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Evidence-based response to COVID-19

Globally, health care workers, first responders, essential workers, public servants, and scientists are working tirelessly to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Evidence-based response to COVID-19

This crisis demands an evidence-based response. Informing our actions and decisions using the best available science, and mobilizing the skills and knowledge of experts will be vitally important. To help you, we will be keeping this post updated with credible sources of information on COVID-19 and ways to take action and do your part to stop the spread. We will continue to add to this post as the situation evolves.

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Mask Wearing

Evidence shows that wearing masks when physical distancing isn’t possible limits the spread of COVID-19. Here are some resources outlining the evidence and how to use masks safely.

When and how to use masks – World Health Organization
The science behind face-mask use
Face masks: what the data say

Responsible Reopening

With communities across Canada moving in and out of different levels of “lockdowns”, it can be hard to keep track of what’s allowed and what’s not, and more importantly to determine how to continue keeping ourselves and others safe. Here are a few resources to help make sense of the guidelines where you live. We recommend checking the guidelines listed by your local government or health authority for the most up to date information.

Going out safely during COVID-19
Understanding the dimensions of risk for spreading COVID-19 – Distance, time, activity, and environment
Front Burner episode: COVID Alert – Canada’s incoming contact-tracing app
Self-Isolation Instructions for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Know the difference: Self monitoring, self isolation, and isolation for COVID-19


Vaccines are a complicated topic – understandably, there are a lot of questions about how they work. Now that vaccines are available and being rolled out to the general public, a lot of us are having conversations on the importance of getting vaccinated, how vaccines work, and vaccine safety to make sure all those who are able get vaccinated and we each continue doing our part to keep each other safe.

Nightly Q&A on vaccine safety with COVID-19 Resources Canada
Front Burner episode: The race for a COVID-19 vaccine, explained
WHO’s guide to responding to vocal vaccine deniers in public
COVID-19 vaccine communications guide
COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs
A guide to the COVID-19 variants

Strengthen Data Collection in Canada

Statistics Canada is conducting surveys to better understand the impact of COVID-19 on Canadians.

Credible Information Sources on COVID-19

There is a lot of dangerous misinformation circulating about COVID-19. Make sure you are reading and sharing information from credible sources. For more information on how to recognize and combat misinformation, check out our Truth Toolkit.
Government of Canada updates on Coronavirus disease
Nature summaries of emerging research
Front Burner episode: The race for a COVID-19 vaccine, explained

Combatting Misinformation on COVID-19

Science Up First
World Health Organization: Myth busters
Infotagion – Fact checking platform for COVID-19 related msinformation and disinformation

Skill Sharing

COVID-19 Resources Canada – COVID-19 Resources Canada is a central hub designed to help those involved in COVID-19 R&D in Canada to locate human resources, expertise, reagents and equipment in a timely manner.
CanCOVID – Initiative mandated by the Chief Science Advisor to expedite communication and collaboration between the scientific, healthcare and policy communities during the COVID-19 crisis.

Managing our mental health during COVID-19

Loneliness and isolation have been linked to mental health difficulties in all age groups. Given the need for us all to practice physical distancing, taking care of our mental health is an important part of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The resources below include information on how to monitor your mental health and promote positive mental health and social connection for yourself and loved ones. We’ve also listed mental health and addictions services and supports available to both the public and those working on the COVID-19 frontlines. These resources were curated by our volunteer Zahra Clayborne.

Self-Care and Managing Mental Health

Choosing sources of information during COVID-19 and setting boundaries
Understanding how stress, anxiety, and depression can manifest during COVID-19
Op-Ed – ‘Social distancing’ is a misnomer: we should be physically distancing, but remain as social as ever
Tips for maintaining social connection while physical distancing
Supporting the young people in your life during COVID-19
Tips on talking to someone in crisis during COVID-19

Resources and Services

If you are currently receiving mental health services, contact your service provider if you have not yet done so – many are shifting towards telehealth and virtual care to maintain physical distancing during COVID-19. If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, please contact 911.

Directory of regional crisis support centres in Canada
Wellness Together Canada provides mental health and substance use supports online (in partnership with the Government of Canada)
Resources for health care workers (including information on support groups and helplines for physicians, nurses, and other health care workers)
Children and youth 18 and younger who need to talk to someone about their mental health can call or text Kids Help Phone 24/7 at: 1-800-668-6868
Hope for Wellness provides mental health counselling and crisis intervention for all Indigenous peoples across Canada (phone and chat counselling immediately available in English and French; by request in Cree, Ojibway, and Inuktitut), toll-free and 24/7 at 1-855-242-3310
Talk 4 Healing provides support for Indigenous women 24/7, with services available in 14 languages by calling or texting 1-855-554-4325, or contacting live chat at:
Good2Talk provides confidential mental health support services for post-secondary students in Ontario and Nova Scotia
BounceBack provides a free, evidence-based cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) program for adults, youth ages 15-19, and care providers in partnership with CMHA Ontario

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