COVID-19

If you are having difficulty breathing or experiencing other severe COVID-19 symptoms, call 911. Advise them of your symptoms and travel history, if applicable.

Waterloo Region residents are strongly advised to continue practicing public health measures and advice and, if eligible, get vaccinated to slow the spread of COVID-19.

For recommendations on what to do if you’ve been exposed, have symptoms or for screening take the COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool for yourself or on behalf of someone else. For schools/child care, please refer to the COVID-19 School and Child Care Screening Tool.

If you have questions related to COVID-19 case or contact testing and isolation guidance, call the Provincial Testing and Isolation Information line at 1-888-777-0730.

COVID-19 assessment and testing

COVID-19 FAQs

COVID-19 self-assessment

COVID-19 Vaccine

Public Health news and notices

Return to school

Waterloo Region COVID-19 summary

Vaccine Information for Primary Care

Background

Region of Waterloo Public Health continues to work closely with local hospitals, health care partners, the Ministry of Health, Public Health Ontario and many community partners to respond to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Waterloo Region.

For more information on COVID-19, visit the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) - Ministry of Health and the COVID-19 - Public Health Agency of Canada.

Symptoms of COVID-19 

Symptoms of COVID-19 can range from mild illness - like the flu and other common respiratory infections - to severe. Please refer to the Ministry of Health for a full list of COVID-19 symptoms.

If you have any symptoms use the self-assessment tool. The self-assessment tool will help determine if you need to seek care, or testing, based on your symptoms. Follow the instructions in the tool. 

If you or someone you live with receives a positive rapid or molecular test result, follow the applicable isolation guidelines outlined on the Ministry of Health COVID-19 testing and treatment webpage.

If you have questions related to COVID-19 case or contact testing and isolation guidelines, please call the Provincial Testing and Isolation Information line at 1-888-777-0730.

Most people with mild symptoms will recover on their own at home.

Symptoms that get worse

If you have symptoms that get worse, such as a cough or fever:

  • Call your health care provider (if applicable)
  • Contact Health Connect Ontario at 811 (TTY: 1-866-797-0007)

Severe symptoms

If you have severe symptoms such as severe difficulty breathing, severe chest pain, confusion, or loss of consciousness:

  • Call 911
  • Go to the hospital emergency department and advise them of your symptoms and travel history, if applicable

Access appropriate healthcare from your health care provider or an emergency department if you are experiencing severe symptoms. Region of Waterloo Public Health is not able to provide phone assessments of symptoms.

What to do if you have been exposed or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19? 

If you think you may have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19, please continue to self-monitor for signs of illness and follow public health measures and advice.

If you have any symptoms use the self-assessment tool. The screening tool will help determine if you need to seek care, or testing, based on your symptoms. Follow the instructions in the tool. 

How to self-isolate  

See how to self-isolate for guidance. To determine if you should self-isolate, complete the self-assessment tool.  

Safe voluntary isolation site  
Region of Waterloo Public Health has a safe voluntary isolation site to support individuals who are unable to isolate safely at home. For more information on eligibility and how to apply, visit our Safe Voluntary Isolation Site webpage. 
Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT) 

Rapid antigen tests are easy-to-use tests that detect certain proteins in the virus to confirm the presence of COVID-19. Results from these tests can be available in as little as 15 minutes.

Rapid Antigen Test results  

A negative test result on a single rapid antigen test cannot rule out COVID-19 infection by itself. People infected with COVID-19 may test negative for several days before testing positive on a rapid antigen test, particularly early in COVID-19 infection. Repeat testing at least 24–48 hours after your first negative test to be more confident in your status.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, assume that you may have the virus and may be contagious. Complete the self-assessment tool for recommendations on what to do next.

If you are eligible for treatment and have an initial negative rapid antigen test result, it is recommended that you seek laboratory-based or rapid molecular testing as soon as possible given the time frame for receiving therapeutics.

A positive test result does not need to be reported to a public health unit, unless otherwise directed by public health guidance. If you receive a positive result on a rapid antigen test, you do not need a PCR or rapid molecular test to confirm your result.

If you or someone you live with receives a positive rapid or molecular test result, follow the applicable isolation guidelines outlined on the Ministry of Health COVID-19 testing and treatment webpage and refer to How to Self-Isolate.

If you have questions related to COVID-19 testing and isolation guidelines, please call the Provincial Testing and Isolation Information line at 1-888-777-0730. 

Rapid Antigen Test instructions  
To learn more about Rapid Antigen Test kits and how to use them, please visit the Ministry of Health’s Rapid testing for at-home use webpage. 
Where to get a RAT  
Please visit Get a free rapid test kit to find a pharmacy or retailer near you with free COVID-19 rapid antigen test kits available for at-home use. 

 

Treatment

For information on caring for someone with COVID-19 and antiviral treatment information, visit our Covid-19 Treatments webpage.

Travelling 

For information on travel restrictions and isolation requirements, please refer to COVID-19: Travel, testing and borders.

How to protect yourself 

Everyone has a role to play to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and respiratory viruses (such as the flu). The actions you take will protect you, loved ones and those most vulnerable in our community.

Below are some actions you can take to reduce your risk. The higher the level of risk you are facing, the more important it is to consistently use as many of these layers as you can. Every single layer counts!

  • Stay up-to-date on your vaccines by getting your annual flu shot and your COVID-19 booster as soon as you're eligible. Use this eligibility checker to find out if it's time to get your COVID-19 booster: Booster dose eligibility checker (ontario.ca)
  • Wear a well-fitting mask in public, indoor spaces to reduce the spread of viruses and protects those at highest risk.
  • Wash your hands often and thoroughly. Good hand hygiene is important to prevent the spread of viruses (such as the flu). If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces and shared items regularly. Viruses can live for 24 to 48 hours on hard surfaces such as countertops, door handles, computer keyboards, and phones.
  • Stay home if you are sick to prevent transmission to others. Continue to self-monitor daily for signs of illness, and complete the COVID-19 self assessment tool if symptoms develop for recommendations on what to do next. Seek medical attention for severe or worsening symptoms .
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hands.

For more information on how to layer protection from COVID-19, refer to the How to protect yourself from COVID-19 fact sheet, and Ministry of Health’s public health measures and advice.

Social determinants of health 

For information about social determinants of health throughout the COVID-19 pandemic in Waterloo Region, please visit our Health Reports, Plans, and Data webpage.

Support during COVID-19  
For more information on what financial, mental health and other supports are available to you in Ontario, please visit COVID-19 support for people
Resources 
COVID-19 exposure  
General information 
 
Translated resources 

For more resources in translation visit the Immigration Partnership.

This website has a built in translation feature that can translate any page on the website into one of over 90 languages. Watch the video "How to use the Google Translate feature."

Additional translated resources 
 
Frequently Asked Questions 
Review our list of COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

  

Submit a COVID-19 complaint

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