Prevent respiratory viruses with layers of protection

Mother and child grocery shopping with masks on

As Canadians, bundling up in winter gear to shield ourselves from the harsh elements is second nature, but it can be easy to forget to take measures to keep ourselves healthy this season, as the spread of respiratory viruses such as COVID-19, RSV and the flu are on the rise.

Experts recommend using the following layers of protection for respiratory illness prevention:

  • consider wearing a mask in indoor public settings, especially if it is crowded and/or there is poor ventilation;
  • keep a physical distance from others when possible, especially indoors;
  • stay home if you are sick or have symptoms of illness, even if mild; and
  • stay up to date with your vaccinations, including COVID-19 boosters.

To help keep the community safe and combat the spread of these respiratory viruses, York University is offering vaccination clinics throughout the winter season at both its Keele and Glendon campuses, with both COVID-19 (Moderna and Pfizer) and flu shots available. OHIP is not required at these clinics and vaccines are free of charge. The clinics are walk-in; first come, first served. Free masks and rapid antigen test kits are also available while supplies last. And for those who are curious, yes, it is safe to get both the COVID-19 and influenza vaccines at the same time.

Anyone with new symptoms of illness, or who has recently tested positive for COVID-19, is encouraged to complete the Ontario Ministry of Health’s self-assessment tool for further direction and guidance before visiting a vaccination clinic.

For those with questions regarding respiratory virus protocols, students can contact and employees can contact The hours of operation for these resources are Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

For more information about upcoming vaccination clinics, staff and faculty can visit and students can visit