Community Update: Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Last Updated: February 13, 2020
virus

Please note: this page will be updated regularly as new, relevant information becomes available.

Novel Coronavirus: Updates and Information

 

Are you a health care provider in the Southwestern Public Health region? We’ve put resources on the novel coronavirus together for you. 

 

Thursday, February 13, 2019

Important Information for Travelers:

On Thursday, February 6th, 2020 the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) issued new guidelines to support global containment efforts and limit the potential spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).  

If you travelled to Hubei province within the last 14 days, you should:

  • Self-isolate.  Stay home and away from others for 14 days from the time you left Hubei Province, AND
  • Contact your local public health unit within 24 hours of arriving in Canada. ​​​​​​​

Travelers returning to Oxford or Elgin St. Thomas should contact Southwestern Public Health’s Infectious Disease Team at 1-800-922-0096.

If you traveled to mainland China within the last 14 days, you should:

  • Monitor yourself for symptoms such as fever, cough and difficulty breathing for 14 days from the time you left China, AND
  • Contact your local public heath unit if you become sick.​​​​​​​

Travelers returning to Oxford or Elgin St. Thomas should contact Southwestern Public Health’s Infectious Disease Team at 1-800-922-0096.

If you have not been to mainland China, and you develop a fever, cough, difficulty breathing or any other symptom within 14 days after returning to Canada, please seek medical attention immediately.  Tell your health care provider about your symptoms and travel history.

For more travel advice, please visit: www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/latest-travel-health-advice.html

The risk of COVID-19 to Canadian residents remains low.  Southwestern Public Health continues to actively monitor the situation in collaboration with our provincial and national health colleagues, and stakeholders that include local hospitals and community agencies.

Confirmed and suspect cases of COVID-19 are reportable to local health authorities under the Health Protection and Promotion Act.  If Southwestern Public Health receives notification of a case, we will immediately follow up directly with that individual.  This work is part of routine public health follow-up of a case of an infectious disease.

Stay healthy this cold and flu season by following these simple steps:

  • Clean your hands often
  • Stay home when you’re sick
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes
  • Stay up-to-date with your immunizations
  • Stay away from people who are sick
  • Clean and disinfect items and objects that are touched often
  • Don’t share cups, utensils or other items that have been in someone’s mouth

 

Monday, February 3, 2019

What is Southwestern Public Health doing?

Southwestern Public Health continues to actively monitor the situation in collaboration with our provincial and national health colleagues, and stakeholders that include local hospitals and community agencies.

Confirmed and suspect cases of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus are now reportable to local health authorities under the Health Protection and Promotion Act.  If Southwestern Public Health receives notification of a case, we will immediately follow up directly with that individual.  This work is part of routine public health follow-up of a case of an infectious disease.

In the meantime, it is cold and flu season in Canada and there is still time to get your seasonal flu shot. Call your health care provider or visit a local pharmacy.  Remember to stay home when you are sick, cover your cough, and clean your hands often.

 

Monday January 27, 2020

As you have likely heard in the media, there is a virus called “coronavirus” spreading in China and starting to turn up in other countries. The virus is similar to SARS and MERS which circulated in previous years.

This weekend, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer confirmed that one case of coronavirus has been diagnosed in Canada. The individual was newly arrived in Canada via a flight from China. The virus is spread via droplets, so individuals who were sitting close to the affected individual on the airplane will be contacted by public health officials.

The Infectious Diseases Team at Southwestern Public Health is working closely with health care providers in the region as well as Public Health Ontario to monitor the situation and ready our local response.

If you are an individual living in Elgin or Oxford who is feeling ill and has recently arrived back in Canada following travel to an affected area, please stay home, practice careful hand hygiene and call 1-800-922-0096 to speak to the Infectious Disease Team at Southwestern Public Health.

In the meantime, there is still time to get your regular flu shot. Call your primary care provider or visit a local pharmacy. As always, stay home when you are sick, cover your cough, and wash your hands thoroughly and often.