Attached is a letter from The Presbyterian Church in Canada regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus).
I’ve also included some advice from Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health (https://www.wdgpublichealth.ca/your-health/novel-coronavirus-covid-19).
As you will note – the risk of infection is considered low but it is important to be aware of the advice from the experts (not Social Media) and be reminded to follow common infection control protocols.
We continue to pray for all those impacted by this virus.
Grace and peace, Rev. John.
Risk to Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph residents
The risk of infection is considered low. Those most at risk are:
- Individuals experiencing symptoms AND any of the following within 14 days prior to onset of symptoms:
- Travel to an impacted area*
- Close contact** with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19, or
- Close contact** with a person who is ill and has been to an impacted area.
*Impacted Area: includes all countries/areas with a Government of Canada Travel Health Advisory for COVID-19. As of March 1, 2020 this includes:
- Northern Italy
- South Korea
- Hong Kong
The list of countries is updated regularly, please refer to Government of Canada Travel Health Advisory for COVID-19 website for the most updated information on impacted areas.
**Close contact: A person who provided care for the patient, including healthcare workers, family members or other caregivers, or who had other similar close physical contact OR who lived with or otherwise had close prolonged contact with a probable or confirmed case while the case was ill.
Individuals can have the virus and not show symptoms for up to 14 days (the exact incubation period is still under investigation). Symptoms need to be paired with a trip to an impacted area* or coming in close contact with someone who has traveled to an impacted area* in the past 14 days prior to onset of illness to be a suspected case of COVID-19.
Symptoms range from common to severe respiratory illnesses and include:
- difficulty breathing
People most at risk from the novel coronavirus include the young, elderly and those with underlying medical conditions.
Instructions for individuals who have recently travelled from China or an impacted area*:
Individuals who have returned from Hubei province in China, including Wuhan City:
- Within 24 hours of arriving in Canada, contact WDG Public Health at 1-800-265-7293 ext. 4752 or after hours call 1-877-884-8653.
- Stay at home and avoid close contact with others, including other residents of the home, for 14 days from the date of travel from Hubei province.
- Individuals who develop symptoms (fever and/or cough or difficulty breathing) should call WDG Public Health at 1-800-265-7293 ext. 4752 for further instruction.
Individuals who have returned from an impacted area*:
- Monitor yourself for symptoms (fever and/or cough or difficulty breathing) for 14 days after travelling from an impacted area*.
- Individuals who develop symptoms (fever and/or cough or difficulty breathing) should call WDG Public Health at 1-800-265-7293 ext. 4752 or after hours call 1-877-884-8653 for further instruction.
If you feel sick during travel from an impacted area*, inform a flight attendant or a Canadian border services officer.
IN AN EMERGENCY: Individuals with severe respiratory symptoms should call 911 and advise the operator of your recent travel or visit your nearest emergency department.
If you have been asked to self-isolate
Follow the advice of your healthcare provider or public health. If you have questions, or you start to feel worse, contact your healthcare provider, Telehealth (1-877-797-0000) or our novel coronavirus call centre (ext. 7006). Here are some guidelines to follow if you are asked to self-isolate (PDF, 2 pages).
How to prevent infection
There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to reduce the risk of infection is to practice general infection prevention control. This includes:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are ill.
- Stay home when you are ill.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then immediately throw the tissue in the garbage and wash your hands.
- If you don’t have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve or arm.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
How to wash your hands
- Wet your hands.
- Make bubbles/lather with soap
- Sing the ABCs or wash for 20 seconds.
- Rince your hands.
- Dry your hands.