Planning Guide for Respiratory Pathogen Season


In Ontario, outbreaks of respiratory pathogens (such as influenza, respiratory syncytial virus and adenovirus) occur annually between November and April. Many parts of the health system experience an increase in the demand for patient care during respiratory pathogen season.

The Planning Guide for Respiratory Pathogen Season (the guide) highlights resources that health system partners can use to support their readiness for and response to this year’s epidemic of respiratory pathogens. It also sets out the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s expectations of health system partners during respiratory pathogen season. Many resources highlighted in this guide provide guidance for influenza-related illness, and while influenza impacts the health system each year, the ministry and health system partners remain mindful of other respiratory pathogens and those potential impacts.

This guide is organized around some of the key activities implemented by the health system during respiratory pathogen season, such as surveillance, immunization, occupational health & safety (OHS) and infection prevention & control (IPAC), and assessment & treatment.

The audience for this guide includes health sector employers and health care workers working in organizations across the health system such as Home and Community Care Support Services, public health units, hospitals, long-term care homes, home care agencies, primary health care settings, midwife practices, paramedic services, health organizations in First Nation communities and others.

For More Information
For information about flu

Call the ServiceOntario INFOline at 1-877-844-1944
TTY 1-800-387-5559
TTY (Toronto) 416-327-4282
Hours of operation : 8:30am - 5:00pm

To speak with a registered nurse

Visit Telehealth Ontario or call 1-866-797-0000
TTY: 1-866-797-0007
Hours of operation : 24 hours, 7 days a week

To find health care options in your community

Visit or call 1-866-330-6206.

To find a health care provider

If you don't have a health care provider, you can register for the Health Care Connect program. Visit or call 1-800-445-1822.