News Release: COVID-19 - Being Prepared and Informed
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For Immediate Release
Tuesday, March 10, 2020 | 2:00 p.m. | Windsor-Essex County
There are currently no cases of COVID-19 locally and 36 confirmed cases in Ontario. The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) recommends that residents planning to travel be aware of the health risks and check your destination, before you leave, for any updated travel advisories. Currently, the Public Health Agency of Canada is recommending that all travellers monitor their health for fever, cough, and difficulty breathing for 14 days after you arrive in Canada. It is recognized COVID-19 affected areas include all of mainland China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Iran, Italy, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, and Spain. If you have travelled to any of these affected areas in the last 14 days, please contact the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit at 519-258-2146.
For those who have travelled abroad to any countries currently not on the affected area list, as noted above, and are concerned about potential contact with someone who has COVID-19, please contact the WECHU to discuss your exposure history in order to determine next steps.
At this time, the WECHU is recommending that organizers use discretion when planning large public gatherings such as religious events, conferences, or large social gatherings. Event organizers and participants should be diligent to practice and promote routine infection prevention and control measures including good personal health habits such as handwashing and ensuring access to washrooms with soap & water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
The WECHU and local health care partners are working together to prevent the introduction of COVID-19 locally and are asking residents to take everyday actions that can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses such as:
- wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- sneeze and cough into your sleeve.
- avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
- avoid contact with people who are sick.
- stay home if you are sick.
- routine cleaning of frequently used surfaces and objects (e.g., light switches, door handles).
Although COVID-19 is a new and emerging respiratory virus, we know that most people with common human coronavirus illnesses will recover on their own. However, your risk of severe illness may be higher if you have a weakened immune system, in particular for older adults or people with chronic diseases (for example, diabetes, cancer, heart, renal or chronic lung disease). For individuals at a higher risk, it is important to take actions to reduce the risk of getting sick by taking extra measures to put distance between yourself and other people, take everyday precautions including good hand hygiene and avoiding others who are sick, ensuring that medications are renewed and up-to-date, and having a plan in the event of an illness including regular check-ins with friends, family members, and their primary health care provider.
Windsor-Essex County Health Unit
519-258-2146 ext. 6397 (NEWS)