covid 19 virus

Facts about COVID-19

Lasted Edited/Reviewed: June 17, 2020

On this page:

Symptoms, Treatment 
Prevent the Spread
COVID-19 Class Order:  April 20, 2020
Contact Us

Symptoms & Treatment

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Do you have…

  1. close contact with anyone who:
  • has a respiratory illness;
  • travelled outside of Ontario in the past 14 days;
  • is a confirmed case of COVID-19 or a close contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19


  1. any of the following symptoms:
  • fever
  • new or worse cough
  • shortness of breath
  • difficulty breathing
  • sore throat
  • headaches
  • diarrhea
  • chills
  • runny nose/nasal congestion without other known cause
  • nausea/vomiting
  • pink eye (conjunctivitis)
  • difficulty swallowing
  • unexplained fatigue/malaise/muscle aches
  • abdominal pain
  • decrease or loss of sense of smell or taste


for persons 70 years of age and older:

  • delirium
  • unexplained or increased number of falls
  • acute functional decline/confusion
  • worsening of chronic conditions

Self-Assessment Tool

If you think you have symptoms related to COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, use this self-assessment to help determine if you need to seek further care:  Self Assessment Tool

How is it treated, and is there a vaccine?

There is no specific treatment for COVID-19.  However many of the symptoms can be treated and is based on each individual’s situation.

Currently there is no vaccine for COVID-19.


Prevent the Spread of COVID-19

How is COVID-19 spread?

COVID-19 can be spread from person to person through:

  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • Contact with nose and throat secretions (e.g., coughing and sneezing).
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands

What is self-isolation?

Self-isolation is when you have been instructed to separate yourself from others, with the purpose of preventing the spread of the virus, including those within your home. If you are ill, you should be separated from others in your household to the greatest extent possible.

You may have been asked to self-isolate due to a potential exposure, but have not developed any symptoms.  This is when you monitor your health for symptoms of COVID-19 like fever, cough and difficulty breathing.

Self-isolation is recommended if you are 70 yrs of age and older.

The following individuals are required to self-isolate by an order of the Medical Officer of Health:

  • people who have been diagnosed with or are awaiting test results for COVID-19
  • people who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19
  • people who have been in close contact with a person with COVID-19

A close contact is a person who is caring for or living in the same household with someone who has COVID-19 or is otherwise identified as a close contact by Peterborough Public Health.


What does quarantine mean?

To prevent the introduction and spread of communicable diseases that are of significant harm to public health, the Public Health Agency of Canada collaborates with border partners such as the Canada Border Services Agency to administer the Quarantine Act at all international points of entry into Canada.

When a traveller shows signs and symptoms of a communicable disease upon arrival in Canada, a Border Services Officer, is the first point of contact and he or she will conduct a preliminary screening of the traveler.

If deemed necessary, a Public Health Agency of Canada Quarantine Officer will implement various control measures to prevent the introduction and spread of communicable disease.

What are the Precautions for Returning Travellers?

For Canadians who have RECENTLY TRAVELLED

The Government of Canada has put in place an Emergency Order under the Quarantine Act that applies to all travelers arriving in Canada in order to slow the introduction and spread of COVID-19 in Canada.


If you have recently returned to Canada and have symptoms, you must ISOLATE. This is mandatory. If required, immediate medical attention will be provided upon arrival in Canada.

Mandatory isolation means you MUST:

  • Go directly to the place where you will isolate, without delay, and stay there for 14 days
  • Go to your place of isolation using private transportation only, such as your personal vehicle
  • Stay INSIDE your home
  • Not leave your place of isolation unless it’s to seek medical attention
  • Do not go to school, work, other public areas or use public transportation (e.g., buses, taxis)
  • Stay in a separate room and use a separate bathroom from others in your home, if possible
  • Not have visitors and limit contact with others in the place of isolation, including children
  • Not isolate in a place where you will have contact with vulnerable people such as older adults and individuals with underlying medical conditions
  • If your symptoms get worse, immediately contact your health care provider or public health authority and follow their instructions.

If you have symptoms but do not have a place to isolate, you will be required to isolate for 14 days in a facility designated by the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada.

Violating any instructions provided to you when you entered Canada could lead to up to six months in prison and/or $750,000 in fines.

TRAVELLERS WITHOUT SYMPTOMS – Mandatory Quarantine (mandatory self-isolation)

If you have recently returned to Canada and have no symptoms, you must QUARANTINE (self-isolate) yourself. This is mandatory. You are at risk of developing symptoms and infecting others.

This means you MUST:

  • Go directly to your place of quarantine, without delay, and stay there for 14 days
  • Do not go to school, work, other public areas and community settings
  • Monitor your health for symptoms of COVID-19
  • Arrange to have someone pick up essentials like groceries or medication for you
  • Do not have visitors
  • Stay in a private place like your yard or balcony if you go outside for fresh air
  • Keep a distance of at least 2 arms lengths (approximately 2 metres) from others

You can take public transportation to get to your place of self-isolation after you arrive in Canada, but you must not stop on the way home and practice physical (social) distancing at all times.


Contact Us

  • Call Peterborough Public Health at 705-743-1000 between
    • Monday to Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Email (email will be responded to during business hours above)
  • After hours please call Telehealth toll-free at 1-866-797-0000. Telehealth is a free, confidential service you can call to get health advice or information. A Registered Nurse will take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.