We can reduce our risks and protect ourselves and others by being COVID-safe. To be COVID-safe means to assess your actions, think things through, and take deliberate precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Public Health Sudbury & Districts strongly recommend multiple layers of protection (PDF) based on your personal circumstances and local risk at the time. These layers include the use of personal protective measures, such as vaccination, wearing a well-fitted mask, practising physical distancing, handwashing, and self-screening daily.
Practise these COVID-safe tips:
1. Get vaccinated and stay up to date
Get vaccinated against COVID-19. It is highly recommended you receive all recommended COVID-19 vaccines, including booster doses when eligible to stay up to date and to build long-term protection against the virus. Getting your booster dose(s) gives you better protection against severe COVID-19 illness, hospitalization, and death. It remains important for everyone else to complete their primary series if they have not already. The vaccines are a safe and effective way to protect yourself and your loved ones from COVID-19.
2. Wear a well-fitted mask or face covering and practise physical distancing
Wearing a mask remains an important way to protect yourself and others. Individuals should continue to wear a well-fitted mask if they feel it is right for them, are at high risk for severe illness, recovering from COVID-19, have recently had symptoms of the virus or are a close contact of someone with COVID-19.
People at higher risk for severe illness (older adults, those with certain medical conditions, pregnant or having recently given birth) are encouraged to wear a mask for greater protection, particularly those who have not received all recommended doses of COVID-19 vaccine.
3. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer
Wash your hands well and often and when visibly dirty for 15 seconds. When entering or leaving a store or event space apply hand sanitizer to your hands. Continue the habit of carrying hand sanitizer with you for when hand washing is not possible.
4. Self-screen for symptoms daily and stay home when ill
Continue to complete a self-screening daily by using the COVID-19 self-assessment (Government of Ontario).The easiest way to reduce transmission is to stay home when ill. By staying home, you reduce your number of interactions with people and the risk of spreading disease. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 (Government of Ontario), assume that you may have the virus.
5. Assess your risk
Assess your risk, think about your actions, and take deliberate precautions to prevent the spread of illness.
At times, Public Health may make strong recommendations in the context of COVID-19 to help us get through a particularly difficult respiratory virus season; to safeguard people’s health and to protect children, older adults, and those who are medically vulnerable; and to help address pressures on the health care system.
COVID-19 Risk Index and Respiratory Activity Report
Consult the Sudbury and districts local COVID-19 Risk Index and Respiratory Activity Report each week for the most current public health recommendations to help you make the best decisions possible to protect yourself and others from getting and spreading COVID-19 and influenza.
If community risk level is low or moderate, continue to use caution and follow personal protective measures to protect yourself and others around you. Follow the current recommendations.
If community risk level is high or very high, be extra vigilant and practise ALL recommended personal protective measures.
Other factors, such as the spread of other respiratory illnesses like influenza and RSV, may also contribute to higher risk of illness in the community.
Personal protective measures
Along with the overall local level of risk, know your own risk. Consider your age, vaccination status, health status, and know the risk of those around you. Public Health strongly recommends multiple layers of protection based on your personal circumstances and according to the local risk as currently assessed, to help protect yourself, your loved ones, and your community from the spread of illness.
Take mindful actions to protect yourself and those around you, by applying A.S.K before you go!
A—Assess the situation: What are the risks associated with this activity? Some activities can place you at a higher risk. Consider people, space, time, place, and personal protective equipment (PPE) when attending a gathering, event, or group activity. Be risk ready and use the table below as a guidance tool to help you make COVID-safe decisions.
- Gathering with people who are up to date with all recommended COVID-19 vaccines, including booster doses.
- Gathering with people who are unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, or whose vaccination status is unknown.
- Everyone is more than 6 feet apart.
- Having close contact with people in crowded areas.
- Having interactions with people that are 15 minutes or less.
- Having interactions with people that are 15 minutes or more.
- Interacting with others outdoors.
- Interacting with others indoors.
Personal protective equipment
- Everyone wears a well-fitted mask or face covering
- None or some wear a well-fitted mask or face covering
S—Safety: What personal protective measures should you use for the activity? Layer up personal protective measures such as vaccination, wearing a well-fitted mask, practising physical distancing, handwashing, and self-screening daily. The more layers the better the protection.
K—Know when to stay home: Screen yourself for COVID-19 symptoms daily. If you are not feeling well stay home, even with mild symptoms.
Stay informed and be prepared
Our best defense against COVID-19 is to stay informed, be prepared and to get vaccinated. Anyone can post anything online. It is important to think critically about posts to decide if they are truthful and safe. Here are some tips to help you decide whether information is worth considering:
- Check that the information came from a trusted source.
- Check what public health officials and the government are saying.
- Read the entire story or post. Sometimes headlines can be misleading.
The following are examples credible sources of information.
- Public Health Agency of Canada
- Ontario Ministry of Health
- Public Health Ontario
- World Health Organization
For more information and credible resources, visit our COVID-19 resources page.
This item was last modified on November 24, 2022