The Outbreak Status Report is updated weekly on Thursday, providing health care providers and our community with a snapshot of possible viruses or other pathogens circulating in our communities.
Public Health Notes are published annually highlighting key areas of public health concern as they relate to infectious diseases and infection control.
An infection prevention and control lapse investigation by Ottawa Public Health (OPH) has identified that patients who had some minor surgical procedures at the Main Street Family Medical Centre, located at 1251 Stittsville Main Street, may have been exposed to improperly cleaned medical equipment. For more information regarding the extent of the laspe please visit OPH
Vaccine Recall in China: Two batches of DTaP vaccine were recalled by China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) on October 29, 2017 after failing potency testing. For more information on management of children who may have been vaccinated in China.
The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse changes lives by bringing people and knowledge together to reduce the harm of alcohol and other drugs on society.
Renfrew County and District Health Unit is designated as a Baby Friendly Community Health Service under the Baby Friendly Initiative (BFI).
BFI is a global campaign to promote, protect, and support breastfeeding. Based on guidance from BFI, the Health Unit is committed to:
- Helping parents make informed decisions about feeding their baby
- Supporting all families with feeding their children in a safe and nurturing way
- Recommending breastmilk as the only food for babies until they are six months old
- Recommending that breastmilk be included in a child’s diet up to two years and beyond
- Protecting women’s rights to breastfeed anytime, anywhere
- Working with community organizations to protect, promote and support breastfeeding
BFI requires the Health Unit to monitor breastfeeding rates and trends in the community. See Infant Feeding in Renfrew County and District (PDF 30 pages) or the Executive Summary (PDF 4 pages) for the findings from our first two years of infant feeding surveillance.
For a centralized source of quality, evidence-informed resources that support the Baby-Friendly Initiative see Breastfeeding Resources Ontario.
Fall prevention online learning is a one-hour course for personal support workers, volunteers and informal caregivers of older adults
Falls are a serious health issue for older adults, their families and the health care system. The course is based on current research, the Canadian Fall Prevention Curriculum, and what has been shown in practice to prevent falls.
By the end of the modules, participant will be able to:
- Identify risk factors for falls
- Reinforce fall prevention messages with clients and families
- Incorporate fall prevention strategies at every client interaction
- Communicate with clients and the circle of care to reduce/minimize the risk of falls
- Be aware of local fall prevention services and resources.
To take the course:
- Set up an account to access online courses at Ottawa Public Health.
- See Steps to Accessing External eLearning (ulearn) for further instructions.
- Please complete the fluid survey at the end of the module to help us improve our service.
- For technical difficulties, contact HRServiceCentre@ottawa.ca
For in-person group sessions please contact Renfrew County and District Health Unit (613-735-8651 ext. 666 or 1-800-267-1097.)
The Personal Support Worker Fall Prevention Training module was developed collaboratively by Renfrew County and District Health Unit and the three other public health units in the Champlain LHIN region. Ottawa Public Health has adapted this as an online module.
Healthy Babies Healthy Children is a voluntary, free home visiting program for women and their families in the prenatal period, and women with children from birth until their transition to school.
Healthy Babies Healthy Children offers support in the home for every child and parent identified with challenges. This includes assessment, teaching, referral and service coordination. Staff work with clients on achieving healthy pregnancy, good nutrition and feeding (including breastfeeding), healthy child development, safety, adjusting to parenthood, accessing community resources and more.
Renfrew County and District Health Unit’s home visiting team consists of Registered Nurses and Home Visitors.
To refer to the Healthy Babies Healthy Children Program, send a completed Referral Form for Service Providers to Renfrew County and District Health Unit OR call 613-735-8651 extension 519
Renfrew County and District Health Unit offers immunization services to people of all ages living in Renfrew County and District.
Immunization Clinic Schedule
Please see the new RCDHU Immunization Clinic Schedule.
Routine vaccines are publicly funded.
Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care – Ontario’s publicly funded immunization schedules
Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care – Immunization requirements for school attendance: information for health care providers
Routine publicly funded vaccine will now be available the 1st and 3rd weeks of each month.
Publicly funded vaccine orders should be faxed at 613-735-3067 Attn: Vaccine Orders or emailed to Renfrew County and District Health Unit at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All orders must be placed by 4:00 pm on the Thursday prior to the 1st and 3rd week of each month to allow for processing and availability. The vaccines will be available to Health Care Providers beginning on Wednesday at your nearest RCDHU office location.
This does not include Influenza vaccine (schedule available in the Fall) or high risk vaccines. The High Risk Vaccine order form is a specific form which can be received by contacting 613-735-8653 ext: 582. These vaccines will be processed in a timely fashion based on availability.
Please ensure that you order adequate vaccine supply for your needs based upon the vaccine ordering schedule.
Vaccines are highly temperature and light sensitive. They must be maintained and stored between +2°C to +8°C, and protected from sunlight and florescent light at all times in order to be potent on administration. Do not transport vaccines in the trunk of a car.
An insulated vaccine cooler with ice packs and thermometer, as demonstrated below, are required to pick up the vaccines from RCDHU for transportation. For further detailed information see link below.
Reporting Cold Chain Incidents
Vaccines must be kept between 2°C to 8°C to ensure the vaccines stay potent and effective. When the vaccine storage refrigerator varies above or below these temperatures, this is known as a cold chain incident and must be immediately reported to the Renfrew County and District Health Unit by calling 613-735-8653. A Public Health Nurse will provide instructions and investigate the cold chain break to determine the best follow up actions.
Please complete the form below for all of the expired and/or exposed vaccines. All vaccines must be accompanied with the form when submitting to the Health Unit.
Vaccine Exemption Forms
To be exempted from immunization requirements for attending school, either a statement of conscience or religious belief affidavit must be completed, or have a statement of medical exemption completed by a doctor or nurse practitioner. As of September 1, 2017 parents who are choosing to complete a statement of conscious or religious belief affidavit must complete a mandatory education session provided by Renfrew County and District Health Unit. For more information please call 613-735-8653 ext 513.
If your child will be attending school and is medically unable to be vaccinated, a statement of medical exemption must be completed by a medical doctor or nurse practitioner:
To be exempt from immunization requirements for children attending licensed child care, either a statement of conscience or religious belief affidavit must me completed by a parent or guardian, or a statement of medical exemption must be completed by a medical doctor or nurse practitioner:
- a statement of conscience or religious belief completed by a parent or guardian
- a statement of medical exemption completed by a medical doctor or nurse practitioner
NOTE: If providing a statement of conscience or religious belief affidavit, it must be signed by a qualified commissioner.
Adverse Event Following Immunization
To report an adverse event following immunization, please complete the Report of an Adverse Event Following Immunization, and fax to 613-735-3067.
Renfrew County and District Health Unit works with hospitals, long-term care homes, day nurseries and other community settings to ensure infection control programs are in place where required and that infection prevention practices are followed. Health Unit staff participate in the infection control committees of hospitals and long-term care homes in Renfrew County and District.
Best Practice Documents This page includes links to the following documents:
- Best Practices for Prevention, Surveillance and Infection Control Management of Novel Respiratory Infections
- Infection Prevention and Control in Perinatology
- Cleaning, Disinfection and Sterilization of Medical Equipment/Devices
- Environmental Cleaning for Prevention and Control of Infections
- Infection Prevention and Control Programs in Ontario
- Best Practices for Hand Hygiene
- Infection Prevention and Control for Clinical Office Practice
- Routine Practices and Additional Precautions Annexes A, B and C
- Surveillance of Health Care Associated Infections
Hand Hygiene Fact Sheet for Health Care Settings (PDF 1 page, 470 KB)
Regional Infection Control Networks (Ontario)
Flu shots are available free for all Ontario residents over six months of age. They are available through local drug stores, health care providers, and Renfrew County and District Health Unit.
Local Influenza Activity
Many people with influenza-like illness do not seek medical care or have lab testing done. Therefore reporting of laboratory confirmed influenza cases to public health units significantly underestimates the burden of influenza in Ontario.
For information on the number of lab confirmed influenza cases in Renfrew County and District, see the Local Influenza Activity section of our Weekly Outbreak Status Reports.
Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care – Universal Influenza Immunization Program
Canadian Public Health Association – Seasonal Influenza (the flu)
Government of Canada – For health professionals: Flu (influenza)
An influenza pandemic is declared when a new strain of flu virus emerges that has never been seen before and begins to spread quickly around the world. For example, in Spring 2009, a new strain of the influenza virus, the H1N1 virus, caused a pandemic. As it was a new strain and because humans had little to no natural immunity to this virus, it caused serious and widespread illness.
The frequency of pandemics is unpredictable, but experts agree that we need to be prepared for the next one. Renfrew County and District Health Unit’s Pandemic Influenza Plan provides direction on responding to an influenza pandemic in coordination with federal, provincial and local pandemic influenza plans
Under the Ontario Health Protection and Promotion Act, outbreaks of respiratory and enteric infections in institutions are reportable to the local Medical Officer of Health on the same day as the outbreak is suspected or confirmed.
When an outbreak is reported to the Health Unit, a Public Health Nurse (for respiratory outbreaks) or a Public Health Inspector (for enteric outbreaks) offers to assist staff at the facility in their efforts to prevent the spread of the illness.
*NEW* Outbreak Management Guide
The Outbreak Management Guide contains all relevant information to assist facilities in fulfilling their duties to report and in managing an enteric or respiratory outbreak, as per ministry standards and guidelines.
Resources for Enteric Outbreaks in Long-Term Care Homes
Enteric Supporting Documents
Enteric Outbreak Line Listing Form (PDF, 1 page, 57 KB)
Enteric Diseases Surveillance Protocol for Ontario Hospitals (PDF, 11 pages, 46 KB)
Resources for Respiratory Outbreaks in Hospitals, Long-Term Care Homes and Retirement Residences
Respiratory Supporting Documents
Ontario Respiratory Pathogen Bulletin is posted every Friday during influenza season (November to April).
Routine Practices and Additional Precautions in All Health Care Settings (PDF, 113 pages, 3 MB)
The Health Unit works to prevent human cases of rabies through the following activities:
- monitoring the type, number and location of animals that have tested positive for rabies in Renfrew County and District and surrounding areas
- having a Rabies Contingency Plan and keeping it up to date
- investigating when people are exposed to animals suspected of having rabies
- having a supply of anti-rabies vaccine
- consulting with doctors in deciding when there is a need to give the vaccine to a person who has been exposed to an animal suspected of having rabies
Public Health Inspectors investigate animal bites and scratches that are reported to the Health Unit. The owner has to put the suspect animal into quarantine. This is necessary to ensure that the rabies virus was not present in the saliva of the animal when the person was bitten or scratched. The animal is checked at the end of the quarantine period to make sure it is free of rabies symptoms.
All animal bites and scratches involving humans must be reported to the Health Unit immediately using the Contact with Suspected Rabid Animal Report Form. If a person exposed requires rabies post-exposure prophylaxis, fill in the Request for Rabies Post Exposure Vaccine Form and report it to the Health Unit immediately.
Guidance Document for the Management of Suspected Rabies Exposures (PDF, 18 pages, 180 KB)
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources – Rabies in Humans
Supports for your patients to quit smoking are available through a variety of programs and services in Renfrew County and District.
The following resources are can assist health care providers to support patients with cutting back or quitting tobacco.
You Can Make It Happen – A resource for health care providers to assist their patients and clients to quit smoking.
TEACH – Training Enhancement in Applied Cessation Counselling and Health – A training program to ensure that practitioners who provide services to people who use tobacco have the knowledge and skills to deliver effective, evidence-based cessation interventions.
Tobacco Free RNAO – A resource for Registered Nurses in Ontario to integrate smoking cessation into daily nursing practice.
Ottawa Model for Smoking Cessation – A program that systematically identifies, provides treatment, and offers follow-up to all smokers seen in clinical practice. The inpatient part of this program is implemented by hospitals in Renfrew County.
The Ontario Health Protection and Promotion Act lists over 70 communicable diseases that must be reported to local health units. Physicians and other practitioners, administrators of hospitals, superintendents of institutions, and school principals are responsible for reporting to the local Health Unit. All reports are followed up by a Public Health Nurse or Public Health Inspector.
How to report communicable diseases
- See the Diseases of Public Health Significance Tool Kit
- For diseases that need to be reported immediately, call 613-735-8653 during office hours, and 613-735-9926 during evenings, weekends and holidays.
- For all reportable diseases, complete the appropriate reporting form and fax to 613-735-3067 by the next business day.
- Diseases of Public Health Significance Reporting Form (Formerly known as “Communicable Disease Reporting Form”)
- Positive TST Reporting Form for HCP
- Contact with Suspected Rabid Animal Report Form
PLEASE NOTE: Respiratory and gastroenteritis outbreaks in institutions should be reported immediately by telephone when an outbreak is suspected or confirmed. See Outbreak Management for forms and resources to use during an outbreak.
Renfrew County and District Health Unit
Recommendations for Tuberculosis (TB) Screening in Long-Term Care and Retirement Homes (PDF, 2 pages, 300 KB)
Public Health Ontario
Public Health Agency of Canada
Canadian Tuberculosis Standards 7th edition 2013
Tuberculosis Information for Health Care Providers, 5th edition (PDF, 34 pages, 1,240 KB)
We all hold certain beliefs about what health is and what makes us healthy or sick. We often think of health in terms of whether we have medical care or make healthy choices. What does health mean to you?
Access to medical care and the choices we make are important to our health but our health is significantly affected by the choices available to us. Not all people living in Renfrew County and District have the same opportunity to make choices that allow them to live a long and healthy life.
Consider a story about a boy named Jason…
Why is Jason in the hospital?
Because he has a bad infection in his leg.
But why does he have an infection?
Because he has a cut on his leg and it got infected.
But why does he have a cut on his leg?
Because he was playing in the junk yard next to his apartment building and there was some sharp, jagged steel there that he fell on.
But why was he playing in an junk yard?
Because his neighbourhood is kind of run down. A lot of kids play there and there is no one to supervise them.
But why does he live in that neighbourhood?
Because his parents can’t afford a nicer place to live.
But why can’t his parents afford a nicer place to live?
Because his Dad is unemployed and his Mom is sick.
But why is his Dad unemployed?
Because he doesn’t have much education and he can’t find a job.
Source: Public Health Agency of Canada
Residents in Renfrew County and District should have the opportunity to make healthy choices regardless of their income, education or culture. Canadian research shows that people with lower incomes, limited education, poor living/working conditions, and no meaningful connection with their community have poorer health.
Health starts in the communities of Renfrew County – where we live, learn, work, and play.
Source: Canadian Medical Association
What Determines Health? – Learn more about the determinants of health from the Public Health Agency of Canada.
What are the Social Determinants of Health? – A description of the social determinants of health and useful resources for public health practitioners and organizations.
Let’s Start a Conversation About Health…and Not Talk About Health Care at All (Video) – Learn more about the social determinants of health through a video created by Sudbury & District Health Unit.
Social Determinants of Health: The Canadian Facts – A book by Dennis Raphael and Juha Mikkonen on the social determinants of health, why they are important, and what we can do to improve them.
Health Equity – Resources and reports on health equity from Public Health Ontario.
Reducing Health Inequalities: A Challenge for Our Times – An overview of health inequalities in Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada’s actions on these health inequalities.
Primary Care Interventions into Poverty – Access clinical tools developed to assist primary care providers in addressing poverty.