Indigenous Services Canada has released an important Public Health Alert for Fall Respiratory Viruses. With the changing weather, respiratory illnesses across the Ontario province, such as Influenza A and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) are on the rise. COVID-19 continues to be a concern in Ontario. An increase in activity of multiple respiratory viruses creates a more complex respiratory illness season with the potential to stretch the health system.


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.


The Community Health Program is providing the following tips to prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses:


  • Stay up-to-date with your vaccinations including a fall COVID-19 booster and flu vaccine when eligible for the best protection against getting very sick from COVID-19 and influenza.
  • Even if you have had a recent COVID-19 infection, staying up-to-date with your vaccinations gives you stronger hybrid immunity.
  • Socialize outdoors when possible – outdoors is lower risk than indoors.
  • Wear a high-quality, well-fitting mask, especially indoors, and based on the setting and situation. Masks are strongly recommended in indoor public settings, especially if you are around people who are at higher risk or have a health condition.
  • Stay home if you are sick or have symptoms, even if they are mild.
  • If you have symptoms, get tested for COVID-19 and treatment if you are eligible.
  • Wash or sanitize your hands often.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with your elbow or a tissue.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
  • Choose well-ventilated spaces when possible.
  • Reduce or limit the number of people you have close contact with, especially indoors and if you are around people who are at higher risk or have a health condition.
  • Keep a physical distance when possible, especially indoors.


COVID-19 & respiratory viruses are spread by:

  • Respiratory droplets that come out of your nose and mouth when you breathe, talk, cough, or sneeze;
  • Aerosols, which are tiny respiratory droplets that can stay in the air longer;
  • Close contact (being within 2 metres for 15 minutes or more, or for multiple short periods of time without a mask), in crowded indoor spaces is a common way that viruses spread through respiratory droplets;
  • Touching something with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes.


Using layers of protection can prevent the spread of COVID-19 and respiratory viruses and help keep everyone safe. 


The Community Health Program is offering seasonal influenza vaccinations at the Kanonhkwa’tsheri:io Health Facility (KHF) on November 4th and November 18th, by appointment or walk-in, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.


For more information, or to schedule a seasonal influenza vaccination, please contact the Community Health Program at 613-575-2341 ext. 3220.