The Ontario Government has declared a state of emergency and extended the Provincewide Shutdown in Northern Ontario until at least February 11, 2021.
All Ontarians are advised to only come in close contact with people living in their own household and to maintain 2 metres of physical distance from everyone else. Individuals who live alone may consider having exclusive close contact with one other household.
During this time, indoor events and gatherings are not permitted, except with members of the same household.
Outdoor organized events or gatherings are permitted to have a maximum of 5 people if they are considered essential in nature. This is in recognition of the fact that some people live alone and may require the company or support of others for their mental and physical well-being. Anyone gathering outside is expected to adhere to physical distancing measures and are strongly urged to wear a mask.
What is Physical Distancing?
Physical distancing involves taking steps to limit the number of people you come into close contact with. Avoiding close contact with other people helps prevent the spread of illnesses, such as COVID-19, by keeping the density of people low.
Physical distancing means making changes in your everyday routines in order to minimize close contact with others. Even though individuals are separated physically, it is still important to stay connected socially through other means, such as phone calls, social media, or other digital means.
Physical distancing is proven to be one of the most effective ways to reduce the spread of illness during an outbreak. Together, we can slow the spread of COVID-19 by making a conscious effort to keep a physical distance between each other. With patience and cooperation, we can all do our part.
How to Practice Physical Distancing
- Stay home as much as possible. Only leave for essential purposes, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services, for exercise or for essential work.
- Keep your close contacts to those in your household only.
- Keep a distance of at least 2 metres from those outside your household.
- Whenever it is difficult to maintain a safe distance, including when outdoors, wear a mask/face covering to create a barrier between your respiratory droplets and the people and surfaces around you.
- Respect current gathering limits.
- Stay away from places where there are higher numbers of people. Have a plan B if where you are going is busy.
- Shop for groceries, medicines and other supplies once per week or less, and go alone if possible.
- Use food delivery services or online shopping.
- Work from home when possible and conduct virtual meetings.
- Greet with a wave or head nod instead of a handshake, kiss or hug with those outside of your household.
- Use technology to keep in touch with friends and family outside of your household and for virtual play dates for children.
- Take public transportation during off-peak hours if you’re able. Choose to walk or bike to your destination, if possible.
- Continue to follow all Infection Prevention and Control measures.
Remember: While you may not feel sick, and while we know these measures are an inconvenience, please be mindful of the members of our community who are more vulnerable to COVID-19 than others.
Mental Health while Physical Distancing
Visit our Mental Health webpage for some great suggestions to take care of your mental health while physical distancing.
- Physical Distancing Factsheet - Public Health Ontario
- Physical Distancing Sign (General) (PDF)
- Distanciation physique (général) (PDF)
- Physical Distancing Sign (In Line) (PDF)
- Distanciation physique (en ligne) (PDF)
- Physical Distancing Sign (Picking Up Take Out) (PDF)
- Distanciation physique (ramassage à emporter) (PDF)
- Physical Distancing Sign (Elevators) (PDF)
- Distanciation physique (les ascenseurs) (PDF)
- Stop the Spread of COVID-19 (PDF)
- Arrêtez la transmission de COVID-19 (PDF)