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COVID – 19 Information and Resources

COVID-19 Data for Renfrew County and District

COVID-19 Cases in Renfrew County and District updated December 08, 2022, at 3:03 p.m. Please see the latest COVID-19 Case Summary for more information on the updated cumulative confirmed case count.

The RCDHU COVID-19 dashboard will be updated weekly on Thursdays after 2 p.m., which is in line with the provincial updates.

RCDHU is utilizing additional sources of data to better understand changes in local COVID-19 activity. One such method includes monitoring levels of the virus in our wastewater. Click here to access the latest report: COVID-19 Wastewater Surveillance Initiative in Renfrew County and District (RCD).

Booking your COVID-19 Testing:

You must call the 24/7 RC VTAC phone line at 1-844-727-6404 to schedule your testing time. Testing is completed through appointments only.

Are you eligible for COVID-19 Testing?:

To find out if you are eligible for PCR or rapid molecular testing, please visit the following Ontario webpage

 

Accessing your test results:

To access results for COVID-19 testing, please contact the provider who ordered your test. RCDHU is unable to provide test results to the general population.

The Provincial Testing and Isolation Information Line is a toll-free line to help answer questions from the public regarding evolving COVID-19 testing and isolation guidance. This line can be reached at: 1-888-777-0730, and is available from 8am-6pm, Monday to Sunday.

Take this self-assessment if you have any symptoms of illness or tested positive for COVID-19. You can also take it on behalf of someone else. You will get a recommendation on what to do next.

The ongoing stresses of COVID-19 can affect the physical health and mental well-being for individuals and families. Please know that help is available and we encourage you to reach out to the Mental Health Crisis Line at 1-866-996-0991. The provincial government also increased the availability of online mental health support, which can be found by visiting their webpage here.

Fact Sheet – Responding to Stressful Events

Please note: During the COVID-19 emergency situation, clients are advised to contact the mental health service providers by telephone to confirm availability of services. For local resources visit: RCDHU’s healthy living, mental health webpage

How do I talk to my children about COVID-19 and it’s impacts?

This may be a very stressful time for children and adolescents. Not only is their regular routine disrupted with the cancellation of school and extracurricular activities, they can’t get together with friends like they normally would. Young people may also sense the anxiety of their parents and worry about their own health and that of other family members. Social media networks may also be contributing to anxiety and alarm.

The following fact sheet offers good, age-appropriate information for talking to children and teens: Infosheet Talking to Kids 

If your kids need more help, they can access the Child, Youth and Family Crisis Line (Ages 18 and under) at 1-877-377-7775, or visit the website at: ICRS’s website.

BounceBack Ontario – a free skill-building program managed by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA). It is designed to help adults and youth 15+ manage low mood, mild to moderate depression and anxiety, stress or worry. Delivered over the phone with a coach and through online videos, you will get access to tools that will support you on your path to mental wellness.

BounceBack Ontario – 10 tips to reduce anxiety, 10 stress, worry related to COVID-19

School Mental Health Resource Repository – Tips and resources to help support student mental health during COVID-19 and the return to school (for educators, parents and families, and students).

School Mental Health Ontario: How to Support a Mentally Healthy Back to School for Your Child

Are you practicing physical distancing or social isolation by staying at home?

Here are some tips to maintain your physical and mental health:

  1. Stay connected – maintain your social networks with family and friends on-line and by telephone.
  2. Create a family schedule – follow your usual routine as much as possible. If you are working from home with the kids also at home, prepare a schedule together that is similar to the structure of school and work. While you are working, children could be doing on-line learning or other quiet activities. Children can suggest things to do together for breaks. Make sure to build in outdoor play, hikes and walks during the day.
  3. Stay Active – it’s important to keep your body moving.  It may be tempting to pass the day by binging on the latest Netflix release or scrolling through Facebook for hours.  Try going for a walk, start your spring cleaning, or try out an at-home exercise workout. Many local gyms and yoga studios are moving on-line. YouTube has lots of great videos for all fitness levels. For more ideas, check out Participaction’s website and Active for life’s website
  4. Get outside – get as much sunlight, fresh air and nature as you can to boost your mood, even if it is limited to your backyard. Get a head start on yard work or have an outdoor scavenger hunt.
  5. Keep busy – now is a great time to tackle those jobs around the house that you’ve been putting off. Declutter closets and drawers or organize family photos.
  6. Cook more – find a new healthy recipe to try at Nutrition Month 2021s website and Unlock Food’s website
  7. Keep your mind active – catch up on podcasts, read a new book, dust off a puzzle or board game.
  8. Be creative – start a new do-it-yourself project, paint a picture, do a craft, write a journal, listen to music, play a musical instrument, start an on-line learning through your local library.
  9. Set limits on the news – stay informed with facts from reputable sources, but don’t overdo it. If it is causing you too much anxiety or worry, take a break.
  10. Seek out help when you need to – it’s OK, to not be OK. For local supports visit https://www.rcdhu.com/healthy-living/mental-health/ and for general information on mental health, visit CAMH’s mental health and COVID-19 webpage here.

Additional Mental Health Resources to Visit

Senior’s Centre Without Walls Resource – A community outreach program to support seniors and adults with physical disabilities who may find it difficult to leave home for extended periods of time due to financial constraints, transportation difficulties, and/ or health and mobility issues. This occurs through the use of conference calls, and provides later-life learning opportunities, participation in brain-stimulating activities, and most importantly, to feel part of a community and opportunity to create new and meaningful friendships

COVID-19: Mental health and well-being – Includes resources and tips on supporting mental health amid concerns of COVID19.

Pandemic pushing your anxiety buttons?

TORONTO — The Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, has released its Roadmap to Reopen, a three-step plan to safely and cautiously reopen the province and gradually lift public health measures based on the provincewide vaccination rate and improvements in key public health and health care indicators. In response to recent improvements to these indicators, Ontario will allow more outdoor recreational amenities to reopen, with restrictions in place.

Always:

  • stay home if you have symptoms, even if they are mild
  • stay two metres apart from people you don’t live with
  • wear a mask or face covering in indoor public spaces or any time physical distancing is not possible

Visit Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopen.

  • capacity limits have been lifted in all indoor public settings

Any events and gatherings with food service taking place in Renfrew County and District must be reported to the health unit before the event takes place.

RCDHU recommends the following measures to reduce the spread of germs including the novel coronavirus (COVID-19):

  • Clean your hands frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then clean your hands.
  • If you don’t have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve and then clean your hands.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • If you are ill, stay home.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • Get your flu shot.

In order to decrease transmission of COVID-19 in Renfrew County and District (RCD), Renfrew County and District Health Unit recommends that all residents of RCD practice physical distancing. Physical distancing involves limiting the number of people you come into close contact with to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the community.

What is Physical Distancing?

Physical distancing includes, but is not limited to:

  • Working from home where possible.
  • Avoiding sending children to private home daycare, if you are able to.
  • Avoiding visits to Long-Term Care Homes, Retirement Homes, Supportive Housing, Hospices and other congregate care settings unless the visit is approved as essential.
  • Avoiding non-essential trips in the community.
  • Keeping windows down if making an essential trip via taxi or rideshare.
  • Cancelling all group gatherings. Connect via phone, video chat or social media instead, including checking in with vulnerable seniors.
  • Holding meetings virtually instead of in person.
  • Maintaining 2 metre (6 feet) distance from other, even when outside.

Please note: that these guidelines are not meant to say “you must stay in your home!”

You can still go outside to take a walk. If you need groceries, go to the store. We simply recommend that while outside you make sure to avoid crowds and maintain a distance of 2 metres (6 feet) from those around you.

Remember: While you may not feel sick, and while we know these measures are an inconvenience, please be mindful of the members of our community who are more vulnerable to COVID-19 than others. We are all in this together.

RCDHU Physical Distancing Poster – without tips 

RCDHU Physical Distancing Poster –  with tips

COVID-19 Alert Exposure Notification App

Download the COVID Alert Exposure Notification App to receive exposure notifications on your cell phone letting you know if you have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

For more information on the App (e.g. how the app works and user privacy) visit the COVID Alert Exposure Notification App: Public Health Unit Q&A.

You can find more information about the COVID Alert Exposure Notification App at Download the COVID Alert mobile app webpage and Canada’s Download COVID Alert today webpage.

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To reduce the spread of germs including the flu and the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) we recommend that you:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth unless you have just cleaned your hands
  • Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue or into your arm, not your hand, then clean your hands
  • If possible, stay home if you are sick
  • Avoid visiting people in hospitals or long-term care centres if you are sick
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
  • It is still recommended to get your flu shot if you haven’t already as the flu virus is still circulating in the community (To book an influenza vaccination, call RCDHU at: 613-732-3629 ext: 509)
  • Practice social distancing

—————-

Healthy habits are important to protect yourself and others from potentially harmful germs. Germs are types of microbes, such as bacteria or viruses, which can cause diseases. They are spread directly from person to person, or indirectly by touching a surface that has been contaminated with them.  Harmful germs can sometimes lead to serious illness, particularly in vulnerable populations such as young children, the elderly, or people with underlying medical conditions.

What is hand hygiene?

Hand hygiene is the most effective way to prevent you and others from getting sick due to an infection. Hand hygiene refers to the cleaning of your hands by either washing them or applying alcohol-based hand rub. Consistently practicing good hand hygiene is essential to reduce the spread of infection in your at home, in daycares, schools, workplaces, and public places.

When should you clean your hands?

  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before eating food
  • Before and after caring for someone who is sick
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound
  • Before and after changing contact lenses
  • After using the toilet
  • After changing diapers or assisting a child who has used the toilet
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After being in a public place or outdoors
  • After touching an animal, feeding an animal, or picking up animal waste
  • After handling garbage

How should you clean your hands?

If you have soap and clean running water available, you can wash your hands to reduce the spread of germs. However, if soap and water are not available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 70% alcohol.

How to wash your hands with soap and water:

  • Wet your hands under warm, running water
  • Apply liquid soap
  • Lather and rub hands for at least 15 seconds (hint: if you don’t have a timer, sing happy birthday twice!)
  • Rinse your hands
  • Towel dry your hands (avoid air-blow dryers)
  • Turn the taps off with a towel or your arm/sleeve

How to clean your hands with a hand sanitizer:

  • Place a quarter-size drop of alcohol-based hand sanitizer in your palm
  • Rub your hands together, palm to palm
  • Rub the back of each hand with palm and fingers of the other hand
  • Rub around each thumb
  • Rub the fingertips of each hand, back and forth in the other hand
  • Rub until your hands are dry (at least 15 seconds)

Quick tip: Applying a non-scented moisturizer to your hands daily will also help ensure your skin remains healthy and prevents chapping leading to optimal hand health!

Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your arm, not your hand

To stop the spread of germs that can make others sick, you should always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and put your used tissue in a waste basket. Then wash your hands as soon as possible. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands.

Why? Coughs can force out thousands of tiny droplets of saliva which can spread germs. In fact, 3,000 droplets are expelled in a single cough, and some of the droplets can fly out of your mouth at speeds of up to 50 miles per hour.1 Sneezes are even worse than coughs for spreading germs because they can produce as many as 40,000 tiny droplets of saliva which can exit your nose and mouth at speeds greater than 200 miles per hour. By covering your coughs and your sneezes, you can help prevent the spread of germs to others. Also, always remember to wash your hands after coughing or sneezing.

For more information on how to protect yourself and your family, visit: RCDHU’s Healthy Living Infection Prevention and Control webpage.

Media Releases

RCDHU news and media releases: Click here for RCDHU’s news page

Pembroke news – Transition House A Home Built On Hope – Thanks to the generosity of a private donor and the support of several community organizations, Renfrew County now has a safe and welcoming shelter for homeless individuals who are in need of supportive short-term housing.

Dr. Cushman Video Updates

Dr. Cushman – November 21, 2022 – Flu is Back with a Vengeance

Dr. Cushman – November 07, 2022 – Three Viruses to Watch for this Winter

Dr. Cushman – September 12, 2022 – Benefits of Receiving the Bivalent COVID 19 Vaccine Booster

 

Government of Ontario News Releases

For all Government of Ontario news releases, visit their Newsroom. 

Fact Sheets

RCDHU Fact Sheet: Healthy Living While Operating Businesses and Organizations Through COVID-19

Ontario Ministry of Health Fact Sheet: COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Tests: How to Collect a Sample

RCDHU Fact Sheet: Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs)

RCDHU Fact Sheet: Guidance for Community Events

RCDHU Fact Sheet: Places of Worship COVID-19 Guidance

Public Health Ontario Fact Sheet: Cleaning and Disinfection for Public Settings

RCDHU Fact Sheet: COVID-19 Protective Eyewear Guidance

RCDHU Fact Sheet: COVID-19 Requirements for Transportation Services

RCDHU Fact Sheet: COVID-19: Infection Prevention and Control Checklist for Reopening of Workplaces

RCDHU Fact Sheet: Guidance for Farmers’ Markets

RCDHU Fact Sheet: Healthy Eating During a Pandemic 

RCDHU Fact Sheet: COVID-19 Fact Sheet for Grocery Store Shoppers

RCDHU Fact Sheet: Recommendations for Emergency Food Providers

CAMH Fact Sheets: Vaping and COVID-19 and Tobacco and COVID-19

Fact Sheet:  Alcohol and COVID-19 – What you need to know

Frequently Asked Questions

RCDHU FAQ: Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT) and PCR Tests

RCDHU FAQ: Workplace Safety for Employers and Employees

RCDHU FAQ: Masks/Face Coverings

Infographics

RCDHU Infographic: Reasons to Still Wear a Mask (Jun 11, 2022)

RCDHU Infographic: COVID-19 Workplace Contact Tracing

Other Resources

RCDHU Memo: A public appeal on behalf of Health Care Workers for respect, courtesy and politeness (Jan 05, 2022)

RCDHU Public Entrance Signage: ATTENTION – Please wear a mask/face covering while in this facility or Veuillez svp porter un MASQUE / COUVRE-VISAGE à l’intérieur de cet établissement

Workplace Safety and Prevention Services: Guidance on Health and Safety for Places of Worship during COVID-19

Posters

Use Ontario’s COVID-19 customer screening tool, for businesses that must screen patrons before they are allowed to enter.

RCDHU Poster: COVID-19 General Safety – Stop the Spread 

RCDHU Poster: Campground – Attention, Items/Surfaces Not Disinfected After Each Use, Please Practice Hand Hygiene

RCDHU Poster: Campground – Attention, Items/Surfaces Not Disinfected After Each Use, Use At Own Risk

RCDHU Poster: COVID-19 Workplace Safety

RCDHU Poster: My Mask Protects YOU

RCDHU Poster: Proper Use of Disposable Gloves

RCDHU Poster: Do’s and Don’ts of Using Non-Medical Masks

RCDHU Poster: Physical Distancing w/o Tips

RCDHU Poster: Physical Distancing w Tips

Toolkits

RCDHU’s Community Gardens Toolkit – On April 25th the government of Ontario lifted restrictions, allowing community gardens to operate following the guidance of the local Medical Officer of Health. These resources provide current guidance provided by RCDHU under Dr. Rob Cushman, Acting Medical Officer of Health. Please visit our Nutrition page to view the toolkit, which can be found here: RCDHU’s Healthy Living Nutrition webpage under the COVID-19 drop-down.

 

Additional Resources

Government of Canada: Individual and community-based measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in Canada

Government of Canada Travel: Pandemic COVID-19 all countries: avoid non-essential travel outside Canada

Public Health Ontario (PHO): Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Government of Ontario: COVID-19 (coronavirus) in Ontario

Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC): Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Outbreak update

World Health Organization (WHO): Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic

Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by Johns Hopkins CSSE: COVID-19 Dashboard by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) 

The Government of Canada determines the rules for entering Canada, including individuals who are fully vaccinated. Restrictions vary depending on which country you are travelling from.

 

 

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Pembroke Office

TEL: 613-732-3629 or 1-800-267-1097

Renfrew Office

TEL: 613-432-5853 or 1-800-465-5000

Office Hours: Monday – Friday: 9:00 a.m. – noon and 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.