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The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. The actions you take to protect yourself against COVID-19 are the same as those used to protect against common respiratory illnesses, such as the flu, which include:

  • Washing your hands often with soap and water or useing an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are ill
  • Self-isolating and staying home when you are feeling ill.
  • Considering protective self-separation if you are a person at high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19, such as older adults, those with chronic underlying medical conditions, and people with compromised immune systems, especially if COVID-19 is known to be spreading in your community.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting objects and surfaces that are frequently touched
  • Practicing social distancing by staying at least an arm’s length (i.e., 2 metres) away from the nearest person
  • Creating an emergency preparedness plan to ensure you have what you need in case of self-isolation

Know the difference
Self-Monitoring, Self-Isolation, and Isolation for COVID-19

These terms have been used often to describe how best to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. There are different recommendations depending on symptoms, exposure to the virus, or travel to certain areas. See the guide below to know which, if any, of these recommendations apply to you.

You have:

No symptoms

AND

A history of possible exposure to the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, in the last 14 days


SELF-MONITOR means to:

Monitor yourself for 14 days or more for one or more symptoms of COVID-19

Go about your day but avoid crowded places and increase your personal space from others, whenever possible


You need to self-monitor if:

You have reason to believe you have been exposed to a person with COVID-19

OR

You are in close contact with older adults or medically vulnerable people

OR

You have been advised to self-monitor for any other reason by your Public Health Authority


If you develop symptoms, isolate yourself from others immediately and contact the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit as soon as possible.

You have:

No symptoms

AND

A history of possible exposure to the novel coronavirus due to travel outside of Canada or close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19


SELF-ISOLATE means to:

Stay at home and monitor yourself for symptoms, even if mild, for 14 days

Avoid contact with other people to help prevent the spread of disease in your home and in your community in the event you become symptomatic


Self-isolate if:

You have travelled outside of Canada within the last 14 days

OR

Your Public Health Authority has identified you as a close contact of someone diagnosed with COVID-19


If you develop symptoms, stay at home, avoid other people and contact the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit as soon as possible.

You have:

Symptoms, even if mild

AND

You have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or are waiting for the results of a lab test for COVID-19


To be ISOLATED means to:

Stay at home until your Public Health Authority advises you that you are no longer at risk of spreading the virus to others

Avoid contact with other people to help prevent the spread of disease in your home and in your community, particularly people at high risk of severe illness outcomes such as older adults or medically vulnerable people


You need to isolate if:

You have been diagnosed with COVID-19

OR

You are waiting to hear the results of a laboratory test for COVID-19

OR

You have been advised to isolate at home for any other reason by your Public Health Authority


If your symptoms get worse, immediately contact your health care provider or the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit as soon as possible.

Symptoms include fever, cough, & difficulty breathing.

Adapted from Public Health Agency of Canada, 2020


Close Contact

“Close contact” means having face-to-face contact for more than 15 minutes  with someone who has a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19)– or alternatively sharing a closed space with them for more than two hours.

Close contact can happen in many ways, but examples include:

  • living in the same household or household-like setting (for example, a boarding school or hostel)
  • direct contact with the body fluids or laboratory specimens of a confirmed case 
  • being in the same room or office for two hours or more
  • face-to-face contact for more than 15 minutes in some other setting such as in a car or a lift or sitting next to them on public transport.

Practising Social Distancing

To prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect our community, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit encourages residents to stay home, when possible, and reduce their interactions with others. Social distancing means limiting the number of people you come into close contact with.

The most important thing you can do is stay home when you are sick. You can also:

Cancel large gatherings

  • Cancel gatherings with more than 50 people

Limit, postpone, or cancel small gatherings

  • If you can, connect with friends by phone or online
  • Keep children away from group settings including indoor playdates with other children

Go outdoors

  • Take a walk, go to the park, walk the dog
  • Keep a distance of 2 metres (6 feet) from others and stay home when sick
  • Greet others with a wave, a bow, or a nod (in place of handshakes or hugs)
  • After going outside, wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer

Stay physically active

  • Go for walks or exercise indoors
  • Do yoga or aerobics at home

Cancel non-essential trips

  • Consider if outings are necessary
  • No parties or playdates

For essential trips (e.g., grocery stores, work)

  • Sanitize or wash your hands when entering and exiting buildings
  • Avoid long lineups
  • Use tap to pay rather than handling money
  • When taking public transit, avoid prolonged close contact with others
  • Travel during non-peak hours
  • Take shorter trips rather than one long trip

Consider alternative ways to work

  • Work from home, if feasible
  • Facilitate virtual meetings (video or teleconferencing)

While you may not feel sick, we ask that you be mindful of those more vulnerable in our community. Thank you for your efforts to keep everyone healthy. We are all in this together.


Take Steps to Stay Healthy


Food Safety and Takeout Food
How to reduce health risks when picking up takeout food or drive-thru food

There is no current evidence that eating takeout food or drive-thru food increases your risk of illness. In fact, takeout food and food delivery are good options for everyone because it helps maintain social distancing and reduces the amount of surfaces and people that we come into contact with.

  • Always maintain the required 2 metre social distance between yourself and others if waiting in line to pick up takeout food
  • Wait in your car if possible
  • Prepay online before pick up if this is an option
  • To further reduce risks, thoroughly wash hands with soap and warm water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer after handling any food packaging and before eating
  • For any safety concerns related to how food is being handled, file a food safety complaint anonymously on our website. Public Health Inspectors will follow up within 24 hours
  • Note: For individuals required to self-isolate at home, use a meal delivery service instead

Information for food service workers

  • Do NOT go to work if you are sick
  • Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and warm water
  • Note that glove use is not necessary and does not replace proper hand hygiene
  • Continue to follow all safe food handling practices such as ensuring good personal hygiene and regularly cleaning and sanitizing equipment and utensils

How to reduce health risks when using a food delivery service

Similar to takeout, food delivery helps with maintaining social distancing and reduces the amount of surfaces and people that we come into contact with.  There is no current evidence that eating takeout food or using a food delivery service increases your risk of illness.

  • If you are currently required to self-isolate, be sure to have no interaction with the delivery person by prepaying online and asking them to leave the food delivery at the entrance to your home. 
  • Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and warm water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer after handling any food packaging and before eating.
  • For any safety concerns related to how food is being handled, file a food safety complaint anonymously. Public Health Inspectors will follow up within 24 hours.

Information for food delivery drivers:

  • Food delivery drivers must NOT go to work when sick
  • Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and warm water
  • Note that glove use is not necessary and does not replace proper hand hygiene
  • Be sure to maintain the required 2 metre social distance between yourself and others if waiting in line to pick up takeout food for a delivery

Resources

Public Health Ontario – COVID-19 Resources for the General Public

Cleaning and Disinfection for Public Settings - COVID-19

When and How to Wear a Mask

How to self-monitor - COVID-19 | 中文 (简体) (Simplified Chinese)فارسی (Farsi)Italiano (Italian)한국어 (Korean)

How to self-isolate - COVID-19 | 中文 (简体) (Simplified Chinese)فارسی (Farsi)Italiano (Italian)한국어 (Korean)

Self-isolation: Guide for caregivers, household members and close contacts - COVID-19 | 中文 (简体) (Simplified Chinese)فارسی (Farsi)Italiano (Italian)한국어 (Korean)

WECHU Help Prevent COVID-19 Poster

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Last modified: 
Friday, March 27, 2020 - 10:50am