Be prepared for COVID-19 (factsheet)

Canada's health system is ready to respond to cases that arise in Canada, but it is important that individuals and communities are ready if there is widespread illness here at home.

Plan ahead

Take time to consider what you will do if you or a family member becomes sick and needs care. Think about:

  • What food and household supplies you need for you and your family
  • What medicines you need, including renewing and refilling prescriptions ahead of time

Discuss your plans with your family, friends and neighbours, and set up a system to check in on each other by phone, email or text during times of need.

Get prepared

Have supplies on hand so you do not need to leave your home if you become ill. Add a few extra items to your grocery cart every time you shop. This places less of a burden on suppliers, and can help ease financial burden on you as well.


  • dried pasta and rice
  • pasta sauces
  • canned soups, vegetables and beans
  • fever-reducing medications (acetaminophen or ibuprofen for adults and children)
  • pet food and supplies
  • thermometer
  • diapers
  • soap
  • facial tissue
  • toilet paper
  • feminine hygiene products
  • paper towels
  • plastic garbage bags
  • alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol
  • dish soap
  • laundry detergent
  • regular household cleaning products
  • hard surface disinfectant, or if not available, concentrated (5%) liquid bleach and a separate container for dilution

Stay healthy and limit spread

  • Practice physical distancing at all times.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Sneeze or cough into your arm or sleeve.
  • Consider a wave in place of a handshake, a hug or kiss.
  • Reduce your exposure to crowded places by shopping or using transit during non-peak hours.
  • Encourage those you know are sick to stay home until they no longer have symptoms.
  • If you become ill, stay home until you are no longer showing symptoms. Contact your health care professional or local public health authority and tell them your symptoms. They will give you advice about what to do next.
  • Some people may transmit COVID-19 even though they do not show any symptoms. Wearing a mask, including a non-medical mask or face covering (i.e. made with at least two layers of tightly woven fabric, constructed to completely cover the nose and mouth without gaping, and secured to the head by ties or ear loops) can help protect others around you.

Stay informed

For more information on coronavirus:

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