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COVID-19

COVID-19

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

April 2, 2020 3:00 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 fewer 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. If your symptoms worsen, seek clinical assessment over the phone - either by calling your primary care provider's office or Telehealth Ontario 1-866-797-0000. If you need additional assessment, your primary care provider or Telehealth Ontario will direct you to in-person care options.

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

These recommendations apply to people who haveNOT travelled outside of the country or who are NOT self-isolating with symptoms of COVID-19 and MUST stay at home: 

1. In general, stay home as much as possible:

  • Limit the number of people you come in contact with and stay at home unless you have to go to work (talk to your employer about working at home if possible). 
  • Individuals over the age of 70 or those with compromised immune systems or underlying medical conditions are strongly urged to stay at home. 
  • Avoid all non-essential trips into your community. If you leave your home, always keep a distance of at least 2 metres or 6 feet from others.
  • Avoid heading to your cottage or seasonal residence. These communities have more limited healthcare services than the city, and local essential businesses may have longer waits to restock grocery and other supplies needed for their permanent residents. 

2. Practise physical distancing:

  • Physical distancing means keeping 2 metres or 6 feet between you and another person, unless they are members of your household. 
  • Do not gather in groups. 
  • Limit contact with people at higher risk (e.g. older adults and those in poor health). 
  • Everyone should do their best to avoid close contact with people outside of their immediate families. 

3. Go for a walk/exercise outside if you:

  • Have not been diagnosed with COVID-19. 
  • Do not have symptoms of COVID-19. 
  • Have not travelled outside of Canada in the past 14 days. 
  • Do not congregate and always practise physical distancing by keeping at least two metres apart from others at all times.

4. 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.

Due to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 outbreak, the Ontario government has made several new announcements:

1. In an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep people home, the Government of Ontario has extended the Declaration of Emergency and associated emergency measures until April 13th, 2020, including the closure of non-essential workplaces and restrictions on social gatherings. In addition, Ontario issued a new emergency order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act effective immediately to close all communal or shared, public or private, outdoor recreational amenities everywhere in Ontario, including but not limited to: 

  • playgrounds, sports fields, basketball and tennis courts, skateboard and BMX parks, outdoor exercise equipment, 
  • off-leash dog parks, 
  • beaches, picnic areas, outdoor community gardens, park shelters, condo parks and gardens, and other outdoor recreational amenities,
  • Ontario's provincial parks and conservation reserves remain closed.

Green spaces in parks, trails, ravines and conservation areas that aren't otherwise closed will remain open for walkthrough access, but individuals must maintain the safe physical distance of at least two metres apart from others. These actions are based on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health.

2. Private schools, licensed child care centres and EarlyON programs will remain closed until April 13, according to the Declaration of Emergency, which only allows closures to be extended for one 14-day period at a time. Select centres designated to support frontline health care workers and first responders will remain open.

Due to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 outbreak, the Ontario government announced that public schools will remain closed to teachers until Friday, May 1, 2020, and to students until Monday, May 4, 2020. As these dates come closer, this decision will be re-evaluated based on public health advice. The closure may be extended if necessary to protect the health and safety of students, families and staff.

The Government of Canada has put in place an Emergency Order under the Quarantine Act that applies to all travellers arriving in Canada in order to slow the introduction and spread of COVID-19 in Canada.

If you have recently returned to Canada and you have symptoms, you must self- isolate. This is mandatory. If required, immediate medical attention will be provided upon arrival in Canada.
If you have recently returned to Canada and you have no symptoms, you must QUARANTINE (self-isolate) yourself. This is mandatory. You are at risk of developing symptoms and infecting others.

If you develop symptoms within 14 days:

Self-isolate yourself from others. If your symptoms worsen, seek clinical assessment over the phone - either by calling your primary care provider's office or Telehealth Ontario 1-866-797-0000. If you need additional assessment, your primary care provider or Telehealth Ontario will direct you to in-person care options.

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

People with mild symptoms should self-isolate at home for 14 days They do not need to go to the emergency department or assessment centres for further assessment and testing.

If your symptoms worsen, seek clinical assessment over the phone - either by calling your primary care provider's office or Telehealth Ontario 1-866-797-0000. If you need additional assessment, your primary care provider or Telehealth Ontario will direct you to in-person care options.

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
  • 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 worsen, seek clinical assessment over the phone - either by calling your primary care provider's office or Telehealth Ontario 1-866-797-0000. If you need additional assessment, your primary care provider or Telehealth Ontario will direct you to in-person care options. If you need immediate medical attention you should call 911 and mention your travel history and symptoms.

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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