It is important that you continue to provide care to your patients, however, it is CRITICAL that you move to remote practice only unless it is a time-sensitive circumstance. If you must see a patient in person, use all precautions, pre-screen patients before they come to your office, place the available signs on the door of your clinic, and take all other infection control precautions for your patients, staff and yourself.
Available Resources on the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Updated March 31, 2020
The College would like members to be aware of the following:
Status of Cases in Ontario The Ontario Ministry of Health updates its website once a day, every day, seven days a week, at 10:30 a.m. ET. You will find the most up-to-date information on the status of cases in Ontario. Please check the Ministry site directly for the latest status report.
The symptoms of the 2019 novel coronavirus, which can include fever and cough, are similar to other respiratory infections, including influenza. As a result, individuals who may simply have the flu are being tested out of an abundance of caution and in line with Ontario’s robust detection protocols. This means that most individuals who are tested are unlikely to be infected with the 2019 novel coronavirus.
At this time, the Public Health Agency of Canada has assessed the public health risk associated with COVID19 as LOW for the general population in Canada but this could change rapidly.
There is an increased risk of more severe outcomes for Canadians:aged 65 and over with compromised immune systems with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) characterized the Coronavirus COVID19 a pandemic. Every person is asked to take extra precautions to minimize the spread of the disease.
Currently the hardest hit affected areas include the following geographic areas: China (mainland), Hong Kong, Iran, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, and some parts of Europe including Italy, Germany and Spain. As of the date of this bulletin some of these countries have travel advisories. Click the link to see the list of travel advisories related to the 2019 novel coronavirus and other diseases.
Advice from the Ontario Ministry of Health
Travellers returning from affected areas Travellers who have returned from Hubei province (China) or Iran, where returning travellers are advised to self-isolate should: * contact their local public health unit within 24 hours of arriving in Canada * 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 (China) or Iran * contact Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 or their local public health unit if they experience symptoms of the 2019 novel coronavirus
Travellers who have returned from areas under a travel health advisory for COVID-19 should: * monitor themselves for symptoms of the 2019 novel coronavirus for 14 days after leaving the affected area * contact Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 or their local public health unit if they experience symptoms of the 2019 novel coronavirus
Advice from Public Health Canada It is important for all travellers to: * self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough or difficulty breathing) for 14 days after returning to Canada * avoid places where you cannot easily separate yourself from others if you become ill If you have even mild symptoms * stay home and call the public health authority. In Ontario, contact Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 or the local public health unit. They will provide advice on what you should do.
Regardless of the risk rate the public and health-care providers are encouraged to be vigilant to be on the lookout for suspected cases and do their part to contain the potential spread of the virus.
More information about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) and the situation in Ontario visit the Ministry of Health. The Ministry of Health has established a Health Care Provider Hotline at 1-866-212-2272. If you have any questions or concerns about how the Coronavirus might impact your practice please feel free to contact this hotline.