) and Prevention and Risks
- How to Protect Yourself & Others, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Advice for the Public, World Health Organization (WHO), including Mythbusters
Resources for Families with Children
- Talking with children about Coronavirus Disease 2019: messages for parents, school staff, and others working with children, CDC
- How to Talk to Your Kids About Coronavirus, PBS Kids, for Parents
- COVID-19 Resource List for Families, Toronto Children's Services
- Helping your Child Cope with the COVID-19 Pandemic, Toronto Public Library
- Mandatory Use of Masks or Face Coverings (Orders & Bylaws, City of Toronto). See also Face Masks & Coverings and What the Mask By-law Means for Residents.
- Face Coverings and Face Masks, Government of Ontario. See also When and How to Wear a Mask: Recommendations for the General Public (PDF), Public Health Ontario
- Non-medical Masks and Face Coverings, Government of Canada
- Use Masks to Slow the Spread of COVID-19, CDC
- When and How to Use Masks, WHO. See also Q&A: Masks.
Coping with stress
- Coping with Stress During the 2019-nCoV Outbreak (PDF), WHO
- Self-Care and Mental Well-Being, Toronto Public Library
- Stay, Play & Learn at Home, City of Toronto
- EarlyON Child and Family Centre Activities, City of Toronto
- Learn at Home, Government of Ontario
- 38 Ways to Use the Library from Home, Toronto Public Library
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.
- 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: PublicHealth@toronto.ca
- 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.
(Source: COVID-19. Contact Information, City of Toronto)
If you have one or more symptoms of COVID-19 or think you may have been exposed to the virus, take the Ministry of Health’s self-assessment to find out if you should get tested.
Depending on your situation, you may be able to get a free COVID-19 test at your local COVID-19 assessment centre or a participating pharmacy.
To find an assessment centre or participating pharmacy, go to the following pages on the City of Toronto COVID-19 Testing page:
- Assessment Centre Locations & Details
- Pharmacy Locations & Details
This section contains links to what is open and what is closed, including hospitals, schools, colleges and universities.
City of Toronto
See also Orders & Bylaws (City of Toronto) for information on the enforcement of closures, physical distancing, etc. and for self-isolation directives.
Government of Ontario
- COVID-19 Response Framework: keeping Ontario Safe and Open
- Current Public Health Measures and Restrictions. See also: Newsroom
- Enhancing Public Health and Workplace Safety Measures in the Provincewide Shutdown, "the second declaration of emergency to address COVID-19 in Ontario."
- Mount Sinai Hospital. COVID-19 Information and Resources
- Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. COVID-19 (coronavirus): Information & Frequently Asked Questions
- UHN. COVID-19 Information at UHN. “UHN's No Visitor policy remains in effect, with exceptions for pre-approved Essential Care Partners."
- Unity Health Toronto (St. Joseph's, St. Michael's, Providence). COVID-19 Information for Patients and Families
- Elementary and Secondary Schools, City of Toronto
- Toronto District School Board. Health and Safety Measures. See also: COVID-19 Advisories
- Toronto Catholic District School Board. Information and Resources for the 2020-2021 School Year
- Ontario Colleges. Update on COVID-19
- Ontario’s Universities. Partnering in the Fight Against COVID-19
This section has links for current advisories and restrictions for travel in and out of the country and travel in the city.
- Travelling and Returning, Government of Ontario
- Travel Advice and Advisories and Travel Restrictions, Exemptions and Advice and Travel Health Notices, Government of Canada. See also: How the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) is Affecting Immigration, Refugees, Citizenship and Passport Services
- COVID-19 FAQs, Toronto Transit Commission (TTC)
- COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Safety, GO Transit
- COVID-19: Preventive Measures, VIA Rail Canada
- Healthy Airport, Toronto Pearson Airport
- FAQs for International Students about COVID-19, York University
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
- Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID‑19
- Supporting People and Jobs
- Support for People and Businesses to Improve Cash Flow
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
- Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan
- Support for Individuals
- Support for Businesses
- Support for Sectors
- Financial assistance for Newcomers, Temporary Residents and Refugees
- After CERB: Transitioning to New Benefits
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
- COVID-19 Briefings
- COVID-19: Official Statements of the Medical Officer of Health and the Fire Chief & General Manager of Emergency Management
- Status of Cases in Toronto
Government of Ontario
- Daily summary of cases in Ontario. Information is updated daily at 10:30 a.m.
- Status of COVID-19 Cases in Long-term Care Homes
Government of Canada
- Tracking, Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
- Weekly Epidemiological Update and Weekly Operational Update, World Health Organization
- COVID-19 Situation Update Worldwide, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control
- COVID-19: What's New, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
This section provides links to sources of general information about COVID-19.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19
- City of Toronto, COVID-19
- European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, COVID-19 Pandemic
- Johns Hopkins University & Medicine, Coronavirus Resource Center
- Public Health Agency of Canada, Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)
- Public Health Ontario, Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- Ryerson Social Media Lab. Ted Rogers School of Management, COVID19MISINFO.ORG (use Google Chrome to view)
- Statistics Canada, COVID-19: A Data Perspective (includes invitation to participate in surveys on the impacts of COVID-19)
- University of Toronto Libraries, How Can I Spot Misinformation about the Coronavirus and COVID-19?
- University of Toronto Libraries, Gerstein Science Information Centre, COVID-19 (2019 Novel Coronavirus) Information Guide
- World Health Organization, Coronavirus
- World Health Organization, Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Advice for the Public: Mythbusters
An additional page is available for online resources related to COVID-19 from organizations, mostly in the Toronto area, supporting people who are deaf and people with disabilities. It will be updated as more resources are made available.
Visit the COVID-19 Deaf and Disability Community Resources page, Toronto Public Library
Download Covid-19 Deaf and Disability Community Resources (Toronto Area) (PDF).
An additional page is available for online resources related to COVID-19 from organizations, mostly in the Toronto area, supporting the LGBTQ2S+ community. It will be updated as more information is made available.
Visit the COVID-19 LGBTQ2S+ Community Resources page, Toronto Public Library
Download COVID-19 LGBTQ2S+ Community Resources (Toronto Area) (PDF).
Last updated January 13, 2021