COVID-19 safety

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 precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 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.

Use multiple layers of protection (PDF) based on your personal situation and settings. These layers include vaccination, wearing a well-fitted mask, practising physical distancing, handwashing, self-screening for symptoms daily, and taking mindful actions to protect yourself and those around you.

For more information on preventative measures please visit our Preventative measures page.

Practise these COVID-safe tips:

1. Get vaccinated and stay up to date

It is highly recommended you receive all recommended doses of COVID-19 vaccine, including boosters 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 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 precautions to prevent the spread of illness. When your personal circumstances, environment, and local activity levels for respiratory illnesses put you at greater risk, take increased action.

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 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.

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.

 More safeLess safe
PeopleGathering 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.
SpaceEveryone is more than 6 feet apart.Having close contact with people in crowded areas.
TimeHaving interactions with people that are 15 minutes or less.Having interactions with people that are 15 minutes or more.
PlaceInteracting with others outdoors.Interacting with others indoors.
PPEEveryone wears a well-fitted mask.None or some wear a well-fitted mask.

Respiratory Illness Surveillance Dashboard

The Respiratory Illness Surveillance Dashboard for Sudbury and districts provides information about local activity levels of respiratory illness, including COVID-19, influenza, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). The tool includes information about cases, and new hospitalizations and outbreaks, as well as COVID-19 detected in local wastewater. You can download our weekly detailed COVID-19 epidemiology summary and detailed COVID-19 vaccination reports on Wednesdays.

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:

The following are examples credible sources of information.

For more information and credible resources, visit our COVID-19 resources page.

This item was last modified on October 11, 2023