Physical distancing (COVID-19)

In light of the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic, Public Health Sudbury & Districts is recommending we all do our part and follow physical distancing (social distancing) guidelines.

Gatherings and closures: guidance

The Government of Ontario has applied gathering limits to higher risk settings and activities where people congregate.

(new: September 19, 2020) Unmonitored and private social gatherings are groups of up to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors. Unlike social circles, in social gatherings you must keep 2 metres distance from each other. Masks or face coverings are required if 2 metres distance can’t be kept up.

The number of people allowed to attend an indoor wedding, religious service, or funeral continues to be a maximum of 30 per cent capacity of the ceremony venue (as of July 17, 2020). For both indoor and outdoor events, those attending must follow proper public health measures, including practising physical distancing from people who are not from the same household or their established 10-person social circle.

Organizers who have questions about exceptions are encouraged to contact Public Health Sudbury & Districts.

The community is asked to recognize the risk of attending public gatherings and to practise physical distancing to manage the spread of illness.

Social circles

Social circles are a way to safely expand the number of people with whom you can come in close contact. As of June 12, 2020, Ontarians can establish a family or social circle of no more than 10 people who can interact with one another without physical distancing. Learn more about how to create a safe social circle (Government of Ontario).

What is physical distancing (social distancing)

Physical distancing means limiting the number of people you come into close contact with and distancing from each other to reduce the opportunity for the virus to spread from person to person.

We all need to do our part to stop the spread of COVID-19. It’s vital we all follow guidelines:

Why is physical distancing important

When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the novel coronavirus, if the person coughing has the disease (COVID-19) (WHO, 2019). COVID-19 can also be spread via direct contact with surfaces that are potentially contaminated with the virus. Practising physical distancing slows the spread! A reminder that physical distancing applies to everyone. Let’s all do our part to protect our health care system and vulnerable populations. Stay healthy. Stop the spread. Flatten the curve.

How to practise physical distancing

Avoid crowded spaces and stay two metres apart from others when you will be in public areas.

Key recommendations to protect the most vulnerable include:

These guidelines do NOT mean “you must stay in your home.” Physical distancing does not have to mean social isolation. Connecting with others using the key points above means that you can safely interact with others, if even virtually. For example, you can connect using technology or go outside to take a walk.

Mental health

The current circumstances, which for many include significant disruption to their daily lives, can be very stressful and can impact our mental health. There are a number of strategies that you can consider to support your mental health.

Community Gardens

The operator(s) of community or allotment gardens must ensure that all garden members are familiar with Public Health conditions and directions for operating during COVID-19. Visit our COVID-19 resources page to download our COVID-19 and Community Gardens Public Health Direction and signage.

To order signage for your community garden, call Public Health Sudbury & Districts at 705.522.9200, ext. 257 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200).


This item was last modified on September 21, 2020