Last updated: March 9, 2021 at 10:28 a.m.

On January 4, 2021, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health issued a Letter of Instruction to all employers in the City of Toronto permitted to be open under the Reopening Ontario Act. Employers permitted to be open are required to take the additional measures set out in this Letter to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Read the Ministry of Health COVID-19 Guidance: Congregate Living for Vulnerable Populations. Homelessness services (e.g. shelters) and congregate living settings can read about COVID-19 preparedness and prevention and outbreak management in the Public Health Ontario COVID-19 Preparedness and Prevention in Congregate Living Settings Checklist and the Public Health Ontario Managing COVID-19 Outbreaks in Congregate Living Settings Checklist.  

Homelessness service providers who want to report an individual with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, or who have questions related to an individual with suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19, can contact the TPH Shelters Intake Line at 416-338-1521 or email between the hours of 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. After-hours, please contact 311.

Learn how Toronto Public Health works with shelters to help control and prevent the spread of COVID-19. The Planning Guide for Housing Service Providers and Shelters identifies issues and critical elements of emergency preparedness that organizations should consider in planning for a pandemic.

Learn about current shelter operations, as well as sanitation and washroom services that have showers, washrooms, and drinking water, for individuals experiencing homelessness.

Resources for Shelters & Homeless Service Providers


Testing & Referrals to Isolation

Managing COVID-19 Outbreaks

Resources for Clients

COVID-19 Directives, Memos & Policies



Vaccinations in Shelters, Drop-ins and for People Living Outside
  • Ontario Health Toronto Region and the local Ontario Health Teams are leading the vaccination efforts for people experiencing homelessness.
  • Unity Health has developed a Playbook to guide vaccinations in shelters
  • The City is asking that all homelessness service providers track vaccine uptake using the following survey: The survey collects aggregate information, including site and program names, number of individuals vaccinated and health care partner information. Personal health information is not being collected.
  • The City is offering incentives for people experiencing homelessness to receive the vaccine. Incentive order form.
Vaccine Resources

Temporary Pandemic Pay

Physical Distancing Posters

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in Shelter Settings

Infection Prevention and Control in Homelessness Service Settings