What is the coronavirus?

This new COVID-19 is part of the large family of viruses that can cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe symptoms.

How does it spread?

The spread of the virus is mainly between people who are in close contact with one another (within 6 feet) as well as through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. As COVID-19 is a new disease we are still learning how it spreads. A person may get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching his or her own mouth, nose, or possibly eyes.

There are some scenarios that come to mind regarding hygiene and the virus. For example, be mindful when riding public transit and wash your hands immediately when you reach your destination. As well, when you’re at the grocery store consider wiping down your cart before use. Places like Whole Foods have hand towelettes available for this purpose. If not available, consider using hand sanitizer to wipe down the cart. When pumping gas into your car use hand sanitizer immediately afterwards. At the end of the day when your family gets home, instruct everyone to wash their hands as soon as entering. Also think of other objects that are in community circulation such as money, receipts, bills and payment terminals. Finally, wipe down your smartphone as well.

What are symptoms?

According to CDC (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention) the following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
What to do?

If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, as listed above, contact Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000, your local public health unit (http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/common/system/services/phu/locations.aspx#37) and your family medical doctor. Other precautions to take include staying home, avoiding public areas and public transportation.

If you are planning to travel this March Break consider looking at this travel advisory from the Canadian Government which is updated on a regular basis. Please be advised that it is recommended Canadian travellers avoid all cruise ship travel due to COVID-19. https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories


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