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What's a "Social Circle"?

Updated: Jul 30

Five steps to expand your social circle.


Step 1: Start with your current circle: anyone you live with or who regularly comes into your household

This may be:

  • family members, including children

  • your roommates

  • another parent to your child(ren) that lives outside the home

  • a babysitter or caregiver

Considerations

If you add people outside of your household to your social circle, be sure to include anyone in their households as well. You may not see them often, but they would still be considered part of your current circle.

Remember that everyone in a household must be part of the same social circle.


Step 2: If under 10 people, you can add members to your social circle, including another household, family members or friends

As you add additional members, ask yourself:

  • Do they live with or come into regular close contact with anyone else? You may never see them, but they would still be considered part of your social circle.

  • What makes most sense for you or your household? That could include another household with similarly-aged children or family members that you want to spend more time with.

Considerations

If you live alone, you may want to start with family members or other close friends. People may, or may not, choose to participate in a social circle depending on their unique circumstance, and risk of developing complications from COVID-19, for example people:

  • over 70

  • with compromised immune systems

  • with underlying medical conditions

Remember that your social circle can include fewer than 10 people. It’s always best to start slow and safely add more members later.


Step 3: Get agreement from everyone that they will join your social circle.

That means they agree to join only one circle, and physically distance with anyone outside the circle.

Essential workers can be part of a social circle, so long as the other members are aware of the risks and agree to them.


Step 4: Keep your circle safe.

To keep the people in your social circle safe:

  • continue to follow public health advice, including frequent hand washing and sneezing and coughing into a sleeve

  • continue to physically distance with anyone outside your circle by keeping two metres or six feet apart from them

If someone in your circle feels sick

They should immediately inform other members of the circle, self-isolate at home and not come into close contact with anyone, including other members of the circle.

They should also get tested.

Find an assessment centre to get tested for COVID-19.

Everyone else in the circle should closely monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19. If you believe you have been exposed to COVID-19 you should also be tested.


Step 5: Be true to your social circle.

No one should be part of more than one circle. This will allow us to be together while staying safe.

Learn more at www.Ontario.ca/socialcircles


Please understand that we take the responsibility of keeping everyone safe very seriously. We all have different risk tolerances, but your own personal risk tolerance shouldn’t affect anyone else outside of your social circle. We have no way of verifying whether people are being honest about the number of people in their social circle, and so we have to rely on the honesty of our members when it comes to adding a training partner to your social circle. We have been very fortunate in Eastern Ontario, to have been relatively safe with low COVID-19 infections. We want to keep it that way, and hopefully restrictions will continue to relax as we all remain vigilant.


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