A pandemic occurs when an infectious disease spreads throughout the global population. It is different than an epidemic, which is usually contained within a region or country.

The Ministry of Health and Long-term Care works with local public health units and healthcare providers to prepare for a flu pandemic. Their tasks include:

  • monitoring flu in Ontario and the rest of the world.
  • stockpiling antiviral drugs and equipment.
  • deploying drugs and protective equipment where they are needed.
  • developing emergency plans for delivering healthcare services.
  • administering vaccines as they become available.


Pandemics may arise from a new strain of influenza. Since the virus is new, the human population is likely to have little to no immunity against it.


Keep safe

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for about 15 seconds, including:
    • before and after eating.
    • after being in a public place.
    • after using the washroom.
    • after coughing and sneezing.
    • after touching surfaces that other people also touch.
  • Stay healthy by eating well, drinking lots of water, getting regular exercise and plenty of rest.
  • Get an annual flu shot.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick and keep distance.
  • If possible, stay home from work, school and errands when sick – this will help prevent others from catching the illness.
  • Cover mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing – it may prevent those around you from getting sick.


For more information on COVID-19, visit York Region's website.

Contact Information

Emergency Planning

Joint Operations Centre
2800 Rutherford Rd.
Vaughan, ON L4K 2N9

Mailing Address

Vaughan City Hall
2141 Major Mackenzie Dr.
Vaughan, ON L6A 1T1