Protect Yourself and Others

Physical distancing involves limiting the number of people you and your family come into close contact with. This is critical to limit the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the community.

Everyone in the community can help protect themselves and others by following these steps:

  • Stay home. Avoid non-essential trips in the community.
  • If you need groceries or essential items, practice physical distancing and stay 2 metres (6 feet) away from others.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose.
  • Clean phones and other devices regularly.
  • Avoid contact with people who are ill and their items.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue. If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands. Wash hands after coughing and sneezing.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle, including a healthy diet, exercise and enough sleep, to enhance your body's immune system.

Recommendations for those who have not travelled

Those above age 70 years of age, those with compromised immune systems and/or underlying medical conditions should self-isolate.  This means only leaving home or seeing other people for essential reasons. Seek services over the phone or internet and ask for help from friends, family or neighbours with essential errands.

For all others:

  • Stay at home unless you need to pick up groceries, medication or access health services. Even if you don’t have symptoms of COVID-19, you could become infected by others.
  • Talk to your employer about working at home or virtual meetings if possible.
  • Avoid all non-essential trips in your community.
  • Do not gather in groups of more than 5 people.
  • Limit contact with people at higher risk (e.g., older adults and those in poor health).
  • Go outside to walk your pet but stay close to home.
  • If you leave your home, always keep a distance of at least 2 arms lengths (approximately 2 metres) from others. Household contacts (people you live with) do not need to distance from each other unless they are sick or have travelled in the last 14 days.

You can go for a walk close to home if you:

  • Have not been diagnosed with COVID-19;
  • Do not have symptoms of COVID-19;
  • Have not travelled outside of Canada in the past 14 days;
  • Do not have underlying medical conditions (e.g., diabetes, cancer);
  • Are not immunocompromised;
  • Are below age 70.

If you go out for a walk, do not congregate and always practise physical distancing by keeping at least two metres (6 feet) from others at all times.
If you have travelled, review these instructions.

Translated COVID-19 awareness resources
Visit the Government of Canada’s website for translated resources on how to Protect Yourself & Others. Documents are translated into various languages, and include topics such as:

Tips to manage mental health during COVID-19
During times like these, having a heightened sense of anxiety is completely normal. The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) is offering some tips to manage mental health during COVID-19.

Contact us

Contact Hamilton Public Health Services for information related to COVID-19:

COVID-19 hotline at 905-974-9848

Send questions to [email protected]

Related links

How to self-isolate and self-monitor

World Health Organization

Message from CEO/Chief Librarian of HPL