Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

In January 2020, a novel (new) coronavirus (COVID-19) was identified as the cause of an outbreak of pneumonia originating in Wuhan, China. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified COVID-19 as a pandemic.

Since the outset, Public Health Ontario has been conducting laboratory testing and working with healthcare partners to expand testing capacity. We have also been working very closely with the Ministry of Health and local public health units to provide evidence and expertise to inform decisions and policy around surveillance, case and contact management, and infection control.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that originate in animals but are known to cause respiratory illness in humans, particularly during the fall and winter months. Other novel coronaviruses have included Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV).


Ontario COVID-19 Data Tool

The Ontario COVID-19 Data Tool provides epidemiological information of COVID-19 activity in Ontario to-date. Users can explore the most recent COVID-19 data by public health unit, age group, sex, and view trends over time.

View COVID-19 Data Tool

Current Situation in Ontario

The number of cases are changing quickly and the provincial and federal governments are rapidly putting in place measures that are precautionary to minimize the risk of exposure and spread.

Please check the Ministry of Health website for additional information about the evolving situation and the provincial response.

For more information on the Government of Canada’s response, including travel information and precautions at international airports and borders, visit Health Canada’s website.

For Health Care Providers

For COVID-19 specific guidance including case definitions please refer to the Ministry of Health COVID-19 Guidance. PHO is working closely with the Ministry of Health in the development of a wide variety of resources for those in various sectors and settings, guidance for effective surveillance and the continual review of the provincial case definition. We continue to monitor emerging information to provide timely scientific and technical advice, including summaries of global research. Please refer to the resources and links below.

Laboratory Testing

Please note that requests for testing can only be obtained through a health care provider (e.g., doctor, nurse practitioner, etc.) for individuals meeting criteria for testing as outlined by the Ministry of Health. Patients may now view their test results through a provincial online portal. If your results are not available online, please contact the health care provider that ordered your test.

Health care providers should refer to our COVID-19 Test Information Sheet for more information. For additional testing advice and support please contact Public Health Ontario’s Customer Service Centre at 416-235-6556 / 1-877-604-4567.


Updated 31 May 2020