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URGENT: OMA President says physical distancing the most important thing you can do to keep you and your community safe.
We are working closely with the Ministry of Health and other healthcare providers to contain the virus, protect and care for patients and keep all our front-line workers healthy.
One of the best ways to protect yourself and your family is to have accurate information.
Find answers to questions about the virus on this site.
It is important that Ontarians take preventative measures to reduce risks to their health and well being. The risk of transmission is similar to that of the flu.
Simple measures such staying home as possible, handwashing and practicing proper sneezing etiquette go a long way to prevent the transmission of infectious disease. Should you need to leave your home, we urge you to keep at least 6 feet of distance between yourself and those around you. Learn more.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Like all viruses, some people who get them experience mild symptoms, and some more severe symptoms. Some coronaviruses spread easily between people, while others do not.
The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to other respiratory infections, such as influenza, and include things like:
Your risk of experiencing severe symptoms is higher if you have a weakened immune system. This may be the case for:
Physical distancing is limiting close contact (approximately 6 feet) with others in the community. It is key to slowing the spread. This will help to minimize the impact of the spreading virus and flatten the curve, which essentially means a longer, slower rise in numbers of patients affected. Please see the OMA policy on Physical Distancing.
Physical distancing means keeping a safe distance (approximately 6 feet) from others and avoiding gathering spaces such as schools, churches, concert halls and public transportation.
Quarantine involves avoiding contact with others if a person has been exposed to coronavirus to see if they become ill.
Isolation involves separating an individual who has contracted COVID-19 to prevent them from spreading it to others. You will also be asked to self-isolate if you have recently travelled.
For more resources:
You will need to call your doctor’s office before going in. Below are a few tips to keep in mind.
If you develop COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing), self-isolate.
The majority of COVID-19 illnesses are mild. A clinician can help guide whether you will require further care or potential testing in person. Please use one of the following options:
Many have been asking us about the province's newly announced self assessment centres. If you believe you or a loved one may have contracted COVID-19, call your local public health unit or Telehealth Ontario (1-866-797-0000). You may be directed to a hospital or a regional assessment centre.
At this time, there is a serious lack of evidence that supports the widespread use of either hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin. In addition, there are significant potential adverse effects if using either of these drugs with other medications, particularly for those with chronic medical conditions such as kidney failure.
Generally, our answer is no. Your doctor is best able to answer this question, depending on your personal medical history.
While research and testing are ongoing, we strongly advise against unrestricted prescribing and dispensing of these two products.
No. Due to the recent yet-to-be-proven claims of effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine sulfate against COVID-19 and the growth in prescribing for it, we are now faced with a very serious shortage (and some brands, outages) of the product. There is no evidence to suggest it will help you, and it could be harmful to others who need the drug. For example, the shortage presents very serious challenges for patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.
Up-to-date information is available from the Government of Ontario.
It is recommended that you refrain from travel. If travel is considered essential:
Don’t wear a mask unless you are sick. The most important thing you can do is to wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds.
If you have symptoms of a viral illness, then wearing a facemask can help reduce the risk of transmitting it.
The best thing for patients to do practice physical distancing where possible and follow these five tips to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:
Physical distancing disrupts everyone’s daily routine. Things you used to do to stay healthy may not be possible as you practice physical distancing. Finding new physical distancing-friendly routines for nutrition, exercise and social interaction will help you stay healthy.
It’s important to remember that physical distancing does not mean social isolation.
Dr. Frank Sommers, a Toronto-based psychiatrist, provides strategies to help you stay emotionally connected, and maintain your mental well-being during this trying and extraordinary time. In his OMA podcast, Dr. Sommers explains why maintaining your mental health during COVID-19 is important, and ways to adjust to life six-feet apart.
For more information, download our fact sheet.
If you have questions regarding medical advice please contact your doctor or other medical provider.
For general information please visit Ontario.ca/coronavirus
For the latest on travel information please visit travel.gc.ca
We will let you know when updated information is posted on virusfacts.ca