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If you think you have COVID-19 symptoms use the online-assessment tool and follow those instructions. 

March 28, 2020 2:30 p.m.

We have evidence of community transmission of COVID-19 in our region which means the virus is spreading in the community and is not linked to travel or a previously known case. Community transmission means that we expect the number of cases will start to rise over the next days and weeks. Due to this, public health is unable to monitor how the virus is spreading from person to person and this makes it more difficult to slow its spread. This is not just a disease affecting the elderly, most of our cases are among adults between 35 and 64 years of age. This makes it even more important that people protect themselves and others by staying home and assuming that you and everyone around you may be carrying the virus. If we all do this, as well as continue to maintain physical distance of 2 metres from others and wash our hands frequently, we will be putting less people at risk and can flatten the curve.

Anyone who has new cold-like/respiratory symptoms (regardless of travel history), and has not been tested for COVID-19, is to self-isolate at home for 14 days, or until their symptoms have resolved, whichever is longer.

Status of Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit cases updated daily Mon – Fri. Subscribe to our YOUTUBE channel to watch daily (Mon - Fri) media briefings with our Medical Officer of Health.

Protect yourself and others

Stay home 

  • Avoid all non-essential trips into your community

Practise physical distancing

  • Physical distancing means keeping 2 meters or 6 feet between you and another person.
  • Everyone should practise physical distancing to reduce their exposure to other people. 
  • Everyone should do their best to avoid close contact with people outside of their immediate families.

Practise proper hygiene 

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 15 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Sneeze and cough into your sleeve 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth

If you believe you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 symptoms, you should begin to self-monitor for a period of 14 days. This means that, in addition to physical distancing, you should track how you feel. You should take your temperature daily and log any other symptoms that develop (for example, sore throat, new cough or difficulty breathing). You can share these records with your primary care provider over the phone if you seek assessment services.

Anyone who has travelled outside of Canada MUST:

  • return to their home directly and self-isolate for 14 days. They should not stop for groceries or other supplies on their way home and they should not go to work or out into the community.
  • monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-2019 for 14 days after returning to Canada.

If they develop symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) they should remain isolated at home for 14 days from symptom onset OR until symptoms have resolved (whichever is longer). If their symptoms worsen, they should seek assessment with their health care provider, assessment centre or emergency department.

Persons who are asymptomatic – showing no symptoms - will not be tested for COVID-19.

People with mild symptoms should isolate at home for 14 days from symptom onset OR until their symptoms have resolved (whichever is longer). They do not need to go to the emergency department or assessment centres for further assessment and testing.

If their symptoms worsen, they should seek assessment with their health care provider, assessment centre or emergency department.

Symptoms of COVID-19 range from mild – like the flu and other common respiratory infections – to severe, and can include:

  • Fever, new cough or difficulty breathing (or a combination of these symptoms)
  • Muscle aches, fatigue, headache, sore throat, or runny nose
  • Symptoms in young children may also be non-specific (for example, lethargy, poor feeding)

Your risk of severe diseases may be higher if you have a weakened immune system. This may be the case for:

  • Older people (60 and older)
  • People with chronic diseases (for example: diabetes, high blood pressure, heart, liver or chronic lung disease).

Complications from the COVID-19 can include serious conditions, like pneumonia or kidney failure, and in some cases, death. There are no specific treatments for COVID-19, and there is no vaccine that protects against it. Most people with common human coronavirus illnesses, including COVID-19, will recover on their own.

If you have mild symptoms you should: 

  • drink plenty of fluids 
  • get rest and sleep as much as possible 
  • try a humidifier or a hot shower to help with a sore throat or cough.

If your symptoms worse, before visiting any healthcare facility, call ahead, let them know about travel history and symptoms (e.g. fever, cough, difficulty breathing) so that they can make special arrangements to see you quickly, provide testing, and ensure that they use proper infection control measures. If you need immediate medical attention you should call 911 and mention your travel history and symptoms.

As part of its pandemic response the health unit has redeployed many staff to assist with the COVID-19 response. Some health unit functions are being assessed and either deferred or curtailed until the response is over such as postponing all onsite programming of prenatal classes, non-emergency dental services and food handler exams.

The health unit also continues to with health sector partners to ensure that the healthcare system will be able to assess, test and care for the ill, similar to the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic response.

We are currently updating Pandemic Plans with a special focus on COVID-19. Communities and organizations will be able to use these plans as a framework to update their own internal emergency response plans. Interagency Pandemic Influenza Plan

Ontario Ministry of Health 

Public Health Ontario

  • Information Sheets on: How to Self-Monitor; Self-Isolation; and Guide for Caregivers, Household Members and Close Contacts

 Government of Canada

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If you have any questions or concerns that require a response, please contact Health Connection directly.

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