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Middlesex-London Health Unit

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How to Prevent the Spread of Respiratory Viruses

As the Middlesex-London Health Unit sees increased activity of respiratory viruses this fall season, please consider your risk and continue to follow the public health guidance below.


Protect yourself

  • Screen yourself daily for respiratory symptoms.
  • Stay home if you're sick - if you have respiratory symptoms, self-isolate and follow the self-isolation instructions.
  • Keep your vaccines up to date (COVID-19 and influenza)
  • Wear a mask when it feels right for you.
  • Wash your hands regularly.
  • Clean surfaces regularly.

More information


Wear a mask when it feels right for you.

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Practice Proper Hand Hygiene

Learn how to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer (PDF)

Clean your hands frequently. Either:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 15-20 seconds, or;
  • Use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content in a community setting (e.g. schools).1 In healthcare settings, use a minimum of 70% alcohol content.2

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Cover your Coughs and Sneezes

Learn how to cover your coughs and sneezes (PDF)

  • Cough into your sleeve or elbow.
  • Sneeze into a tissue then promptly throw the tissue into the garbage or sneeze into your sleeve.

Always wash your hands after coughing or sneezing.

Clean and Disinfect High-Touch Areas

Learn how to clean and disinfect in public settings (PDF)

Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces and shared spaces more often and when visibly dirty.

High-touch surfaces include:

  • Doorknobs
  • Elevator buttons
  • Light switches
  • Toilet handles
  • Counters
  • Hand rails
  • Touch screen surfaces and keypads
  • Remote controls

Commonly used cleaners and disinfectants are effective against COVID-19 or you can make your own with bleach (PDF).

Date of creation: January 27, 2020
Last modified on: October 19, 2023


1Ministry of Education. (2021, January 20). Guide to reopening Ontario's schools. Retrieved from
2Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion (Public Health Ontario), Provincial Infectious Diseases Advisory Committee. (2014). Best practices for hand hygiene in all health care settings, 4th ed. Retrieved from