Covid-19 Information

COVID-19 Update #17 – February Update

How COVID-19 spreads

COVID-19 spreads from an infected person to others through respiratory droplets and aerosols created when an infected person coughs, sneezes, sings, shouts, or talks. The droplets vary in size from large droplets that fall to the ground rapidly (within seconds or minutes) near the infected person, to smaller droplets, sometimes called aerosols, which linger in the air under some circumstances.

The relative infectiousness of droplets of different sizes is not clear. Infectious droplets or aerosols may come into direct contact with the mucous membranes of another person’s nose, mouth or eyes, or they may be inhaled into their nose, mouth, airways and lungs. The virus may also spread when a person touches another person (i.e., a handshake) or a surface or an object that has the virus on it, and then touches their mouth, nose or eyes with unwashed hands.

Difference between quarantine and isolate

People are asked to quarantine or isolate to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 to others. Although these two words are often thought to mean the same thing, there’s an important difference.


If you have no symptoms and any of the following apply to you, you must quarantine for 14 days (starting from the date you arrive in Canada):

  • you’re returning from travel outside of Canada (mandatory quarantine)
  • you’re travelling to a province or territory that’s enforcing 14-day quarantine for all inter-provincial travellers
  • you had close contact with someone who has or is suspected to have COVID-19
  • you’ve been told by the public health authority that you may have been exposed to COVID-19 and need to quarantine isolate

 You must isolate if any of the following apply:

  • you’ve been diagnosed with COVID-19, or are waiting to hear the results of a lab test for COVID-19
  • you have symptoms of COVID-19, even if mild, and you’ve been:
  • in contact with someone who has or is suspected to have COVID-19
  • told by public health that you may have been exposed to COVID-19
  • you’ve returned from travel outside Canada with symptoms of COVID-19 (mandatory)

Preventing COVID-19

COVID-19 vaccines.  Vaccines are safe, effective and the best way to protect you and those around you from serious illnesses like COVID-19

Vaccines work with your immune system so your body will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed. This can reduce your risk of developing COVID-19 and make your symptoms milder if you do get it. 

Safe and reliable vaccines can help protect you and your family from COVID-19.

They will be an important tool to help stop the spread of the virus and allow individuals, families and workers to safely resume normal life. The coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine does not cause a coronavirus infection. It helps to build up your immunity to the virus, so your body will fight it off more easily if it affects you. After independent and thorough scientific reviews for safety, efficacy and quality, Health Canada has approved two vaccines for use in Canada:

  • Pfizer-BioNTech– approved on December 9, 2020
  • Moderna– approved on December 23, 2020

Both vaccines are manufactured in Belgium. After two doses, they are expected to be 94-95% effective.

Flu vaccine

Getting your annual flu shot is the best way to protect yourself, your family and people at high risk of complications from the flu. It will help:

  • protect your community
  • reduce the burden on Canada’s health care system during the pandemic

The flu shot will not protect against COVID-19, but it will help reduce your risk of getting the flu and COVID-19 at the same time. Having both illnesses at the same time could put you at a higher risk for severe complications. Getting the flu shot will not increase your risk of illness from COVID-19.

Follow public health measures

Canadians should continue to think ahead about the actions that they can take to stay healthy and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Canada. Measures to reduce COVID-19 in your community are especially important as some areas begin to lift restrictions.

In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 within communities and across the country, all Canadians are advised to avoid or keep exposure very brief.

  • Avoid closed spaces, crowded places, close contact settings and close-range conversation or settings where there’s:
    • singing
    • shouting
    • heavy breathing (for example, during exercise)
  • Wear a non-medical mask or face covering when you’re in:
    • public and you might come into close contact with others
    • shared indoor spaces with people from outside your immediate household
  • Stay home and away from others if you feel sick.
  • Keep the number of people you have prolonged contact with as small as possible.
  • Stick to a small and consistent social circle and avoid gathering in large groups.
  • Talk to your employer about working at home if possible.
  • Limit contact with those at risk of more severe illness, such as:
    • older adults
    • those with underlying medical conditions
    • those with compromised immune systems
  • Go outside to exercise.
  • Maintain a physical distance of 2 meters from people outside of your household.
  • Household contacts (people you live with) don’t need to distance from each other unless they’re sick or have travelled in the last 14 days.

Risks of getting COVID-19

The risk of getting COVID-19 is evolving daily and varies between and within communities. Overall, the risk to Canadians remains high. This doesn’t mean that all Canadians will get the disease. It means that there’s already a significant impact on our health care system.

To stay healthy and to protect ourselves and others, we must be mindful of the ever-present risk of exposure to the virus. Some settings and situations increase the risk, such as being in:

  • closed spaces
  • crowded places
  • close-contact settings where you can’t keep 2 metres apart from each other
  • close-range conversations
  • settings where there’s singing, shouting or heavy breathing (for example, during exercise)

It’s particularly important to avoid settings where these risks overlap, such as closed spaces and crowded spaces where close-range conversations occur.

False and misleading claims

Health Canada is closely tracking all potential drugs and vaccines in development in Canada and abroad. We are working with companies, academic research centres and investigators to help expedite the development and availability of treatments to prevent and treat COVID-19. 

Selling unauthorized health products or making false or misleading claims to prevent, treat or cure COVID-19 is illegal in Canada. We take this matter very seriously and we’re taking action to stop this activity.

We encourage anyone who has information regarding potential non-compliant sale or advertising of any health product claiming to treat, prevent or cure COVID-19.

COVID-19 Update #16 – New Lockdown Regulations

As of December 26, 2020, the province of Ontario has entered a State of Emergency. Emergency Lockdown Measures have been reenacted.  Here is a breakdown of the new rules and regulations in ASL. 

COVID-19 Update #15


In a news conference at Queen’s Park, Doug Ford, the premier of Ontario, announces new public-health measures aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) in the province. 

The premier announces that the province has declared a state of emergency effective immediately for at least 28 days and that a stay-at-home order will take effect at 12:01am Thursday, January 14, 2021. 

Under the order, only essential trips outside the home will be permitted. The premier also announces that there will be no in-person learning at schools in Windsor-Essex, Peel, Toronto, York, and Hamilton, until February 10, 2021. 

In addition, the province is further limiting the size of outdoor gatherings, mandating mandatory mask use inside open businesses, limiting the opening hours of non-essential retail stores, and introducing further restrictions on non-essential construction. (January 12, 2021)

COVID-19 Update #14

Premier Ford has announced new restrictions for social gatherings:
10 people at an indoor event or gathering (previous limit of 50).
25 people at an outdoor event or gathering (previous limit of 100).

COVID-19 Update #13

COVID-19 Supports in the Durham Region – Updated as of August 12, 2020

Please click this link for the full list:

Framework for Reopening our Province

Ontario’s plan for reopening the province done in ASL!

COVID-19 Update #12

The Durham Region has announced that starting on Friday, July 10, 2020, wearing masks in indoor public settings is now mandatory.

Some areas, where masks will be mandatory, include retail stores, grocery stores, convenience stores, places of worship, businesses providing personal care services, libraries, museums, indoor event spaces, and recreational facilities, etc.


You can wear non-medical masks or reusable cloth masks. Remember to keep social distancing and stay safe!


COVID-19 Update #11

The Federal government has announced that all seniors in Canada, who receive the Old Age Security Pension, will be receiving $300.

The Government has warned that there is also a scam going around where people are trying to email or phone you and saying you have to fill out a registration form. This is a scam – filling out a form or giving personal info is not necessary. Everything is being done automatically by the Government and seniors will receive this benefit.

COVID-19 Update #10

Here is information on 2 more scams and frauds: the Boss scam and Water Dept. scam.

Please be aware of them and stay safe.


Click the button to learn more information on the “Water Dept.” scam: 

COVID-19 Update #9

There is a new text message scam that is happening during this pandemic.

Please click the button for more information:

COVID-19 Update #8

Durham Deaf Services office will remain closed until May 31, 2020. This decision is based on expert advice from public health officials and DDS does not want to put anyone at risk of becoming infected. DDS is planning on opening the office when it is safe to do so.

We want to remind you that you can still contact DDS by phone, Skype, email, etc. You can find additional contact information and resources on our website: as well as on our Facebook page. All of our staff continue to work from home and are available if you have any questions.  

COVID-19 Update #7

Some people have asked about cleaning products and disinfectants since President Trump made a statement.

This is dangerous and not true.

Please do not ever put cleaning chemicals into your body or use them on your skin. Please for your safety DO NOT drink or ingest any cleaning products or chemicals.

Thank you, and if you have any questions feel free to contact either me at or Stefanie Gibbons at

COVID-19 Update #6

COVID-19 Supports in the Durham Region

Please click the button for the full list:

Covid-19 Update #5

Hello, my name is Behishta. I am a literacy instructor at Durham Deaf Services. Yesterday, Premier Ford announced that Ontario will extend the State of Emergency another 28 days due to COVID-19.

Did you know that people are not aware of the scams/frauds being used to prey on vulnerable seniors during COVID-19? I am giving you a list of 10 [click the button below].

COVID-19 Update #4

Hello, my name is Behishta. I am a literacy instructor at DDS. Today I am giving you an update about Canadian Hearing Services (CHS) regarding Video Remote Interpreting (VRI).

What is VRI? Video Remote Interpreting enables communication for Deaf and hard of hearing people through video.

For safety reasons, Interpreters are not meeting with Deaf individuals in person. Interpreters will stay home and will connect with Deaf clients via video.

You can connect to VRI using phones, IPAD, computers, or tablets.  When can you use VRI? When you are going to the family doctor’s office, dentist, hospital, or police station.

How does it work? Deaf clients have to ask their Doctor to give them their email for VRI to send the Doctor the link. The Doctor can open it for deaf clients to see the interpreter. The Doctor will communicate with you and the interpreter. It is very confidential.

CHS only hires professional interpreters who have past skills-based screening. They keep all information confidential and WILL NOT share it with anyone else. They want to provide you services in the safest possible way.

You can also contact CHS VRI for mental health, contacting the police about an emergency, and much more. The CHS website ( will have up to date information.

For requesting interpreting services: you can contact for any appointments.

For emergency interpreting services: you can contact

Thank you, and a reminder that if you have any questions feel free to contact either me at or Stefanie Gibbons at 

COVID-19 Update #3

Durham Deaf Services will not open on Monday, April 6

The instructors in the literacy program have contacted all of the students in the program. Students in the literacy program are encouraged to contact Stefanie or Behishta if you have questions, need support, or to clarify information that you don’t understand.

If there are any individuals in the community who are deaf and need assistance with any forms or understanding regarding COVID-19, please contact Stefanie Gibbons at

We ask you to keep checking our Facebook page for updates as well as our DDS website. Our staff is available to members of the deaf community in the Durham Region. If you wish to contact us, you can send an email to or if you check our Facebook page you will see other ways to contact us, for example, Glide or Skype.

Premier Doug Ford is posting announcements with ASL interpretation. These announcements will keep you up-to-date as to the government’s position on physical distancing/social distancing. It is still important for everyone to stay home. Please make sure that you wash your hands on a regular basis and do not touch your face, etc. If you have to go out please maintain a 6 foot or 2-metre distance between you and the next person. The only way that we will contain the spread of this virus is if we stay home. More information and updates of stats can be found on the government’s website for COVID-19. 

The Premier of Ontario Doug Ford has announced a state of emergency where only essential services are to remain open. The state of emergency is in effect until Monday, April 13.

Covid-19 Update #2

Effective March 18, 2020, DDS will be closed until further notice.

Durham Deaf Services has made the decision to close our office in order to best protect the health and well-being of our community.

With the current information provided regarding the COVID-19 virus, Durham Deaf Services will be temporarily closing to align with efforts to slow down the spread of the virus and protect the health and safety of our community members.

COVID-19 is a serious threat to the safety of our community, and we believe it is in all of our best interests to close our office.  Our priority is our community’s safety.

Our staff will be working remotely and will be responding to emails.

You can contact us via phone or email.

Thank you for your understanding and patience. Please stay safe during this difficult time.

We will ensure that regular updates are posted on the DDS website and all our social media to keep everyone informed.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us at 905 579-3328 (voice/TTY) or

Covid-19 Update #1

COVID-19 Precautions – Announcement #1 March 16, 2020

In order to protect the health and safety of Durham Deaf Services Community – the students in our literacy program our stakeholders, staff, the Deaf community, volunteers, and the community at large, Durham Deaf Services is taking the following precautionary measures:

We are asking you to limit coming to the Durham Deaf Service office for the next few weeks.

We can connect by phone or by email.

We are cancelling or postponing the following events, workshops, gatherings, and large meetings:

  • Children Easter Event is cancelled
  • Curling Bonspiel is cancelled
  • Deaf Adult Upgrading Program – Literacy Classes are postponed until April 6, 2020
  • Oshawa Deaf Seniors is postponed until further notice
  • Durham Deaf Club has cancelled their event at DDS
  • ASL Classes are postponed till further notice (we will contact students to update them regarding classes)

We understand that this may pose an inconvenience to the Deaf community, volunteers, students, families, and friends, but rest assured these measures are taken to protect all those whom we serve and those who are serving.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us at 905 579-3328 (voice/TTY) or

Get in Touch Today

Durham Deaf Services

900 King Street East
Oshawa, Ontario L1H 1H2
Phone: (905) 579-3328 Voice/Text
Fax: (905) 728-1183                                            Email:

Office Hours:
Mon - Thurs
8:30 - 4:30
​Fri - Sun: closed

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