COVID-19 Disease and Infection

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. For information on COVID-19 data, and considerations for schools, childcare, parents and caregivers, please visit our main Respiratory Illnesses page. This page, and other pages in our Respiratory Illnesses section, will be updated as information changes.

COVID Vaccinations

Find the latest  COVID vaccination opportunities:
Directly book or cancel an appointment for yourself or someone else through the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre or call 1-833-943-3900
Learn more about the vaccines, out of province doses and more at our COVID vaccine section.

COVID Symptoms, testing, treatment and prevention resources

If you were exposed to COVID-19, tested positive or have symptoms

If you are having difficulty breathing or are experiencing other severe symptoms, call 9-1-1 and inform them that you may have COVID-19. 

Visit the provincial webpage, Protection from COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses to learn how to protect yourself, your family, and your community from COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses. 

Stay home when sick

If you are sick with COVID-19 or another respiratory illness, stay home to prevent spreading the virus to others, except to seek testing or medical care if required. 

You should stay home until all of the following apply to you: 

  • your symptoms have been improving for at least 24 hours (or 48 hours if you had nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea)
  • you do not have a fever
  • you do not develop any additional symptoms

When your symptoms are improving and you are no longer isolating at home, doing the following can provide extra protection against the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses circulating in the community. 

For 10 days after your symptoms started: 

  • wear a well-fitted mask in all public settings
  • avoid non-essential activities where you need to take off your mask (for example, dining out) 
  • avoid non-essential visits to anyone who is immunocompromised or may be at higher risk of illness (for example, seniors) 
  • avoid non-essential visits to highest risk settings in the community such as hospitals and long-term care homes

If you work in a high risk setting

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have tested positive for COVID-19 and work in a high-risk setting (such as a hospital, a long-term care home, or a retirement home), you should speak with your employer and follow your workplace guidance for return to work. 

If you test positive for COVID-19 or have COVID-19 symptoms

For information on isolation and what to do if you test positive for COVID-19, visit the provincial webpage, Protection from COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses

Please see the following provincial resources for more information: 

COVID-19 Testing and Results

If you have questions related to COVID-19 testing and isolation guidelines visit the Protection from COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses webpage. 

For information on testing eligibility, testing locations, and receiving results please visit COVID-19 testing and treatment.

If you have symptoms but are not eligible for testing, assume you have COVID-19 and follow COVID-19 health advice.

Rapid Antigen Testing

HPPH has rapid antigen tests (RATs) available for the public at our Clinton, West Gore and Festival Square offices during business hours, 8:30am to 4:30pm, and at the Listowel office on Fridays, 10am to 2pm.

If you are higher risk of severe outcomes of COVID-19, you are eligible for PCR testing and can locate your nearest pharmacy for testing. For more information on what to do if you get a positive rapid antigen test result or are symptomatic, please visit the provincial webpage, Protection from COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses.

If you think you need a COVID-19 test, assessment or treatment, you can: 

  • Contact your pharmacy or locate the nearest pharmacy that provides COVID-19 testing
  • Contact your primary care provider (family doctor or nurse practitioner) 
  • Call 811 or visit online for more information about testing, assessment, and treatment

If you think you have COVID-19 and are seeking treatment, don't delay. You will need to start treatment within 5 days of the start of symptoms. 

Anyone with severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, or any other medical emergency should call 9-1-1.

COVID-19 Antiviral Treatments

For general information and eligibility, please visit Antiviral Treatments

To determine if you are at higher risk of severe COVID-19 and should be assessed for treatment, use the provincial COVID-19 antiviral treatment screener

Antiviral treatment is not a substitute for vaccination and is intended for those who are at higher risk of severe outcomes. To learn more about getting a COVID-19 vaccine, please visit COVID-19 vaccines.

If you have symptoms (even if mild) and are at higher risk of severe COVID-19, seek testing and care immediately by either: 

  • contacting a pharmacist who is prescribing Paxlovid
  • visiting a clinical assessment centre (where you can get tested, assessed, and treated or a prescription)
  • contacting a primary care provider (for example, your family doctor or nurse practitioner)

You can use a rapid antigen test if you have one, but it's important to understand that these tests may be negative in the early stages of infection. If you do not have a rapid antigen test, or if your test result is negative, seek PCR testing and clinical assessment immediately. 

If you are high risk and do not have a primary care provider or are having difficulty accessing care, call Health811 (formerly Telehealth) at 8-1-1 or visit the Health811 website. You can speak to or chat online with a nurse for information on antiviral treatments, assistance, or eligibility for virtual care options. 

If you do not have symptoms but are at higher risk of severe COVID-19, talk to your primary care provider about getting pre-assessed for treatment in case you contract COVID-19. 

Post COVID-19 Condition (Long COVID)

Post COVID-19 condition is when the symptoms of COVID-19 persist for more than 12 weeks after the infection. It's also known as long COVID and can affect both adults and children.

You can show symptoms of post COVID-19 condition even if you: 

  • weren't formally tested and diagnosed with COVID-19
  • only had mild to moderate symptoms when you had COVID-19

Post COVID-19 condition is not COVID-19. Symptoms can persist for weeks or months from the initial COVID-19 infection, but you can also develop new ones. 

The best way to prevent post COVID-19 condition is to take measures to avoid getting infected in the first place, such as staying home when sick, wearing a well-fitted mask, and getting vaccinated.

For more information:

Workplaces: Resources and Managing Risk

COVID-19 continues to circulate and remains a potentially serious illness. The following groups are at higher risk of severe outcomes (long COVID, hospitalization or death) from COVID-19.

  • People of advanced age
  • People living in congregate settings
  • People with underlying health conditions
  • People who are unvaccinated
If your staff or patrons consist of people in the above categories (or interact frequently with these groups), consider which measures you can take to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread.


Visit Ontario's COVID-19 and workplace health and safety page for information and tools to help you protect workers, customers, and the public from COVID‑19 and other infectious respiratory illnesses.