HPPH enhances measures to prevent the spread of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the region

Dr. Miriam Klassen, Medical Officer of Health for Huron Perth Public Health, is recommending enhanced measures to prevent the spread of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the region. “These recommendations reflect the changing nature of the situation around the world,” says Dr. Klassen. “By taking these following measures, we have the opportunity to stop or slow the spread of the virus in our community.”

Currently, 14 people in Huron and Perth have been tested for COVID-19 and all the results received so far are negative. If there is a positive case, it will be reported to our community right away and posted on the Ministry of Health’s website.

Recommendations:

  • Large gatherings and events of 250 people or more be postponed or cancelled.
    • This does not apply to workplaces at this time
    • Workplaces are encouraged to consider increasing flexibility for their workers to work from home or work remotely should the recommendation change.
  • Huron and Perth residents postpone all non-essential travel outside of Canada, including to the United States.
  • Returning travellers to Huron and Perth:
    • Practice social distancing, which includes recognizing the risk of attending public gatherings
    • Refrain from visiting: hospitals, long-term care homes or retirement homes, the elderly, or those with chronic health conditions.
    • Returning visitors from Hubei Province (China), Iran and Italy self-isolate (stay home) for 14 days from their date of return.
    • Returning visitors from all other countries, including the United States, self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days from their date of return. Children who have returned from travel must self-isolate at home for 14 days from their date of return (not attend daycare or school).

Recommendations for licensed child care centres

  • Similar to the province’s recent guidance for long-term care and retirement homes, all licensed child care centres are being asked to remain open but to actively screen children, parents, staff and visitors for any symptoms and travel history that may be related to COVID-19, based on the Ministry of Health’s current case definition.  This direction is critical to keeping COVID-19 out of our child care spaces.

Update to testing

Given the evolving situation and the need to ensure that those who may need more elevated levels of care are able to receive the assessment and care that they need, as of late last night, Ontario updated its recommendations for testing:

  • In general, testing will be prioritized for people who need hospital care or certain groups of people, such as health care workers or those in long-term care homes or retirement homes.
  • For most other people who develop fever and/or cough and have travelled to an affected area, testing is no longer recommended. They will still need to remain at home in self-isolation until such time as they are no longer symptomatic for 24 hours.

Protecting yourself and the community from COVID-19

“I recommend that the people of Huron and Perth continue the actions that they should be taking every day in order to protect their health and the health of the community,” says Dr. Klassen. These include:

  • washing your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • sneezing and cough into your sleeve
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
  • avoid contact with people who are sick
  • stay at home if you are sick. In particular, do not visit a long-term care, retirement home or other congregate living situation.”

Residents are also reminded that Huron Perth Public Health is experiencing high call volumes and you may experience longer wait times on the phone. Public Health has increased staffing significantly in the past days and we are adding additional staff as quickly as possible.

 

Visit Huron Perth Public Health at http://www.hpph.ca/coronavirus and subscribe to the web page to learn more information about COVID-19 response and recommendations.