Last updated: March 15, 2023

To reduce the spread of all respiratory viruses, including COVID-19, anyone who feels sick should stay home and complete the self-assessment tool to learn more about what to do next. Find out if you are eligible for COVID-19 treatment, continue to follow public health measures and stay up-to-date with your vaccinations including a COVID-19 booster for the best protection.

Respiratory illnesses, including Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), Influenza and COVID-19, can cause serious illness, especially to children under 5 years of age.

Complete a daily symptom check for your child. Keep your child home if they have symptoms, even mild ones, and until they are feeling better and pass the daily Self-Screening Questionnaire.

Here are some ways to provide care and support for a sick child:

  • Offer them plenty of liquids to prevent dehydration (lack of fluids in the body).
  • Encourage them to rest and offer them their favorite books, games, music, or movies.
  • Have your child wear layered clothing that are easy to put on and take off during chills or fever.
  • Treat fever and pain with medications  when needed.
  • Use a humidifier to help with a stuffy nose.
  • Monitor symptoms and contact a healthcare provider if they are getting worse.

Speak to a healthcare provider or call 811 (Health Connect Ontario) if you have questions about your child’s health.

Seek medical attention if your child has any of the following:

  • Is under 3 months of age with a fever or trouble breathing
  • Fever that lasts more than 7 days
  • Bluish skin colour
  • Not drinking enough fluid
  • Not waking up
  • Fever with a rash
  • Constant vomiting or diarrhea
  • Has a weak immune system and has a fever

Learn more about how to prevent further spread of respiratory viruses.

Anyone 6 months and older should stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines, including a fall booster for anyone 5 years of age and older. Anyone 6 months and older can safely get their COVID-19 booster and other vaccines at the same time. Make sure that your child has finished their isolation before getting vaccinated.


If you are caring for or living with someone who has a respiratory illness, such as COVID-19 and the flu, follow these steps to reduce the spread of illness at home:

Clean your hands often

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for 15 seconds after being in contact with the person who has symptoms and throughout the day.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water is not available.

Wear a mask, gloves and eye protection

  • Wear a high quality well-fitted mask when you are caring for someone with symptoms. Encourage the person with symptoms to wear a mask, if possible (do not put masks on children under two years old).
  • Use gloves and eye protection if you have contact with the person’s body fluids (e.g. blood, saliva, vomit, urine or feces).
  • After providing care, take off your gloves before removing your eye protection and mask. Clean your hands after taking off each item.
  • Place disposable used items in a garbage bin lined with a plastic bag, and clean your hands after handling garbage.

Limit interactions with the sick person

  • Limit visitors to those who are essential (e.g. support or home care professionals) and keep visits short
  • Have the person with symptoms self-isolate as much as possible, especially from people who are at high-risk of serious illness from respiratory viruses
  • As much as possible, keep a physical distance from all others in the household
  • Avoid sleeping in the same bed as your sick child

Avoid sharing

  • Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding or other items with the person who has symptoms.
  • All items should be washed between each use.

Household cleaning

  • Clean & disinfect frequently-touched items, including countertops, light switches, toilets, faucets, and doorknobs.
  • After use, items should be washed with liquid soap or detergent in warm water. Dishwashers and washing machines can be used.
  • Items used by the person with symptoms can be washed with other items.
  • Regular household cleaners or detergents can be used. Choose a cleaning product that cleans and disinfects. Follow product instructions.

Improve ventilation and air flow

  • Increase natural air flow by opening windows if it is safe to do so, using portable fans or ceiling fans
  • Use and maintain HVAC systems or use portable air cleaners, if possible, and keep vents clear from items
  • Learn more about improving ventilation and air flow.

Check for symptoms


For information in French about COVID-19, please visit the Government of Ontario’s website and Public Health Ontario portal.