• NMCH

The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)



Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more serious respiratory infections like bronchitis, pneumonia or severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).

Coronaviruses are spread mainly from person to person through close contact, for example, in a household, workplace or health care centre.

Some human coronaviruses spread easily between people, while others do not.

Your risk of severe disease may be higher if you have a weakened immune system. This may be the case for:

  • older people

  • people with chronic disease (for example, diabetes, cancer, heart, renal or chronic lung disease)

The 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

The 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) causes a respiratory infection that originated in Wuhan, China.

The first presumptive case of this infection in Ontario was identified on January 25, 2020.

Current affected areas

The following geographic areas are identified as affected areas:

  • China (mainland)

  • Hong Kong

  • Iran

  • Italy

  • Japan

  • Singapore

  • South Korea

Travellers returning from affected areas

Travellers who have returned from Hubei province, including Wuhan City, should:

  • contact their local public health unit within 24 hours of arriving in Canada

  • stay at home and avoid close contact with others, including those in their home, for a total of 14 days from the date they left Hubei province

  • contact Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 or their local public health unit if they experience symptoms of the 2019 novel coronavirus

Travellers who have returned from areas under a travel health advisory for COVID-19 should:

  • monitor themselves for symptoms of the 2019 novel coronavirus for 14 days after leaving the affected area

  • contact Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 or their local public health unit if they experience symptoms of the 2019 novel coronavirus

Learn about travel advisories related to the 2019 novel coronavirus.

Laboratory testing

Testing is being conducted at the Public Health Ontario Laboratory, which is working collaboratively with the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg.

How Ontario is preparing