COVID-19 update

COVID-19 has impacted all Canadian or Ontarian lives directly or indirectly. The novel virus has spread across all continents and is yet to peak. Here are the new developments around COVID-19:

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more serious respiratory infections like bronchitis, pneumonia or severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). Coronaviruses are spread mainly from person to person through close contact, for example, in a household, workplace or health care centre. Some human coronaviruses spread easily between people, while others do not.

It has been precisely 20 days since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 situation a global pandemic. However, declaration of the rapidly spreading virus as a global pandemic did not change the WHO’s assessment of the situation. It also does not impact what countries around the world should do.  

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) released a statement saying that the Canadian health care system is prepared to deal with the pandemic while acknowledging that COVID-19 is a serious health threat. Every Canadian should take it very seriously and take appropriate precautions. PHAC stated that Canadians are at high risk because the number of cases are increasing every day.

According to PHAC this does not mean that all Canadians will get the disease. It means that there is already a significant impact on our health care system. The sudden rise in cases can put a strain on the healthcare system. If we do not flatten the epidemic curve of the number of cases now, the increase of COVID-19 cases could impact health care resources available to Canadians.

The report further explains that if the public is able to collectively flatten the curve it would allow the virus to peak sooner.

The recent government report affirms that the Canadian health care system is under pressure as Quebec has the highest number of cases with around 3000 cases. The government has also introduced a self-assessment if someone thinks they might have the virus.

Given the situation, under the Quarantine ACT, anyone traveling to Canada who believes himself or herself infected is required by law to advise a Border Services agent.

In an advisory statement the Government of Canada recommends that if someone is in a vulnerable area i.e. with a high density of cases it is recommended that they do their groceries during off peak hours, refrain from using public transport and avoid any indoor workout spaces to limit any contact with other community members. Furthermore, employers are recommended to not require any medical certificate or note as it would cause added pressure on the health care providers during this time.

If anyone wants to run a self-assessment visit: ca.thrive.health/covid19/en.

Further COVID 19 updates can be found on the federal government website: www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html.

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