Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illnesses.

The best way to prevent and slow down transmission is to be well informed about the COVID-19 virus, the disease it causes, and how it spreads. Protect yourself and others from infection by washing your hands or using an alcohol-based rub frequently and not touching your face.

The COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes, so it’s important that you also practice respiratory etiquette (for example, by coughing into a flexed elbow).

COVID-19 Symptoms

Symptoms of COVID-19 can vary from person to person and by age group. Some of the more commonly reported symptoms include:

  • New or worsening cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Temperature equal to or over 38°C
  • Feeling feverish or chills
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Muscle or body aches
  • New loss of smell or taste
  • Headache
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms (abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting)
  • Feeling very unwell

Children tend to have abdominal symptoms and skin changes or rashes. Symptoms may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to COVID-19.

Reduce the Spread of COVID-19

  • Staying home when unwell (A person may be infectious for up to 3 days before showing symptoms (pre-symptomatic infectiousness)
  • Physical distancing
  • Hand hygiene
  • Respiratory etiquette
  • Wearing masks when in closed indoor spaces
  • Regularly cleaning and disinfecting common surfaces
  • Self-monitoring for symptoms
  • Download the COVID_Alert app

More Resources


Government of Canada
Website: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html

Ontario Testing
Website: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/assessment-centre-locations/

Telehealth Ontario
Phone: 1-866-797-0000
Website: www.health.gov.on.ca/en/

York Public Health
Phone: 1-800-361-5653
Website: www.york.ca/covid19/