Individuals & Families
Provincial guidelines have recently changed and this website section is currently being reviewed and updated.
For the most current guidance, please visit the Government of Ontario's website.
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Face Covering FAQs
COVID-19 spreads mainly from person-to-person through respiratory droplets when an infected person talks, sings, shouts, coughs, or sneezes. According to Health Canada, the virus can also linger in fine aerosols (smaller droplets) and remain suspended in the air we breathe Wearing a face covering that covers your mouth, nose, and chin will help prevent virus inhalation and spread between people.
Wearing a mask is especially important in situations where physical distancing is often difficult or inconsistent such as commercial establishments.
The use of face coverings must be in combination with good hand hygiene, not touching your face, and physical distancing whenever possible.
No. Eye protection, including goggles, safety glasses or face shields should be worn in conjunction with a face mask/covering and are not a replacement or acceptable substitute for a face mask/covering.
For more information about personal protective equipment including authorized products, medical gowns and face shields visit the Government of Canada’s website.
It is not necessary for a person to present evidence to a business if they are entitled to any of the exemptions. Please be advised that businesses may have enacted policies which extend beyond the Provincial Order and refuse entry to any person not wearing a face covering.
Face coverings must completely cover the mouth and nose and provide a barrier limiting the transmission of infectious respiratory droplets.
It is important to properly use, store (or dispose), and clean your masks to achieve most effective use. Wash your hands or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when you adjust your mask, put your mask on, or take your mask off.
Change your mask as soon as possible if it gets dirty, damp or damaged. Medical masks and respirators are typically single use and disposable.
Store your mask in a clean paper or cloth bag until you can wash it in the laundry, or discard your disposable mask in a lined wastebasket.
Using a filter as a middle layer in your non-medical mask can help to filter smaller virus particles and prevent you from inhaling infectious respiratory particles. You can include a filter in your non-medical mask by:
- adding a filter fabric as a middle layer
- inserting a disposable filter into a pocket on the inside of the mask
- filters can be purchased or you can prepare your own using a piece of filter fabric
Reusable masks with an integrated filter layer can be washed multiple times.
Disposable filters should be:
- changed as directed by the manufacturer
- removed from the mask before washing
Visit the Government of Canada COVID-19 mask use webpage for more information on proper use and care.
Using a face mask during periods of extreme heat may make breathing difficult, cause adverse skin reactions, and create discomfort due to extreme heat. When mask use is not feasible, maintain a physical distance of 2 metres from others. Learn how to protect yourself in extreme heat.
Face coverings can include non-medical masks, medical masks, or respirators. View information about types of masks and respirators. The effectiveness of non-medical masks in preventing the spread of COVID-19 can vary based on many factors, such as material, construction, fit and proper use.
Some non-medical masks can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 similarly to medical masks if they:
- fit well
- have multiple layers, including at least 2 layers of breathable tightly woven fabric, such as cotton and
- an effective middle filter layer
In general, while non-medical masks can help prevent the spread of COVID-19, medical masks and respirators provide better protection. No matter which type of mask you choose, proper fit is a key factor in its effectiveness.
Medical masks are recommended for:
- anyone who has tested positive for or has symptoms of COVID-19
- people caring for someone who has tested positive or has symptoms of COVID-19
- people who live in an overcrowded setting with someone who has tested positive or has symptoms of COVID-19
- people who are at risk of more severe disease or outcomes from COVID-19
- people who are at higher risk of exposure to COVID-19 because of their living situation
Individuals in the above situations could also consider using a respirator.
Note: masks with exhalation valves are not recommended as they do not protect others from COVID-19 and do not limit the spread of the virus.
For more information on masks, visit the Government of Canada website. For more information about personal protective equipment including authorized products, medical gowns and face shields visit the Government of Canada’s website.
Under the Provincial Order, employees are required to wear a face covering at all times in areas accessible to the public. In areas inaccessible to the public, employees are required to wear a face covering when physical distancing of 2 metres from others cannot be maintained.
Travel Restrictions and Testing
Find everything you need to know about using the ArriveCAN App and providing mandatory travel information before and after you enter Canada on the Government of Canada website.
Dynacare Laboratory and Health Services Centre
For detailed information about testing or to schedule an appointment, visit their website.
18 Amy Croft Dr. #3, Windsor
Medical Laboratories of Windsor
Schedule an appointment online or by calling 519-258-1991 and press “0” Monday – Friday 8:00am to 6:00pm.
Locations & Hours of Operation:
5841 Malden Road, LaSalle
- Monday – Friday: 4:30 pm to 8:30 pm
- Saturday: 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm
- Sunday: 10:00 am to 2:00 pm
1428 Ouellette Ave, Windsor (First Floor)
- Monday – Friday: 8:00 am to 4:00 pm
- Saturday: 10:00 am to 2:00 pm
- Sunday: 10:00 am to 2:00 pm
197 Talbot Street W, Leamington (Suite 203)
- Monday – Friday: 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Schedule an appointment by emailing your request to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please advise of date and time of travel/flight and your destination.
Location: 13278 Tecumseh Rd E, Suite #101, Windsor
Safe Travels Vaccination Clinic
Schedule an appointment online or by calling 226-773-5252.
Location: 1428 Ouellette Avenue, Suite #302, Windsor
For more information, visit www.safetravelsclinic.com.
Schedule an appointment online or by calling 833-819-9048.
Location: IDA Pharmacy, 3211 Sandwich St., Windsor
Windsor Travel Health
Location: 5115 Tecumseh Road East, Windsor
COVID-19 Testing is available at local pharmacies for individuals with no symptoms who fit the testing criteria.
To see if you are eligible for Pharmacy Testing and to find a pharmacy near you, visit Ontario’s COVID-19 test and testing location information.
Pregnancy & Baby Care
The Public Health Agency of Canada fact sheet provides advice for pregnancy and baby care, including pregnancy, childbirth and caring for a new born during the COVID-19 pandemic. Health Canada also provides guidance on pregnancy, childbirth, and caring for a newborn.
Breastfeeding continues to be the safest way to feed infants. COVID-19 has not been found in the breastmilk from pregnant women who have COVID-19. Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers who are concerned about COVID-19 or have symptoms of COVID-19, should call their healthcare provider about any concerns or questions they might have.
Breastfeeding lowers a baby’s risk of infection and illness. If a mother has or may have COVID-19 when breastfeeding, she should wear a mask, cough or sneeze into her bent elbow or a tissue, wash her hands and breast before and after touching the baby, and consider covering the baby with a light blanket or towel.
According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, mothers with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 who are too unwell to breastfeed should have a healthy adult feed hand or pump expressed breast milk to the infant whenever possible. Whoever is feeding the baby should wear a mask during feeding. Women are advised to wash their hands prior to touching the breast, bottle parts, or pump, and to follow manufacturer’s recommendations for proper bottle and pump cleaning.
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC), the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI), and Ontario’s Vaccine Clinical Advisory Group recommend that individuals who are pregnant or breastfeeding should be offered a complete series of an mRNA vaccine, if no medical concern exists.
All pregnant individuals are authorized to be vaccinated as soon as possible, at any stage in pregnancy.
Pregnant, Planning to Become Pregnant, or Breastfeeding? Find out what you need to know about the COVID-19 vaccines.
It is still safe to give birth at a birth centre or hospital as visitor restrictions, screening protocols, and other infection and prevention controls have been put in place to protect the public, patients and staff for the potential transmission of COVID-19.
Before giving birth, pregnant individuals are encouraged to learn about the policies in place at the hospital or birth centre. Pregnant individuals who have COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider about their birth plan. The birth plan should be individualized and based on the individual’s preferences, the safety of the care provider, as well as obstetric recommendations. Visit the Ministry of Health COVID-19 Guidance: Labour, Delivery and Newborn Care for more information.
Individuals with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 must isolate themselves in their homes as much as possible and practice physical distancing by keeping a two metre distance from others in their home. However, there is an exception when individuals are caring for their baby. Caregivers may stay in the same room as the baby if they’d like, but should take all possible precautions to avoid spreading the virus to the baby, including:
- Washing their hands often, especially before and after touching the baby.
- Wearing a medical mask, a non-medical mask or face covering if close contact with others and the baby cannot be avoided. The mask should completely cover the nose and mouth without gaping.
- Keeping their surrounding environment clean and disinfected.
If families choose to have visitors, they should follow these tips to protect their family from getting the virus and older adults who may want to visit:
- While everyone loves snuggling with a baby, ask visitors to wash their hands, wear a mask, and keep a safe distance from the baby to reduce the spread of germs.
- Do not have visitors if anyone in their home is sick, has COVID-19, or may have been exposed to the virus. The WECHU advises new parents to avoid visits from anyone who has travelled within the last two weeks, or anyone who is sick.
- Remember, if a family chooses not to have visitors, that’s ok too, because only they know what’s best for their family.
Public Health Ontario’s fact sheet (FR) provides guidance on how to care for a child who needs to self-isolate, which may include a child who has COVID-19, has symptoms of COVID-19, or has a known exposure to COVID-19.
- If a child develops severe symptoms, call 9-1-1. When calling an ambulance, tell the dispatcher that the child has/may have COVID-19. If a child is going to the hospital in a private vehicle, call ahead and let them know they have/may have COVID-19. For more information on how to care for a child with COVID-19 at home, please visit the Government of Canada website.
Call WECHU’s hotline at 519-258-2146 ext. 1350 for any questions about pregnancy, breastfeeding, parenting and growth and development (birth to entry to school). Available Monday to Friday 8:30am – 4:30pm.
A free home visiting program for pregnant mothers and families with children from birth until entry to school that need extra support. During this time, HBHC will be offering its services virtually either through phone or videoconferencing. Please call the Healthy Families Hotline at 519-258-2146 ext. 1350 for more information.
Provides services for families with children up to six years of age who are at risk for or experiencing mental health challenges or developmental concerns. To make a referral, to access services, or to speak with someone, call 519-250-1850. During this time, Children First is offering services virtually either through phone or videoconferencing.
Visit the Children First which includes a variety of resources for children and families. Visit the Children First website for more information.
Provides free and confidential health advice and breastfeeding support available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call 1-866-797-0000.
OMama is a website that connects women and families in Ontario to trusted pregnancy, birth and early parenting information.
Get the facts on pregnancy and childbirth from Canada’s experts on PregnancyInfo.ca, an evidence-based website about pregnancy and childbirth for the Canadian public and healthcare professionals. This website is an initiative of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada.
Infant Risk Center is a US based website that provides information about medications while pregnant or breastfeeding.
Nutrition and Food Access
Maintaining a diet of healthy foods is not only important for your physical health it is also necessary for your mental health.
If you are self-isolating and especially if you have symptoms, it is important to ensure good nutrition and hydration even if you have a low appetite. Choose a variety of foods including foods that have protein (e.g., chicken, meat, beans, lentils, tofu, cheese, milk, etc.), whole grains (e.g., rice, quinoa, whole grain breads, etc.), and vegetables and fruit (fresh, frozen or canned). If you are self-isolating make sure you have enough food at home to last during this period.
Remember that there is not need to rush and “stockpile” food and other essential supplies. Plan what you and/or your family will need and purchase these items gradually.
If you are currently under self-isolation or quarantine and did not get a chance to run to the grocery store, reach out to a family member, neighbour or friend for help getting essential supplies (food, personal care products, household products, or medications). Please ask them to drop off the food or supplies at the door to minimize contact. Those under self-isolation must NOT leave their house to go to the store.
You can also try delivery programs through grocery stores, pharmacies, or internet applications, meal subscription services, or take out from local restaurants.
Unfortunately, many families in our local community are experiencing issues with accessing food, whether it be because of un-paid time off due to the recent closures, lack of transportation, or lack of availability of food at local retail stores.
During pandemic times, all households are at risk of having food access issues. However, there are groups of people who are at higher risk including,
- Households with seniors
- Households dependent on social assistance for income
- Households working for low-paying wages
- Households led by females as lone parents
- Post-secondary students
If you are unable to afford food, emergency food services in Windsor and Essex County are available to help. By calling 211, you will be connected with open food banks or food hubs that can provide support.
If you are in need of emergency food, please call 211 to be connected with an emergency food service.
Concerns over the financial impact of COVID-19 have affected many individuals and families. There are several steps that you can take to begin to save money on your groceries. Here are helpful resources and tips on ways to make the most out of your grocery budget.
20 Ways to Save Money on Your Groceries: This article reminds us that healthy eating does not have to be expensive. Here are 20 tips to use next time you plan a grocery trip.
Save Money By Reducing Food Waste: Keep these five tips in mind to help you keep on track with your food budget and reduce your household food waste.
10 Tips for Planning Meals on a Budget: It all starts with having a plan. This may take some time, but will help you to save money in the long run. You can also get the family involved in menu planning.
Shopping Apps to Save you Money
There are several free apps that you can download on your smartphone right now to help you find the best deals around and save you money. Gone are the days of having to print and clip paper coupons! Click the links below to find out more about each app available to download. You may know of others that work best for you – don’t keep it a secret, share the link with your friends.
- Flipp: An app that houses all of your weekly flyers in one place. Price match at the counter by showing the cashier the food items you’ve “clipped” on your app.
- Reebee: A similar app to Flipp. Browse flyers and make a shopping list so that you’re prepared for your trip with the best deals around.
- PC Optimum: Download exclusive offers and earn points off of your purchases. Points can add up quickly and can be used to pay down your next grocery bill. Click here to learn more about program benefits.
- Flash Food: Browse fresh food available at the grocery store that is about to reach its best-before date. Buy at a very reduced price from your phone, and pick it up at the store.
Shopping Apps to Keep Your Grocery Trip Organized
These apps are easy to use, and can be shared with all family members so that everyone can have an input on the grocery list in an organized manner.
- AnyList: Create organized lists that will help you browse through the store in a breeze.
- Out of Milk: Combines a shopping list, pantry list, and a to-do list all in one app.
- Cozi Family: Keep and share a grocery list amongst all the members in your family so that everyone knows what is running out and what needs to be purchased.
- List Eaze: Similar to Cozi Family where you can share the grocery list with other members of your household, see what everyone needs, and share coupons.
Being active is still important during the pandemic and everyone should continue to find ways to participate for their physical and mental well-being. However, when being active in public, it is important we take proper safety precautions to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by following public health guidelines and restrictions. Please review the current restrictions in place for areas where we gather to be active such as sports fields, parks, recreation centres, gym facilities and pools on our our COVID-19 Guidance for Sports, Recreation & Leisure page before attending.
Learn more by viewing the Physical Activity Guidelines/Recommendations.
When instructed to self-isolate, you are required to separate yourself from others. This doesn’t mean that you cannot take part in physical activity if you are feeling well.
Although those who are required to self-isolate AND who are experiencing symptoms should rest, those required to self-isolate who are NOT experiencing symptoms can do physical activity on their balcony, in their yard, or around the perimeter of their home.
Some ways to become more physically active while self-isolating include:
- Take an online exercise class or follow an exercise video
- Jump rope
- Walk up and down the stairs in your home
- Clean or organize your home
- Wash the car
- Gardening and yard work
- Weight lifting with at home-equipment
- Practice yoga
- Grab a soccer ball, basketball, or football and kick or throw it around in your yard.
- Play with your pets in the backyard (play fetch or chase them around the yard)