Some info shared with me today I thought I’d share with all of you:
With more headlines and global statistics being reported every day, it’s understandable to feel concerned about the potential spread of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
The right information from the right sources can help address those feelings.
It’s important to address your questions about City’s response to COVID-19.
We’re preparing, not panicking.
We have not declared an emergency, but we are using the City’s emergency response procedures. Guelph’s Emergency Management Team is working closely with Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health, Guelph General Hospital, and Guelph’s Family Health Team, and we are prepared to activate the Emergency Operations Centre if it is needed.
“Pandemic” means worldwide, not deadly.
“The World Health Organization has characterized COVID-19 as a pandemic. Describing the situation as a pandemic does not change WHO’s assessment of the threat posed by this virus. It doesn’t change what WHO is doing, and it doesn’t change what countries should do.”
Prevent the spread:
In addition to preventing the spread of colds, flus and diseases, we need your help to prevent the spread of rumours, fear and misinformation.
A message from the Public Health Agency of Canada:
“At this time, Public Health Agency of Canada has assessed the public health risk associated with COVID-19 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
While a COVID-19 outbreak is not unexpected in Canada, our public health system is prepared to respond. PHAC, along with provincial, territorial and community partners, continues to reassess the public health risk, based on the best available evidence as the situation evolves.”
Questions and concerns from the community:
Please use the following information to answer questions about City programs, services and facilities. Please refer people to Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health if they have health-related questions.
Screening at City facilities:
All City facilities remain open, though we are asking people not to enter if they have symptoms or are likely to have been exposed to COVID-19. Signs issued by Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health will be posted at all City facilities.
Public meetings, events and cancellations:
People invited or attending public events are asked to follow Health Canada’s recommendations to protect their health and prevent the spread of colds and diseases.
Cleaning protocols and personal protective equipment:
The City’s standard cleaning practices help prevent the spread of colds, flu, and other diseases. Because COVID-19 is now characterized as a pandemic, the City is enhancing cleaning practices in high-touch areas like public computers, public phones, elevator buttons, washrooms, public facing counters, door handles, and buses.
Health officials have provided the following instructions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and other colds and diseases:
· wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
· avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, especially with unwashed hands;
· avoid close contact with people who are sick;
· cough or sneeze into a tissue, discard it immediately and wash your hands. Otherwise, cough or sneeze into your sleeve, not your hands.
· stay home if you are sick to avoid spreading illness to others.
Screening centre 65 Delhi Street
The Ontario Ministry of Health has directed hospitals to plan for advanced screening centres, and the City is supporting their efforts by providing the space at 65 Dehli Street. The building will allow health professionals to screen for cases of COVID-19 before sending patients to the hospital for treatment.
The centre will not open unless there is a need in the community, we’re simply working to be prepared in the event of local cases.
Weekly updates and resources:
As we receive more information and direction from the Ontario Ministry of Health, and Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health, we will update City Council, leadership and all City staff, and the community.