The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), in collaboration with Canadian public health experts has developed this guidance for federal/provincial/territorial (F/P/T) public health authorities (PHA) on the use of public health measures (PHM) to reduce and delay transmission of COVID-19 in the community.
Canada’s pandemic goals, which are first, to minimize serious illness and overall deaths, and second to minimize societal disruption among CanadiansFootnotei, will guide Canada’s response to COVID-19. This guidance considers the Canadian context and is based on currently available scientific evidence, expert opinion and public health assumptions. This guidance incorporates relevant advice from the CPIP Public Health Measures AnnexFootnoteii throughout. Given the evolving nature of COVID-19 epidemiology, the intent of this guidance is to prepare PHAs in the event of community-based spread recently seen elsewhere in the world. This guidance is subject to change as information emerges on transmissibility and epidemiology, and if treatment options or new information on clinical management becomes available. It is expected that the timing and intensity of virus activity will vary across Canada and within provinces and territories, i.e., some regions may be experiencing sustained community transmission while others are only having isolated cases with limited person to person transmission. The focus of this guidance is to delay and mitigate the community transmission of COVID-19; however, the containment approaches outlined in Public Health Management of cases and contacts associated with novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19)Footnoteiii are applicable as Canada is still in the containment strategy given the limited number of cases in Canada. This guidance should be read in conjunction with relevant P/T and local legislation, regulations and policies. For information regarding COVID-19, visit the Canada.ca and WHO web sites.