Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

On December 31, 2019, a cluster of cases of pneumonia was reported in Wuhan, China, and the cause has been confirmed as a new coronavirus that has not previously been identified in humans. This virus is now known as the novel coronavirus or COVID-19.

Common symptoms of novel coronavirus include:

  • fever
  • cough and respiratory symptoms
  • difficulty breathing.

The current situation is evolving. Huron Perth Public Health (HPPH) is working with the Ministry of Health, Public Health Ontario, and our local partners and stakeholders to monitor the situation.

 Risk to residents of Huron and Perth

The risk to Ontarians remains low at this time. You can view the Ministry of Health's status of cases in Ontario

Public health risk is continually reassessed as new information becomes available.

 Local response

 Huron Perth Public Health has a strong partnership with local hospitals and healthcare providers and are working together to monitor the situation.

On January 22, COVID-19 became a reportable disease in Ontario, meaning that healthcare providers and organizations are required to report any suspect or confirmed case of COVID-19 to local public health authorities, so that public health can take measures to contain spread of infection.

If a suspected or confirmed case of novel coronavirus were to be identified in Huron or Perth, HPPH would work with the Ministry of Health, Public Health Ontario Laboratory, and local hospitals in the management of the case and any contacts. 

 Recommendations for Huron and Perth residents
The Public Health Agency of Canada recommends:

Travellers who have returned from Hubei province, including Wuhan City:

  • Stay at home and avoid close contact with others, including those in their home, for a total of 14 days from the date they left Hubei province.
  • Contact Huron Perth Public Health within 24 hours of arriving in Canada for further advice and monitoring.

Travellers returning from mainland China in the last 14 days:

  • Monitor your health for fever, cough and difficulty breathing for 14 days after the day you left mainland China; ensure you can easily separate yourself from others if you become ill.
  • If you start having symptoms, isolate yourself from others as quickly and contact a healthcare provider or contact Huron Perth Public Health. Describe your symptoms and travel history. To further protect those around you, wash your hands often and cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.

If you have returned from travelling in China and have been advised to stay at home, and you live in Huron or Perth County, please contact us and refer to the fact sheet Preventing Spread of the Novel Coronavirus in the Home and Community (PDF).

There are everyday actions that can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses. Take these everyday steps to reduce exposure to the virus and protect your health:

  • wash your hands often with soap and water
  • 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
  • get a flu shot.


 Information for employers

In general, it is business as usual. No cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Huron and Perth counties and the risk remains low in Ontario.

If you receive questions from your employees, we invite you to point them to this webpage on novel coronavirus: Our website is updated regularly and provides links to credible websites such as Public Health Agency of Canada and Ministry of Health where they can find the most up-to-date information and recommendations.  

If you have staff returning to work who have travelled to China, the recommendations as of February 20, 2020, are as follows:

  • If travel was to Hubei Province (China), then Public Health Agency of Canada is recommending people to self-isolate: stay at home, not attend school or work, and avoid close contact with others, including those in their home, for a total of 14 days from the date they left Hubei province. They are also recommended to contact Huron Perth Public Health.
  • If travel was to Mainland China (excluding Hubei province), then PHAC is recommending people self-monitor for symptoms (fever, cough and difficulty breathing). They may attend school or work, but must watch carefully for any symptoms of illness and contact Huron Perth Public Health if symptoms develop.

There are other situations where your employees may be asked by Huron Perth Public Health to self-isolate. If individuals who are self-monitoring develop symptoms, they have been asked to immediately distance themselves from others and to contact Huron Perth Public Health. We ask you to support the guidance your employees have received from any health authority.  

If an actual case of COVID-19 is identified in Huron and Perth, Huron Perth Public Health is responsible to conduct public health follow-up of close contacts, including any workplace exposures and will contact your organization as needed. 


Information for healthcare providers

Visit our Alerts and Updates page to view the latest COVID-19 novel coronavirus information for healthcare providers.

For more information

Be sure to read credible information regarding the novel coronavirus, including:

Frequently Asked Questions