RSV, influenza (flu), COVID-19 and other respiratory and gastrointestinal illnesses are expected to spread throughout our communities and across the province once again this fall and winter.
As in past respiratory illness seasons, it is important to use the layers of protection approach to reduce the risk of illness. These layers will help to protect everyone, especially those who are at higher risk of developing severe outcomes from these viruses.
Each layer of protection helps prevent the spread of germs and when combined together, they lower the risk of illness impacting our schools, workplaces and heath care system.
Read on to learn more about the layers of protection. A printable "Layers of Protection" poster is available in English and French.
Flu and COVID-19 vaccines are available to everyone 6 months and older.
Vaccines reduce the risk of infection for both flu and COVID-19 as well as lower the risk of severe illness and hospitalization.
Learn more about the flu and COVID-19 vaccines on TBDHU's dedicated vaccine page, including what vaccines are available, when you should get them and where and how to get vaccinated.
Use the COVID-19 Antiviral Treatment Screener to learn if you are at higher risk of severe COVID-19 illness and would benefit from the treatments available. You can use this screener even if you do not have symptoms, to be prepared in case you get sick.
Do not wait for symptoms to become severe before seeking help.Treatment must be given early to prevent serious illness and hospitalization.
Masks remain an important layer of protection, especially for those who are more vulnerable to illness and their household members (e.g. reduce their likelihood of getting COVID-19 and passing it on).
Choose a mask if it works for your situation.
If you tested positive or have symptoms of COVID-19, it’s recommended you wear a high-quality, well-fitted mask for a total of 10 days after symptom started or the date of the test (whichever came first) unless you are exempt from wearing a mask (e.g. under the age of 2, health conditions, other accommodations). Visit Ontario’s Protection from COVID 19 and other respiratory illnesses for more information on masking.
Masks may still be required in some places and situations, so please follow the directions provided.
Choose a well-fitted high-quality mask AND clean your hands before putting on your mask and again after taking it off, either using alcohol-based hand sanitizer OR by using soap and water.