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Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

COVID-19 local cases and tests/Nombre local de cas et de tests de dépistage de la COVID-19

Confirmed Cases/Cas confirmés
26
Resolved Cases/Cas résolus
23
Deaths/Décès
1
Total Tests/Nombre total de dépistage
14408

Information en français

Consultez le https://www.rcdhu.com/nouveau-coronavirus-de-2019/ pour avoir accès à des ressources en français au sujet de la COVID-19.

COVID-19 Case Summary

COVID-19 Cases and Tests in Renfrew County and District Updated July 3, 2020 at 12:02 p.m. ***During periods of low activity the dashboard will only be updated Monday to Friday, excluding holidays***.

For more information on COVID-19 Cases and Tests in Renfrew County and District click here: COVID-19 Case Summary–July 3, 2020

For a monthly profile of COVID-19 Cases in Renfrew County and District, click here: Monthly Profile of COVID-19 Cases

COVID-19 Call Centre

If you live in Renfrew County and District, have a health concern (including a concern related to COVID-19) and need to speak to a physician, you should first call your family physician’s office.

If you do not have a family physician or cannot access your family physician, call the Renfrew County Virtual Triage and Assessment Centre at 1-844-727-6404. A medical receptionist will connect you with care and support from a nurse practitioner, family physician and/or community paramedic. This new service is covered by OHIP with a valid health card. Learn more at www.rcvtac.ca.

Call RCDHU staff at 613-735-8654, 7-days a week, Monday to Sunday, 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m for more information on COVID-19. You do not require a phone assessment by RCDHU to access COVID-19 care.

Testing and Results

Visit COVID-19 Testing Schedule (June 22 – July 3) for Renfrew County and District testing schedule.

Visit COVID-19 Testing Schedule (July 5-July 17) for Renfrew County and District testing schedule.

Shown in the graphs below are the number of tests completed in Renfrew County and District at COVID-19 Drive Through Testing Clinics:

Week One–May 26 to May 30, 2020

Week Two–June 1 to June 6, 2020

Week Three–June 8 to June 13, 2020

Week Four–June 15 to June 20, 2020

Week Five–June 22 to June 25, 2020

You can now access your COVID-19 lab test results online. For access, visit the Government of Ontario’s online portal.

As a reminder, health unit staff are no longer calling people to inform them of a negative COVID-19 test result–no news is good news.

Self-Assessment

Please complete this self-assessment tool to help you determine what to do.

RCDHU COVID-19 Information for Workplaces

Visit RCDHU COVID-19 Information for Workplaces for more information on sector specific reopening guidance, factsheets, and other helpful resources.

RCDHU COVID-19 Information for Health Care Providers

Information for health care providers

Special Considerations

All persons over 65 years of age and individuals who are immunocompromised are advised to self-isolate.

All international travellers must immediately self-isolate for 14 days.

If you believe a business is slowing efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19, call the OPP at 1-888-310-1122.

Business Information Line

Call the Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659 if you have questions about safely reopening your business or workplace, or visit COVID-19 Support for businesses 

Resources to prevent COVID-19 in the workplace: **Sector specific guidance for Ontario**

Ontario Government: Reopening Ontario  

Stage 2

Opening more workplaces, based on risk assessments, which may include some service industries, and additional office and retail workplaces.

June 27, 2020 – Today, the Ontario government extended the all emergency orders currently in force that were made under s.7.0.2 (4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act until July 10th, 2020, while removing restrictions that were limiting access to certain sport training facilities.

For more details see: Ontario Extends Emergency Orders to July 10, 2020

June 24, 2020 – Today, the Ontario government extended the provincial Declaration of Emergency under s.7.0.7 of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act until July 15, 2020.

For more details see: Ontario Extends Declaration of Emergency to July 15, 2020

June 19, 2020 – Today, the Ontario government released its safety plan for the resumption of class for the 2020-21 school year, outlining scenarios for how students, teachers and staff can safely return to classrooms in September. The plan also provides choice to parents, enhanced online learning, and additional funding. While the decision to return to the normal school day routine will continue to be based on medical advice, boards and schools are being asked to plan for alternative scenarios that may need to be implemented in September depending on the province’s COVID-19 situation.

For full details visit: Ontario Prepares for the Safe Reopening of Schools

June 18, 2020 – As the province safely and gradually reopens, the Ontario government is enhancing case and contact management to quickly test, trace and isolate cases of COVID-19 to stop the spread of the virus and prepare for any potential future waves. These additional measures include a comprehensive case and contact management strategy, Protecting Ontarians through Enhanced Case and Contact Management, and, in partnership with the federal government, a new made-in-Ontario national app called COVID Alert.

The government’s enhanced strategy focuses on strengthening and standardizing case and contact management by:

  • Ensuring that all new cases and their close contacts are identified early, contacted quickly, investigated thoroughly and are followed up with daily for up to 14 days;
  • Supporting public health units with up to 1,700 additional staff from Statistics Canada;
  • Improving technology tools by modernizing the integrated Public Health Information System (iPHIS) through the implementation of a new custom-built COVID-19 case and contact management system; and
  • Launching a privacy-first exposure notification app to alert Ontarians when they may have been exposed to COVID-19.

For full details visit: Ontario Enhancing COVID-19 Case and Contact Management

June 17, 2020 –  The Ontario government has extended all emergency orders currently in force under s.7.0.2 (4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. This extension will be in effect until June 30, 2020 to ensure the government continues to have the necessary tools to safely and gradually reopen the province, while continuing to support frontline health care workers and protect vulnerable populations from COVID-19.

For full details visit: Ontario Extends Emergency Orders

June 15, 2020 – More people will be able to get back to work as additional businesses and services in certain regions across Ontario can begin reopening this Friday. The Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and local medical officers of health, is enabling more regions of the province to enter Stage 2 of the government’s reopening framework. These regions are able to reopen due to positive trends of key public health indicators at the local level, including lower transmission of COVID-19, sufficient hospital health system capacity, local public health capacity to assist with rapid case and contact management, and a significant increase in testing provincially.

Informed by public health advice and workplace safety guidance, and supported by the collective efforts of businesses, workers and families to limit the potential spread of the virus, the latest public health unit regions allowed to move into Stage 2 on Friday, June 19, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. are:

  • Durham Region Health Department;
  • Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit;
  • Halton Region Health Department;
  • Hamilton Public Health Services;
  • Lambton Health Unit;
  • Niagara Region Public Health Department; and
  • York Region Public Health Services.

These regions are in addition to the 24 public health regions that entered Stage 2 on June 12, 2020. Before opening, business owners need to review the workplace safety guidelines and public health  advice.

The following regions will remain in Stage 1 under ongoing assessment until trends of key public health indicators demonstrate readiness to move into Stage 2:

  • Peel Public Health;
  • Toronto Public Health; and
  • Windsor-Essex County Health Unit.

For full details visit: More People Can Get Back to Work as Additional Businesses and Services to Reopen This Week

June 13, 2020 – The Ontario government is providing more flexibility on the number of attendees permitted at indoor and outdoor wedding and funeral ceremonies, in recognition of the importance of being with loved ones during the moments that matter most.

Based on positive public health trends the government is extending the number of people allowed to attend an indoor wedding or funeral ceremony to a maximum of 30 per cent capacity of the ceremony venue.

Wedding and funeral ceremonies taking place outdoors will be limited to 50 attendees. For both indoor and outdoor ceremonies, those attending must follow proper health and safety advice, including practising physical distancing from people who are not from the same household or their established 10-person social circle.

For full details visit: Ontario Eases Restrictions on Wedding and Funeral Ceremonies

June 11, 2020 – The Ontario government announced the gradual resumption of visits to long-term care homes, retirement homes, and other residential care settings.

Family and friends will be allowed access to these settings beginning June 18, 2020. Long-term care homes will allow outdoor visits of one person per resident each week at a minimum. Retirement homes will resume indoor and outdoor visits in designated areas or resident suites when physical distancing can be maintained. Other residential care settings will be able to allow outdoor visits of two people at time. Physical distancing will be required for all visits. This approach will ensure the health and safety of residents, staff and visitors.

Long-term care and retirement homes, as well as other residential care settings, must meet the following conditions before they welcome visitors:

  • Homes must not be in outbreak;
  • Homes must have an established process for communicating visitor protocol and the associated safety procedures; and
  • Homes must maintain the highest infection prevention and control standards.

For full details visit: Ontario to Resume Family Visits in Long-Term Care Homes, Retirement Homes, and Other Residential Care Settings

June 10, 2020 – As part of the Ontario government’s Stage 2 reopening plan, more facilities and services will be available at provincial parks in certain regions beginning on June 12, 2020. Gradually over the next several weeks, Ontario Parks will start opening campgrounds, providing more washrooms and drinking water, along with roofed accommodations, park store and rental operations, visitor centres, and sports fields. It’s important to check what facilities and services are available before visiting a provincial park.

The following is a list of recreational activities and facilities that will be opening soon at provincial parks in regions entering Stage 2:

  • On June 12, 2020, beaches at Ontario Parks will begin opening to the public as maintenance and water testing are completed.
  • On June 15, 2020, campers enrolled in this year’s Ontario Parks’ Seasonal Campsite Program will now have access to their campsites at the majority of participating provincial parks. Those who were pre-selected in 2019 for the program will be contacted by Ontario Parks directly regarding the status of their reservation.
  • Beginning the week of June 22, 2020, all other campgrounds in regions entering Stage 2 will gradually open at provincial parks, along with washrooms, water taps and trailer sanitation stations.
  • Roofed accommodations (e.g., yurts, cabins and lodges, where available), park stores and rental operations, visitor centres, and sports fields will be phased in over the next several weeks.

Facilities such as showers, laundry, group camping, picnic shelter rentals and swimming pools will remain closed for the rest of the 2020 season.

Visitors should check OntarioParks.com to see what facilities and services are available before visiting a provincial park.

For full details visit: Beaches and Campsites to Open at Ontario Parks

June 10, 2020 – The Ontario government has developed a plan for the gradual and safe resumption of in-person instruction at post-secondary institutions across the province for the summer term. The plan was developed in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health.

Starting in July 2020, limited in-person education and training may restart for students who were not able to graduate due to COVID-19 closures. This first phase will allow institutions to reopen to provide in-person instruction to students in essential, frontline, and high labour market demand areas, such as nursing, personal support workers, engineering, and other critical professions. Thousands of students across the province could benefit from this summer’s reopening.

In September, all students will have the opportunity to attend post-secondary education through virtual learning, in-class instruction, or hybrid formats.

For full details visit: Ontario Unveils a Plan to Reopen Post-secondary Education

June 9, 2020 – As the province continues to implement its Framework for Reopening the Province, child care centres and home care providers across Ontario will be able to reopen with strict safety and operational requirements in place, similar to the safety guidelines required for emergency child care centres. Centres will be required to adopt specific rules, including:

  • Cohorting―putting children and staff in groups of 10 or less day over day;
  • COVID-19 response plan―all child care settings will be required to have a plan in place if a child, parent or staff member/provider is exposed to COVID-19;
  • Screening―all staff and children must be screened prior to entry to the child care setting.  Anyone feeling unwell must stay home;
  • Daily attendance records―child care settings must keep daily records of all attendees in order to support contact tracing;
  • Cleaning―child care settings must be thoroughly cleaned before opening and frequently thereafter;
  • No visitors―only essential visitors are permitted entry into the child care setting;
  • Implementing drop-off and pick-up protocols in a way that facilitates physical distancing.

Effectively immediately, staff can re-enter child care facilities and begin preparation for reopening. When these operators have met all the strict and stringent guidelines for reopening, they will be permitted to reopen.

For full details visit: Ontario Helping Parents Return to Work

June 8, 2020 – Effective Friday, June 12, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., the province will increase the limit on social gatherings from five to 10 people across the province, regardless of whether a region has moved to Stage 2. Additionally, all places of worship in Ontario will also be permitted to open with physical distancing in place and attendance limited to no more than 30 per cent of the building capacity to ensure the safety of worshippers.

Public health unit regions allowed to move into Stage 2 on Friday, June 12 at 12:01 a.m. include:

  • Algoma Public Health
  • Brant County Health Unit
  • Chatham-Kent Public Health
  • Eastern Ontario Health Unit
  • Grey Bruce Health Unit
  • Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit
  • Hastings Prince Edward Public Health
  • Huron Perth Public Health
  • Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health
  • Leeds Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit
  • Middlesex-London Health Unit
  • North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit
  • Northwestern Health Unit
  • Ottawa Public Health
  • Peterborough Public Health
  • Porcupine Health Unit
  • Public Health Sudbury & Districts
  • Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services
  • Renfrew County and District Health Unit
  • Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit
  • Southwestern Public Health
  • Thunder Bay District Health Unit
  • Timiskaming Health Unit
  • Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health

Businesses and services permitted to reopen with proper health and safety measures in place in regions entering Stage 2 include:

  • Outdoor dine-in services at restaurants, bars and other establishments, including patios, curbside, parking lots and adjacent properties;
  • Select personal and personal care services with the proper health and safety measures in place, including tattoo parlours, barber shops, hair salons and beauty salons;
  • Shopping malls under existing restrictions, including food services reopening for take-out and outdoor dining only;
  • Tour and guide services, such as bike and walking, bus and boat tours, as well as tasting and tours for wineries, breweries and distilleries;
  • Water recreational facilities such as outdoor splash pads and wading pools, and all swimming pools;
  • Beach access and additional camping at Ontario Parks;
  • Camping at private campgrounds;
  • Outdoor-only recreational facilities and training for outdoor team sports, with limits to enable physical distancing;
  • Drive-in and drive-through venues for theatres, concerts, animal attractions and cultural appreciation, such as art installations;
  • Film and television production activities, with limits to enable physical distancing; and
  • Weddings and funerals, with limits on social gatherings to 10 people.

As more people return to work, the services they rely on will need to be available regardless of the stage a region is in. The province will soon release more details on:

  • Child care;
  • Summer camps;
  • Post-secondary education pilots to help people graduate;
  • Training centres; and
  • Public transit.

For full details visit: Ontario Permits More Businesses and Services to Reopen in the Coming Days 

Stage 1

Framework for Reopening Ontario – Stage 1

Opening businesses that can immediately meet or modify operations to meet public health guidance and occupational health and safety requirements.

For full details visit: Framework for Reopening our Province

To determine if your business sector has been approved to reopen, visit: List of Essential Workplaces

June 2, 2020 – The Ontario government extends emergency orders until June 30, 2020.

For more information: Ontario Extends Declaration of Emergency until June 30, 2020

May 19, 2020 – The Ontario government extends emergency orders until May 29, 2020.

  • Stage 1 of reopening Ontario begins today at 12:01 a.m.
  • Schools closed for the remainder of the school year.

For more information: Ontario Extends Emergency Orders to Keep People Safe and Health and Safety Top Priority as Schools Remain Closed

May 14, 2020 – As soon as 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, May 16, 2020:

  • Golf courses will be able to open, with clubhouses open only for washrooms and restaurants open only for take-out.
  • Marinas, boat clubs and public boat launches may open for recreational use.
  • Private parks and campgrounds may open to enable preparation for the season and to allow access for trailers and recreational vehicles whose owners have a full season contract.
  • Businesses that board animals, such as stables, may allow boarders to visit, care for or ride their animal.

Ontario’s first stage of reopening will begin on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. and will include:

  • Retail services that are not in shopping malls and have separate street-front entrances with measures in place that can enable physical distancing, such as limiting the number of customers in the store at any one time and booking appointments beforehand or on the spot.
  • Seasonal businesses and recreational activities for individual or single competitors, including training and sport competitions conducted by a recognized national or provincial sport organization. This includes indoor and outdoor non-team sport competitions that can be played while maintaining physical distancing and without spectators, such as tennis, track and field and horse racing.
  • Animal services, specifically pet care services, such as grooming and training, and regular veterinary appointments.
    Indoor and outdoor household services that can follow public health guidelines, such as housekeepers, cooks, cleaning and maintenance.
  • Lifting essential workplace limits on construction.
  • Allowing certain health and medical services to resume, such as in-person counselling; in-person services, in addition to virtual services, delivered by health professionals; and scheduled surgeries, all based on the ability to meet pre-specified conditions as outlined in A Measured Approach to Planning for Surgeries and Procedures During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

For more information: Ontario Announces Additional Workplaces that Can Re-open

May 11, 2020 – The Ontario government allows retail stores with a street entrance to offer curbside pickup and delivery.

For more information: Ontario Retail Stores Open for Curbside Pickup and Delivery

May 9, 2020 – The Ontario government is opening provincial parks and conservation reserves for limited day-use access.

  • The first areas will open on Monday May 11, 2020, with the remaining areas opening on Friday May 15, 2020.
  • At this time, recreational activities will be limited to walking, hiking, biking and bird-watching.
  • Day visitors will also be able to access all parks and conservation reserves for free until the end of the month.

For more information: Ontario Opening Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves

May 8, 2020 – Beginning today in Ontario, professional sport training facilities will be permitted to reopen, provided their respective sports leagues have established health and safety protocols in response to COVID-19.

For more information: Ontario Eases Restrictions on Professional Sports Training Facilities

May 6, 2020 – As early as Friday, May 8 at 12:01 a.m., garden centres and nurseries will be able to open for in-store payment and purchases, operating under the same guidelines as grocery stores and pharmacies.

  • Hardware stores and safety supply stores will be permitted to open for in-store payment and purchases as soon as 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, May 9.
  • On Monday, May 11 at 12:01 a.m., retail stores with a street entrance can begin offering curbside pickup and delivery, in accordance with the Ministry of Health’s Guidance Document for Essential Workplaces and occupational health and safety requirements.
  • The government is also expanding essential construction to allow below-grade multi-unit residential construction projects like apartments and condominiums to begin and existing above-grade projects to continue.

For more information: Ontario Further Eases Restrictions on Retail Stores and Essential Construction during COVID-19

May 1, 2020 – By following the proper health and safety guidelines these businesses will be permitted to begin operations on Monday, May 4 at 12:01 a.m.:

  • Garden centres and nurseries with curbside pick-up and delivery only;
  • Lawn care and landscaping;
  • Additional essential construction projects that include:
    • shipping and logistics;
    • broadband, telecommunications, and digital infrastructure;
    • any other project that supports the improved delivery of goods and services;
    • municipal projects;
    • colleges and universities;
    • child care centres;
    • schools; and
    • site preparation, excavation, and servicing for institutional, commercial, industrial and residential development;
  • Automatic and self-serve car washes;
  • Auto dealerships, open by appointment only;
  • Golf courses may prepare their courses for the upcoming season, but not open to the public; and
  • Marinas may also begin preparations for the recreational boating season by servicing boats and other watercraft and placing boats in the water, but not open to the public. Boats and watercraft must be secured to a dock in the marina until public access is allowed.

For more information: Certain Businesses Allowed to Reopen under Strict Safety Guidelines

Stage 3

Opening all workplaces responsibly.

TO BE ANNOUNCED!

Resources to prevent COVID-19 in the workplace

Sector-specific guidelines and posters to help protect workers, customers and the general public from coronavirus (COVID-19) in Ontario: Resources to Prevent COVID-19 in the Workplace

For more information visit: COVID-19 Information for Workplaces

Media Releases

RCDHU news and media releases: https://www.rcdhu.com/news/ 

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.

Fact Sheets/Posters

RCDHU Guidance – COVID-19 Guidance for Places of Worship

RCDHU Guidance – COVID-19 Guidance for Personal Service Settings 

RCDHU COVID-19 Checklist – Hair Salons and Barber Shops

RCDHU COVID-19 Checklist – Nails and Aesthetic Services

RCDHU COVID-19 Checklist – Tattooing and Body Piercing

RCDHU Guidance – COVID-19 Guidance for Reopening Restaurant and Bar Patios (Updated July 03)

RCDHU PosterProper Use of Disposable Gloves

RCDHU Poster – COVID-19 Screening Poster for Retail Entrances

RCDHU Tool – COVID-19 Employee Screening Tool

RCDHU – COVID-19 Requirements for Transportation Services

RCDHU Fact Sheet – Use of Non-Medical Face Masks

RCDHU Fact Sheet – Guidance for Farmers’ Markets (Updated July 02) 

RCDHU Fact Sheet – Healthy Eating During a Pandemic 

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

RCDHU Fact Sheet Guidance for Retail Stores 

RCDHU Fact Sheet – Food Premise Guidance

RCDHU Fact Sheet – Food Premises and What’s Open, What’s Different

RCDHU Fact Sheet – Recommendations for Emergency Food Providers

RCDHU Fact Sheet – COVID-19, Pregnancy, Breastfeeding, and Infant Care

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

Fact SheetAlcohol and COVID-19 – What you need to know

CAMH Info Sheets – Vaping and COVID-19 and Tobacco and COVID-19

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 New 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: https://www.rcdhu.com/healthy-living/nutrition/ under the COVID-19 drop-down.

Additional Resources

Public Health Ontario (PHO): https://www.publichealthontario.ca/en/diseases-and-conditions/infectious-diseases/respiratory-diseases/novel-coronavirus

Government of Ontario: https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov

Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC): https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html

World Health Organization (WHO): https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

Coronavirus COVID-19 Total Cases in Canadahttps://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html

Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by Johns Hopkins CSSE: https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html  

RCDHU YouTube Links for Videos

Dr. Cushman – June 29, 2020  https://youtu.be/S30sDEY71N0

RCDHU – May 14, 2020 A Message from Our Staff to You: https://youtu.be/Iq9ztdzPtrg

Dr. Cushman – May 12, 2020 Update: https://youtu.be/Ul6RATH2UBw

RCDHU – May 9, 2020 What’s Open and What’s Different for Food Premises: https://youtu.be/7wzGMbdCBaY

RCDHU – May 1, 2020 COVID19 and Health Eating: https://youtu.be/Fv4JgCOgvsk

RCDHU – April 24, 2020 Thanks From Our Staff: https://youtu.be/4OjaHvc7FFI

Dr. Cushman – April 17, 2020 Update: https://youtu.be/GWyreVLoHmc

Dr. Cushman – April 2, 2020 Update: https://youtu.be/ekqcnCelet8

Dr. Cushman – March 27, 2020 Update: https://youtu.be/i0954043Zu8

Dr. Cushman – Physical Distancing: https://youtu.be/YA9tOTGPFcM

Government of Ontario News Releases

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

June 17, 2020 – Ontario Extends Emergency Orders

June 8, 2020 – Ontario Permits More Businesses and Services to Reopen in the Coming Days

June 3, 2020 – Government of Ontario Extends Emergency Order to June 30, 2020

May 27, 2020 – Government of Ontario Extends Emergency Order to June 09, 2020

May 19, 2020 – Government of Ontario Extends Emergency Order to May 29, 2020

April 23, 2020 – Ontario Delivers Action Plan to Increase Protection for Vulnerable People and Those Who Care for Them

April 23, 2020 – Government of Ontario Extends Emergency Order

April 20, 2020 – Health Experts Say the COVID-19 Outbreak Has Likely Peaked in Ontario

April 18, 2020 – Province Calls for Innovative Solutions to Combat COVID-19

April 17, 2020 – Ontario Takes Further Action to Protect Vulnerable People from COVID-19

April 16, 2020 – Ontario Significantly Expands Hospital Capacity to Prepare for Any COVID-19 Outbreak Scenario

April 10, 2020 – Ontario Significantly Expanding COVID-19 Testing

What is Physical Distancing?

The Government of Ontario released a helpful guide on how to create a family or social circle of no more than 10 people, who can interact with one another without physical distancing. The guide can be found by following this link: Create a Social Circle During COVID-19

In order to decrease transmission of COVID-19 in Renfrew County and District (RCD), Renfrew County and District Health Unit is now recommending 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.

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 

There are 2 kinds of masks:

  1. Commercial surgical masks or N-95: Are critical for healthcare workers and should be reserved for them and other medical first responders. In healthcare settings, different forms of personal protective equipment (PPE), such as masks and respirators, are used to help protect healthcare workers when they are in close contact with patients who are ill. Healthcare workers are trained on how and when to properly use PPE. The use of surgical masks and personal protective equipment is not recommended for members of the public who are well.
  2. Non-medical mask: Homemade cloth face coverings will reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 from the person wearing it to others around them. This is important because COVID-19 infection may be present without any symptoms or with such mild symptoms that the person does not know they are sick. People who choose to wear non-medical mask must also continue to practice physical distancing. The following are examples of non-medical masks: Homemade masks (sewn cloth face coverings) – can be made of cloth (e.g., cotton). Some have pockets where you can put other cloths or filters. Scarf, neck warmer or bandanna (no sew cloth face covering).
    Visit Health Canada’s website for instructions on how to make a non-medical mask.

Use of Non-Medical Masks Factsheet 

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

When should I wear a non-medical mask?

  • When you are coughing or sneezing, and around others such as going to an appointment, a clinic or the hospital.
  • When in public and it is hard to practice physical distancing (e.g., grocery store, pharmacy).
  • When you are providing care to a sick person (coughing, sneezing) or in close contact. The sick person should also wear a non-medical mask.

How to put a non-medical mask on properly if you need or decide to wear one?

Always practice physical distancing and frequent hand cleaning with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer while wearing a mask.

  • Before touching the mask, wash your hands properly with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Put the mask over your mouth and nose and make sure it fits snuggly i.e., there are no gaps on the top of your nose and around your cheeks and chin.
  • Do not touch the mask once you have it on. If you have to touch the non-medical mask, wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer before and after you touch the mask.
  • Change the non-medical mask whenever it is damp or soiled.
  • Wash the non-medical mask after each use.

Public Health Ontario – Steps to Put on a Mask

How to take a non-medical mask off properly?

  • Before taking off your non-medical mask, wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Remove the non-medical mask starting at the back of your head. Do not touch the front of the non-medical mask.
  • Clean the non-medical mask in the washing machine regularly depending on how much you use it.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Remember: Do not put on a non-medical mask if you haven’t washed your hands first.
  • Do not touch your face or adjust the non-medical mask if you haven’t washed your hands first.
  • Do not wear a non-medical mask if it does not fully cover your mouth and nose.

Public Health Ontario – Steps to Take Off a Respirator/Mask 

Resources

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: https://www.rcdhu.com/healthy-living/mental-health/ 

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: www.icrs.ca.

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

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 http://www.participaction.com/ and https://activeforlife.com/
  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. http://www.mykidsadventures.com/scavenger-hunt-ideas/
  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 nutritionmonth2020.ca and unlockfood.ca
  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 https://www.camh.ca/en/health-info/mental-health-and-covid-19. 

Additional Mental Health Resources to Visit

Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA)

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

Pandemic pushing your anxiety buttons?

 

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that circulate both in humans and other animals like bats. Human coronaviruses are common and are typically associated with mild illness, similar to the common cold, and spread easily between people. There are, however, strains of coronaviruses that have spread from animals to humans which have caused more severe illness in humans in the recent past, such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). These tend to not spread as easily from person to person.

Your risk of severe disease may be higher if you have a weakened immune system. This may be the case for:

older people
people with chronic disease such as diabetes, cancer, heart, renal or chronic lung disease
On December 31, 2019, Chinese health authorities identified a new (or novel) coronavirus (referred to as 2019-nCoV or COVID-19) through a series of reported cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, China.

It is thought that this new coronavirus (COVID-19) originated in another animal (possibly of bat origin).

2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Case Definition

Case Definition – Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Symptoms

COVID-19 has common symptoms such as:

  • fever, cough, or difficulty breathing.

COVID-19 also has less common symptoms such as:

  • unexplained fatigue, delirium (a serious medical condition that involves confusion, changes to memory, and odd behaviours), falls, acute functional decline, worsening of chronic conditions, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, chills, headaches, croup, or loss of taste/smell.

COVID-19 may also present as new or worsening respiratory symptoms such as:

  • sore throat, runny nose, sneezing, nasal congestion, hoarse voice, or difficulty swallowing

Timing

The World Health Organization advises that symptoms may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 10 to 14 days after being exposed to someone with the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). This time period may also be refined as new information comes out.

Self-Assessment Tool

If you think you have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, use this self-assessment tool to help determine how to seek further care.

Fact Sheets

Know the Difference: Self-monitoring, self-isolation, and isolation for COVID-19

How to Self-Monitor

How to Self-Isolate

Self-isolation: Guide for caregivers, household members and close contacts

How to isolate at home when you have COVID-19

Cleaning and Disinfection for Public Settings

Regarding self-monitoring versus self-isolation, RCDHU recommends:

  • Any individual over the age of 70 years, self-isolate regardless of travel or contact with infected individual(s).
  • All individuals should self-monitor for symptoms regardless of travel or contact with infected individual(s). If you develop symptoms, immediately self-isolate.

COVID-19 Guidance: Summer Day Camps (June 1st, 2020)

Parks Canada – Limited visitor access and services will be offered at select national parks. More details can be found by visiting: https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/voyage-travel/securite-safety/covid-19-info 

Ontario Parks – Recreational activities are limited to walking, hiking, biking and birdwatching. Physical distancing must be maintained. More details can be found by visiting: https://www.ontarioparks.com/covid19

Algonquin Provincial Park – Coronavirus (COVID-19) Closures and Cancellations in Algonquin Park

The County of Renfrew – Public Beaches across RCD are now open, at the discretion of the municipality.

Current updates and other information can be found by visiting: https://www.countyofrenfrew.on.ca/en/covid-19.aspx

Information about individual municipalities can be found by visiting: https://www.countyofrenfrew.on.ca/en/county-government/municipalities.aspx

The City of Pembroke – Information and updates regarding COVID-19 can be found by visiting: https://www.pembroke.ca/media-releases/2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19-1990.html 

The Township of South Algonquin – Information and updates regarding COVID-19 can be found by visiting: http://www.southalgonquin.ca/

Additional Resources

Society of Rural Physicians of Canada Student Committee – Thinking of Cottaging or Camping During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

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: 613-735-8666)
  • Practice social distancing

What is Physical Distancing?

In order to decrease transmission of COVID-19 in Renfrew County and District (RCD), Renfrew County and District Health Unit is now recommending that all residents of RCD practice physical distancing. Physical distancing involves taking steps to limit the number of people you come into close contact with. This will help to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the community. The Government of Ontario released a helpful guide on how to create a family or social circle of no more than 10 people, who can interact with one another without physical distancing. The guide can be found by following this link: Create a Social Circle During COVID-19

Physical distancing includes, but is not limited to:

  • Talk to your supervisor, manager, or employer about the possibility of working from home where possible.
  • Avoid sending children to 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 absolutely essential.
  • Avoiding non-essential trips in the community.
  • If you have to go into the community for an essential trip via taxi or rideshare, be sure to keep the windows down.
  • If possible, limit or consider cancelling group gatherings.
  • If you have meetings planned, consider doing them virtually instead of in person.
  • Whenever possible, spend time outside and in settings where people can maintain a 1-2 metre (3-6 feet) distance from each other.

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

You can still go out for a walk. If you need groceries, limit your trips to the store to once a week. We simply recommend that while outside you make sure to avoid crowds and maintain a distance of 1-2 metres (3-6 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.

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: https://www.rcdhu.com/healthy-living/infection-prevention-and-control/  

It is diagnosed by a healthcare provider based on travel history, symptoms, and laboratory tests.

For schools and daycares

Note: On May 19, 2020, the Government of Ontario extended school closures until the end of the academic year while planning to reopen for the 2020-2021 school year.

RCDHU is advising residents of RCD to:

  • Avoid all non-essential travel.

To provide safer school and daycare environments, RCDHU is encouraging:

  • Personal protective measures (i.e. cleaning your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based rub; avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth; coughing into a tissue or your sleeve, disposing of the tissue and then washing your hands).
  • Communication to teachers and parents.
  • Regularly cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces and objects like door handles, toilets and toys.

The following measures are alternatives to school or day care closures:

  • Restrict access to common areas.
  • Divide classes into smaller groups.
  • Cancel or postpone after-school events.
  • Increase desk distance between students.
  • Be flexible with attendance policies for students and staff. Students and staff who show symptoms of COVID-19 should stay at home.
  • Separate children on school busses by two metres where possible.
  • Cancel classes that bring students together from multiple classrooms.
  • Stagger the school schedule (lunch breaks and recess) to limit the number of students and children in attendance at one time.

For more information on guidance for schools and day cares, refer to Public Health Guidance for Schools (K-12) and Childcare Programs (COVID-19).

The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. In general, everyday preventive actions can help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early and share your recent travel history with your health care provider.

For more information on how to protect yourself, visit: https://www.rcdhu.com/healthy-living/infection-prevention-and-control/ 

RCDHU recommends following a containment strategy in regards to mass gatherings which, includes social distancing measures such as:

  • Any gatherings, events or activities over 10 individuals be cancelled or postponed.
  • Avoiding non-essential travel and travel with children.
  • Maintaining a two-metre distance between yourself and others if possible.

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.

Please take the time to review any programs, services and/or events that you offer, in order to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Review our COVID-19 Information for Workplaces page for more information.

April 30, 2020 – Resources to prevent COVID-19 in the workplace

Find sector-specific guidelines and posters to help protect workers, customers and the general public from coronavirus (COVID-19) in Ontario.

The health and well being of all residents in Renfrew County and District is RCDHU’s top priority and we continue to work with our provincial and federal partners in response to this new virus.

Canadian and provincial health agencies are working closely with public health and hospitals to keep the risk of spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Canada at a low level.

Renfrew County and District Health Unit (RCDHU) has been working together with health care agencies in Renfrew County and District to share information about this virus. Local hospitals have protocols in place for infection-control practices. RCDHU’s infectious diseases team has been in regular contact with hospitals and health care providers regarding measures to detect and test for the disease early and safely. Daily updates are being held internally to manage the situation and teleconferences with health care agencies will continue weekly.

Cases and potential suspect cases of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) are now reportable to local health authorities under the Health Protection and Promotion Act.

If there were potential cases of which we have been notified, we would immediately follow up directly with these individuals to let them know.

We would inform these people that they may have been exposed to a potential health risk, what signs and symptoms they should look out for, and when and what type of medical treatment should be sought out, if that becomes necessary. This work is part of routine public health follow-up of a case of an infectious disease.

The Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation is evolving rapidly. Outbreaks of COVID-19 are being reported throughout the world.

Travellers returning to Renfrew County and District (RCD) after travelling outside of Canada

All international travellers, upon return to Canada:

  • Self-isolate for 14 days.
  • Some provinces and territories may have specific recommendations for certain groups such as health care workers.
  • Monitor your health for fever and/or cough.
  • Wash your hands often for 20 seconds and cover your mouth and nose with your arm when coughing or sneezing.

If you develop a fever, cough or difficulty breathing within 14 days:

  • Continue to self-isolate yourself from others.
  • Immediately call Renfrew County and District Health Unit at (613) 735-8654 and describe your symptoms and travel history;
    follow their instructions carefully.

Additionally, RCDHU recommends:

  • Maintaining a two-metre distance between yourself and others if possible.
  • Any gatherings, events or activities over 10 individuals be cancelled or postponed.
  • Any individual over the age of 70 years, self-isolate regardless of travel or contact with infected individual(s).
  • All individuals should self-monitor for symptoms regardless of travel or contact with infected individual(s). If you develop symptoms, immediately self-isolate.

For more information: https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/health-safety/travel-health-notices/221 

Do not call 911 unless it is an emergency. Should you need to contact 911, inform them of any travel in the last 14 days.

Currently, there is no specific antiviral treatment for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). However, many of the symptoms can be treated and therefore treatment is based on the patient’s clinical condition.

If symptoms feel worse than a standard cold or are lasting longer than usual, see your health care practitioner. You should also:

  • drink plenty of fluids
  • get rest and sleep as much as possible
  • try a humidifier or a hot shower to help with a sore throat or cough

There are no specific treatments for coronaviruses, and there is no vaccine that protects against coronaviruses. Most people with common human coronavirus illness will recover on their own.

The Canadian Government recently agreed to keep all non-essential border travel across the U.S. border to remain closed until July 21st, 2020.

Canada has a number of standard border measures in place to prevent communicable diseases from being introduced to- or spread in Canada.

In response to the novel coronavirus, Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has worked with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to put in place additional screening measures at all international airports to help identify any travellers returning to Canada who may be ill, and to raise awareness among travellers about what they should do if they become sick.

New messaging in multiple languages has been put in place in airport arrival areas, advising passengers who have travelled to inform a Border Services Officer if they are experiencing flu-like symptoms. Additional screening question has also been added to electronic kiosks for passengers. If they have symptoms, they will then be referred for further health screening questions.

A handout is distributed to travellers who are not showing symptoms of illness to provide them with information they can use to contact a local public health authority or their health care practitioner if they feel ill following their return. Those who are ill will be referred for testing.

The Government of Canada, provinces and territories have multiple systems in place to identify, prevent and control the spread of serious infectious diseases into and within Canada.

For more information: https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/menu-eng.html

For the latest and most up-to-date information, visit: Canada.ca/coronavirus. Canadians travelling abroad are encouraged to consult the Travel health notices for the area they plan to visit.

  • Currently there is no evidence that imported goods are a concern for the transmission of COVID-19.
  • Coronaviruses are thought to be spread most often by respiratory droplets that have been produced recently by coughing or sneezing. While under some circumstances coronaviruses can survive for some days on surfaces, for shipped goods this is not considered an issue of concern.
  • As always, to avoid infection of the respiratory system, wash your hands frequently and do not touch your face (especially eyes, nose, and mouth) with unwashed hands.

Should residents of Renfrew County and District be concerned about food items from affected areas?

There is no concern about any prepackaged, ready-to-eat food items shipped from affected areas, a coronavirus would not survive beyond one or two days on dry surfaces.

Always remember to use safe food handling practices when preparing food items:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before preparing food and/or when changing tasks.
  • Clean and sanitize utensils, cooking equipment and work surfaces. First clean the surface or item with hot water and soap, rinse and then sanitize with a chlorine solution of one teaspoon of bleach added to one litre of water. Always make sure to use separate utensils for raw and cooked products.
  • Cook foods to proper internal temperatures. Use a probe thermometer to check the internal temperature of food items. The cooking temperature must be maintained for a minimum of 15 seconds.
  • Use separate utensils (e.g. spatula, tongs) and cutting boards to prepare raw meats, cooked meats and fruits/vegetables.

For more information, visit: https://www.rcdhu.com/healthy-living/safe-food/

Note: Ensure that all food must come from a source approved by the Renfrew County and District Health Unit.

How can I safely make home deliveries?

Volunteers and drivers making home deliveries of groceries or medications should take the following health and safety precautions:

  • If you are sick, even with mild symptoms, stay home and self-isolate for 14 days.
  • Keep food protected from contamination (covered) and maintained cold (4’C or less) or hot (60’C or more) during the delivery.
  • If using a hard-sided container to deliver food, that container must be disinfected between deliveries.
  • Hand-wash or use hand sanitizer before you visit the grocery store, in the grocery store, after you leave the grocery store, and before and after delivery.
  • Allow the grocers to load the groceries into the boxes, this way you only need to handle the box once.
  • Leave box outside the client’s door. Either call them or knock on the door to let them know the delivery has arrived.
  • Make sure to keep 2 metres, or 6 feet, between you and the client at all times.
  • Payments should be made on-line or by telephone only, do not exchange cash or coins.
  • Regularly disinfect cellphones and grocery cart handles.

How can I safely receive home deliveries?

Adults over the age of 65 are at greater risk to get sick and have significant health complications if they contract the coronavirus (COVID19).  Avoid leaving the house to go shopping or to pick up medication. We recommend older adults get support from family or friends and/or use online delivery services for groceries and medications.

The corona virus can live on surfaces such as metal, glass or plastic for up to 9 days, therefore properly sanitizing home deliveries is an extra measure we can use to avoid getting sick. Avoid cash exchanges and use electronic methods of payment, such as debit/credit card or e-transfers to friends and family.

What you need:

  1. Use disinfecting wipes or household disinfectants (Use a diluted bleach solution of 2 teaspoons of bleach to 4 cups of water)
  2. A clean and easily accessible surface large enough to accommodate your parcels and a second surface for the sanitized items.

Steps in receiving a delivery:

  1. Delivered items should be left at the door rather than allowing a face-to-face interaction to take place. Please arrange a parcel delivery that does not require a signature or a payment at the door.
  2. Have the delivery person call you to let you know your food/medication has arrived or knock on the door and move to a safe distance (2 metres or 6 feet) to allow you to get your items.  The greatest risk associated with home delivery is the contact with the delivery person.
  3. If it is possible, pay over the phone or online. Otherwise, pay by debit or credit card (tap if possible) and wipe your card and use hand sanitizer immediately after the interaction.
  4. Open the package outside if possible.  If not possible, pick up parcel/bags and place on a flat surface you can clean (table or counter height may be easier than the floor).
  5. Use disinfecting wipes or household disinfectant to clean the external surfaces of delivered goods.  Run produce under running water only.  Place them on a separate clean surface once they are cleaned. Finish cleaning all delivered goods.
  6. Dispose of any bags/boxes in a garbage bag or recycling.
  7. Disinfect: taps, light switches, surfaces (including what you put the delivery on), door handles, garbage/recycling bins that you may have touched.
  8. Wash or sanitize your hands.
  9. Put your groceries and medication away.
  10. Wash or sanitize your hands.

Source: N van Doremalen, et al. Aerosol and surface stability of HCoV-19 (SARS-CoV-2) compared to SARS-CoV-1. The New England Journal of Medicine. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMc2004973 (2020).

Source: G.Kampf, et al. Persistence of coronaviruses on inanimate surfaces and their inactivation with biocidal agents, The Journal of Hospital infection society. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhin.2020.01.022

Picking up a returning traveller

If a returned traveller has no symptoms and is well, it is best to use a private car and to avoid public transportation. If a private car is not available, the person should use a taxi.

The returned traveller should wear a mask if travelling from Hubei province, Italy or Iran. No mask is required if travelling from other affected areas. In either situation, the driver does not have to wear a mask.

All returning travellers with symptoms or who appear ill should report these while going through customs in the airport.

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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