Coronavirus (COVID-19)




Information and recommendations for Montrealers


World Health Organization Q&As

Q&A will be updated as more is known about COVID-19, how it spreads and how it is affecting people worldwide.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don't feel unwell. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.


How does COVID-19 spread?
People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets. This is why it is important to stay more than 1 meter (3 feet) away from a person who is sick.


Can CoVID-19 be caught from a person who has no symptoms?
The main way the disease spreads is through respiratory droplets expelled by someone who is coughing. The risk of catching COVID-19 from someone with no symptoms at all is very low. However, many people with COVID-19 experience only mild symptoms. This is particularly true at the early stages of the disease. It is therefore possible to catch COVID-19 from someone who has, for example, just a mild cough and does not feel ill.  WHO is assessing ongoing research on the period of transmission of COVID-19 and will continue to share updated findings.

Should I worry about COVID-19?
Illness due to COVID-19 infection is generally mild, especially for children and young adults. However, it can cause serious illness: about 1 in every 5 people who catch it need hospital care. It is therefore quite normal for people to worry about how the COVID-19 outbreak will affect them and their loved ones.
We can channel our concerns into actions to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our communities. First and foremost among these actions is regular and thorough hand-washing and good respiratory hygiene. Secondly, keep informed and follow the advice of the local health authorities including any restrictions put in place on travel, movement and gatherings.
Can humans become infected with the COVID-19 from an animal source?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in animals. Occasionally, people get infected with these viruses which may then spread to other people. For example, SARS-CoV was associated with civet cats and MERS-CoV is transmitted by dromedary camels. Possible animal sources of COVID-19 have not yet been confirmed.
To protect yourself, such as when visiting live animal markets, avoid direct contact with animals and surfaces in contact with animals. Ensure good food safety practices at all times. Handle raw meat, milk or animal organs with care to avoid contamination of uncooked foods and avoid consuming raw or undercooked animal products.


General Information about Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Services Québec – General Information about the Covid-19 Pandemic
Minister of Health and Social Services – Information about the outbreak and recommendations on how to prevent the spread of Covid-19
Measures taken by the Govenment (french only)
Minister of Health and Social Services – Order in Council declaring a Health Emergency throughout Quebec territory – adopted on March 13, 2020 
Order No. 2020-003  – issued on March 14, 2020 concerning by-elections in particular
Order No. 2020-004  – issued on March 15, 2020
Order No. 2020-005  – issued on March 17, 2020
**All new ministerial decrees can be accessed on the Services Québec Website in the Section “Measures taken by the Government”**
Guides and Tools available to Municipalities
Questions et réponses prepared by the Ministère des Affaires municipales et de l’Habitation (MAMH) – Section reserved to COVID-19. This webpage is regularly updated.
Press Releases by the MAMH:
Pandémie de la COVID-19 (in french) – Vingt-neuf élections partielles sont remises partout au Québec  – Press release issued on March 13, 2020
**All new press releases can be accessed on the Services Québec Website in the Section “Communiqués diffusés aujourd’hui”**
Information package and awareness tools (in french)
The Material relating to awareness campaigns is available on the Ministry of Health and Social Services website.