Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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Self-Assessment Tool

If you think you have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, isolate yourself and then use this self-assessment tool to determine if you need to seek further care. The Health Unit is responding to calls Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and on weekends from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 1-800-563-2808.

Cases in Our District

Counts are updated Monday to Friday at 3 p.m.

Updated: June 1, 2020

Tests1 Cases2 Resolved  Deaths Hospitalized
7,011
27 26 1 0

Of which the Health Unit is aware.
Confirmed cases in the Health Unit district and their current status are listed on our COVID-19 Cases page.

Total LTCH/RH* Outbreaks 


Current LTCH/RH* Outbreaks 


*LTCH = Long Term Care Home; RH = Retirement Home 

Status of Cases in Ontario

The Ministry of Health updates their website every weekday at 10:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. EST with the most up-to-date information on the status of cases in Ontario. 

Health Unit News

We all need to assume COVID-19 is in every community and act now.

April 15, 2020

Protect Yourself 

Stay home as much as possible and always stay home when you are sick. Always practice physical distancing when out in public. When we work together, we can help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our district.

 

Simple, easy and routine hygiene practices can reduce the spread of germs and help protect your health:

  • Practice physical distancing – stay 2 metres from others who do not reside in your home or where you are living
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Sneeze and cough into your sleeve
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
  • Wear a face covering when physical distancing is not possible or may be hard
  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick
  • Clean high touch surfaces frequently
  • Stay home as much as possible.

Also, take a few simple, practical steps to prepare yourself and your household.

Can people who recover from COVID-19 get it again?

It is not yet known if a person can get COVID-19 more than once. To protect yourself and others, the Health Unit recommends that people who recover from COVID-19 continue to practice physical distancing and prevention practices (e.g., handwashing).

Symptoms

Symptoms of COVID-19 positive cases have ranged from mild to severe. Complications from COVID-19 can include serious conditions, like pneumonia or kidney failure and, in some cases, death.

The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to someone with COVID-19.

Common symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • Fever (temperature of 37.8°C or greater)
  • New or worsening cough
  • Shortness of breath

Other symptoms of COVID-19 can include:

  • Sore throat
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • New olfactory or taste disorder(s)
  • Nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain
  • Runny nose, or nasal congestion – in absence of underlying reason for these symptoms such as seasonal allergies, post nasal drip, etc.

There are other, less common signs and symptoms of COVID-19, for the full list, visit: Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Reference Document for Symptoms.

If you develop severe symptoms call 911 and seek immediate medical attention. Severe symptoms include:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face

Make sure you mention your travel history and symptoms.

Testing

Individuals are encouraged to call their health care provider or the Health Unit if they believe they have symptoms of COVID-19 or if they may have been exposed to COVID-19. 

Testing is available for the following population categories:

Symptomatic testing:

  • All people with at least one symptom of COVID-19, even for mild symptoms. Please see the list of potential symptoms.

Asymptomatic, risk-based testing:

  • People who are concerned that they have been exposed to COVID-19. This includes people who are contacts of or may have been exposed to a confirmed or suspected case.
  • People who are at risk of exposure to COVID-19 through their employment, including essential workers (e.g., health care workers, grocery store employees, food processing plants).

Please Note:

  • Test results are only a ‘snapshot in time.’ An individual can be exposed to COVID-19 and test negative before the virus reveals itself.
  • Individuals with negative results can still be infected with COVID-19 after they are tested.
  • Asymptomatic individuals with a known exposure to a positive case must self-isolate until they receive their test results. Individuals who are deemed to be critical to their workplace’s operations by their employer, are permitted to attend work but nowhere else.
  • Samples are transported to one of six labs in the province for testing. Test results can take anywhere from one or two days to eight or ten days to be returned. This timeline varies based on the amount of tests being done at any given time. You will receive a call if the test results are positive.

There is no specific treatment for COVID-19 and, at this time, there is no vaccine. It is important to remember that most people with COVID-19 have no symptoms or mild symptoms. People who are mildly ill should isolate and care for themselves at home. Most will recover in one to two weeks by simply treating the symptoms.

Change in Test Result Notification

  • The Health Unit now only receives positive COVID-19 lab test results.
  • If you have tested positive for COVID-19, the Health Unit will contact you.
  • If you have been tested for COVID-19 you can look for your test result on the Ministry of Health website. You will need your health card to retrieve your result. It may take 2 to 6 business days from your test date to receive your result.
  • If you have been tested for COVID-19 and do not have internet access or a health card, please contact the Health Unit at 1-800-563-2808 for support with accessing your results.

If your results are negative, and you:

  • Are an essential service worker, contact your employer or human resources department for further direction. When not at work, follow the instructions below that apply to you. Call the Health Unit if you are unsure if you are an essential service worker.
  • Had exposure to a case (person diagnosed with COVID-19), you must continue to self-isolate until:
    • You have completed 14 days of self-isolation, starting from when you had last exposure with a case.

    AND

    • You are fever-free (temperature is less than 37.8oC) for 24 hours and
    • Your symptoms are improving.
  • Had no exposure to a case, you should continue to self-isolate until you have been fever-free (temperature is less than 37.8oC) for 24 hours and your symptoms are improving.
  • Had recent travel outside of Canada, you are mandated under the Quarantine Act to self-isolate for 14 days. 
If your tests results are indeterminate check back in 24 hours as it means in progress. 

After self-isolation, continue to stay home as much as possible and practice physical distancing, keeping 2 meters (6 feet) between yourself and others.

How COVID-19 Spreads

Human coronaviruses cause infections of the nose, throat and lungs.

They are most commonly spread from an infected person through:

  • Respiratory droplets generated when you cough or sneeze
  • Close, prolonged personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • Touching something with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands

It is recommended that individuals monitor their own health before visiting older family members, and do not visit if they are feeling unwell. People of all ages can be affected by COVID-19, however, older people and people with pre-existing medical conditions such as, asthma, diabetes, and heart disease are more likely to become severely ill.

COVID-19 mainly spreads by person-to-person contact (within 2 meters) and usually through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It is recommended to practice physical distancing.

It may be possible for a person to contract COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. You can protect yourself and others by washing your hands frequently, using alcohol based hand sanitizers, not touching your face, eyes or mouth, coughing/sneezing into your sleeve, and clean frequently touched surfaces with regular household cleaners.

How long does the virus survive on surfaces?

It is not certain how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on surfaces, but it seems to behave like other coronaviruses. Studies suggest that coronaviruses (including preliminary information on the COVID-19 virus) may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. This may vary under different conditions (e.g. type of surface, temperature or humidity of the environment).

If you think a surface may be infected, clean it with simple disinfectant to kill the virus and protect yourself and others. Clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose.

Can the virus survive on my groceries?

At this time, food has not been identified as a mode of transmission for COVID-19.

You should always handle and prepare food safely. This includes:

  • wash your hands before and after you handle groceries and packaging
  • wash fruits and vegetables before preparation and consumption

For more information on proper food handling practices visit our food safety page.

 

Watch this video from the World Health Organization to learn more:


Myths about COVID-19

Unsure what to believe?

Visit the World Health Organization's COVID-19 myth busters page for the facts.

Higher Risk Individuals

Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams, strongly recommends that individuals over the age of 70, individuals who have compromised immune systems and/or underlying medical conditions self-isolate. 

While diseases can make anyone sick, some Canadians are more at risk of getting an infection and developing severe complications due to their health, social and economic circumstances.

Higher risk individuals may include:

  • An older adult
  • Anyone at risk due to underlying medical conditions (e.g. heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases, cancer)
  • Anyone at risk due to compromised immune system from a medical condition or treatment (e.g. chemotherapy)
  • Anyone who has difficulty communicating, accessing health services, doing preventative activities, ongoing supervision needs or barriers to transportation
  • Anyone who has economic barriers, unstable employment or inflexible working conditions, social or geographic isolation, or insecure/inadequate/non-existent housing conditions

Organizations, staff and volunteers play an important role in helping to prevent these populations from getting or spreading the COVID-19 virus. Start by sharing simple things they can do to help keep themselves and others healthy, guide them to help if they develop any signs and symptoms and learn ways to help care for sick clients recovering from COVID-19: Vulnerable Populations and COVID-19 Fact Sheet

How the Health Unit is Preparing 

Our top priority is the health and safety of individuals in our district.

The Health Unit works closely with the Ministry of Health and the hospitals to ensure ongoing monitoring of the situation. The Health Unit is planning for all possible scenarios and will base our response on evidence as the science of the novel coronavirus continues to emerge.

You may also be interested in:

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Food and COVID-19

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Healthcare Providers, Hospitals and Long-Term Care

International Travel

Mental Health

Parenting and COVID-19

Physical Distancing

Ressources en français

Reporting Complaints

Self-isolation

Substance Use and COVID-19

More Information

North Bay

345 Oak Street West
705-474-1400

Parry Sound

70 Joseph Street Unit #302
705-746-5801

Burk's Falls

17 Copeland Street (by appointment only)
1-800-563-2808