HEALTH DEPARTMENT COVID UPDATE March 24, 2020

The situation in Canada is changing daily. Our health system is already feeling the burden.

TESTING FOR COVID IS REVAMPED

  • No longer need to track each person and their contacts as the virus is likely in all communities
  • Testing only for health workers, very ill, long term care, clusters
  • Assume you have COVID if you have any symptoms
    • Fever
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath
    • Sore throat
  • Call 811 to confirm; Call a Dr. here for a consult 604-796-2165
    • Home isolate for 14 days
    • If your shortness of breath is increasing, please reach out for help
    • Everyone in  your home should also home isolate (see below)
    • Everyone you have contacted should be hyper vigilant (see below)

SLOW the SPREAD! Stay at home.

  • Limit in-community gatherings to less than three and keep distance from anyone you don’t live with
  • Wash your hands and DON’T TOUCH YOUR FACE.
  • Stay 6 feet away from others while out of your home.
  • Refrain from any unnecessary travel, even local and especially outside of the region.
  • If you have contact with someone from a high risk area or who is sick, MONITOR YOUR HEALTH CLOSELY (HYPER VIGILANCE: see below)
    • At the first sign of sore throat, cough, fever, shortness of breath remove yourself from the general public and Home-isolate

KEEPING YOUR FOOD SAFE

  • Wash with soap and water anything that you consume raw
    • Wash your hands first
    • Dish soap is fine
    • Rinse with lots of running water
  • Cooking kills most bugs including COVID
  • Staff are washing hands before providing any food to community. Strict protocols are followed but still….. wash raw foods before eating
  • WASH YOUR HANDS BEFOR YOU START MEAL PREP AND AGAIN BEFORE YOU EAT
  • Don’t share utensils unless they are washed between users

KEEPING YOUR HOME CLEAN

  • Declutter so there are fewer places for germs to hide. It’s a great rainy day activity!
  • Clean the kitchen regularly with soap and water (daily or twice daily)….all touch surfaces
  • Disinfect the bathroom regularly, every couple of days or at least once per week
    • Start with the cleanest areas (sink and counter, then tub, then floor and last toilet)
    • Clean everything first with soap and water
    • Afterwards, disinfect everything with one part bleach and nine parts water

PLAY SAFE WITH YOUR KIDS

  • Play with those you live with. Go online for creative ideas.
  • Avoid playgrounds as they have high touch surfaces
  • Play outside (not playgrounds) with those you live with, avoid high touch surfaces
  • Limit play with those you DON’T live with to groups of two or three, outdoor activities where you can social distance (6 feet) and avoid sharing/touching the same surfaces as each other.
  • Make hand washing, home disinfection, and social distancing fun by having a contest or creating awards/prizes

Where to get your COVID 19 updates

HANDWASHING

Soap and water is best. Wash for 20 seconds…this is a long time! Wash each finger and thumb separately. Wash under each finger nail. Wash your wrist. Check out this video: https://www.cbc.ca/player/play/1712519235782

WEARING GLOVES AND MASK

Wearing gloves and masks is NOT generally helpful to protect you from infection. They offer a false sense of protection and actually increase the spread of germs if not used correctly.

Use a mask if:

  • You are sick and coughing and need to go out in  public
  • You are a health worker and have been instructed to do so

Use gloves if:

  • You have a small and direct job to do that puts you in contact with a lot of germs (e.g. cashiers handling cash, daycare worker changing a diaper). Don’t touch anything else with your gloves and remove and dispose after you have completed the small and direct job. Then wash your hands.

SHOPPING TIPS

The supply is still coming in to all stores but panic buying is affecting availability

  • Call friends and neighbors and combine lists so that only one of you has to shop, or carpool
  • Arrange to have someone else watch your kids so they don’t have to come with you
  • Go first thing in the morning. There are no shortages in supply but the shelves empty quickly
  • Avoid panic shopping but get two weeks’ worth of your regular groceries if you are able. If you’d like to stock up choose high protein foods and staples like rice and pasta. Bleach is a good option for home sanitizing. Remember, the supply is good, so you’ll be able to shop again next week.
  • Be prepared to wait in long line ups…stay 6 feet away from others
  • Wash your hands when you come home
  • Contact the family development team if you need help shopping (ask for Ashley Bobb at switchboard). WE CAN HELP

TWO TYPES of precaution for COVID exposure

HOME ISOLATION: YOU’VE HAD EXPOSURE OR HAVE TRAVELLED OUTSIDE CANADA

  • Remain in your home unless you need to go out for essential purpose (medications, medical care). Get others to deliver to you whenever possible.
    • Wear a mask while out if you cannot maintain social distancing (6 feet away from the next person)
  • Do not use public transit or bus
  • Call ahead for medical/dental appointments: tell them you are on Home isolation

Protect others in your home

  • Social distancing, keep everyone 6 feet away
  • Have your own bathroom if possible. If not, use the bathroom at different times and clean well after your use (see disinfection below)
  • Have your own sleeping area
  • Have your own eating times in the kitchen and disinfect after (or have others prepare your meal and deliver to you)
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes…not with your hands!
  • Wash your hands every 30 minutes (see directions above)
  • Do not share household items (cups, dishes, eating utensils)
    • Wash with soap and water after using
  • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces (1 part bleach to 9 parts water) after you touch

Keep visitors away

Clean you bathroom and Kitchen with soap and water after use. Then, disinfect your bathroom and kitchen with one part bleach and one part water. Wipe with a cloth and let air dry. Do this after each time you use it, if you are sharing with others not on isolation.

Monitor your health

  • At the very first sign of sore throat, fever, cough, shortness of breath, consider yourself as having a mild case of COVID 19.
    • Begin a 14 day full quarantine at home. Follow FH guidelines
    • Stay at home except for urgent medical care
    • Keep 10 feet away from anyone else

HYPER VIGILANCE, LOW THRESHOLD: YOU’VE HAD EXPOSURE TO SOMEONE WHO HAD EXPOSURE TO COVID 19 (BUT NOT CONFIRMED) OR TO SOMEONE WHO TRAVELED

  • Continue with your usual activities but be hyper vigilant of your symptoms
  • At the very first sign of sore throat, fever, cough, shortness of breath, remove yourself from public
    • Put yourself on Home Isolation as above

Call 811 for further information