Facts about COVID-19
Last Edited/Reviewed: 3:56 p.m., February 23, 2021
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Symptoms of COVID-19 may include:
- Fever (feeling hot to the touch, a temperature of 37.8 degrees Celsius/100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher)
- Cough that’s new or worsening (continuous, more than usual, not related to other known causes or conditions such as COPD)
- Barking cough, making a whistling noise when breathing (croup)
- Shortness of breath (out of breath, unable to breathe deeply, not related to other known causes or conditions such as asthma)
- Sore throat (not related to other known causes or conditions such as seasonal allergies, acid reflux)
- Difficulty swallowing (painful swallowing, not related to other known causes or conditions)
- Runny nose (not related to other known causes or conditions such as seasonal allergies, being outside in cold weather)
- Stuffy or congested nose (not related to other known causes or conditions such as seasonal allergies)
- Lost sense of taste or smell (not related to other known causes or conditions such as allergies, neurological disorders)
- Pink eye (conjunctivitis – not related to other known causes or conditions such as reoccurring styes)
- Headache that’s unusual or long lasting not related to other known causes or conditions such as tension-type headaches, chronic migraines)
- Digestive issues like nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain (not related to other known causes or conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety in children, menstrual cramps)
- Muscle aches that are unusual or long lasting (not related to other known causes or conditions such as a sudden injury, fibromyalgia)
- Extreme tiredness that is unusual (fatigue, lack of energy not related to other known causes or conditions such as depression, insomnia, thyroid disfunction)
- For older people: falling down often
- For young children and infants: sluggishness or lack of appetite
Use this Self Assessment Tool if:
- you think you have symptoms of COVID-19
- in the last 14 days you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19
- you have been in close contact with someone who has symptoms of COVID-19 who has returned to Canada in the last 14 days
How is it treated, and is there a vaccine?
COVID-19 vaccination information is changing rapidly in Canada and locally. For more information, check out our vaccine info page.
How is COVID-19 spread?
COVID-19 can be spread from person to person by:
- Breathing in small particles from the infected person’s nose and throat secretions after they cough, sneeze, laugh or sing.
- Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands
- Close personal contact, such as shaking hands, hugging or kissing
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.
- COVID-19 Self-Isolation (PPH webpage)
- How To Self Isolate for Returning Travellers
- How to Self-Isolate – Public Health Ontario
- Self-Isolation Guide for Close Contacts – Public Health Ontario
- How to Self-Isolate at Home When You May Have Been Exposed And Have No Symptoms – Public Health Agency of Canada
- How to Self-Monitor – Public Health Ontario
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.
TRAVELLERS WITH SYMPTOMS – Mandatory Isolation
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
Where possible, use only private transportation such as a private vehicle to reach your place of quarantine. If you must take public transportation to get to your place of self-isolation after you arrive in Canada, you must not stop on the way home and practice physical (social) distancing at all times.
- Call Peterborough Public Health at 705-743-1000 between
- Monday to Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org (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.