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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
30
Resolved Cases/Cas résolus
29
Deaths/Décès
1
Total Tests/Nombre total de dépistage
19811

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 August 11, 2020 at 12:00 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–August 11, 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 4:00 p.m for more information on COVID-19. The office will be closed to the public on weekends and holidays. You do not require a phone assessment by RCDHU to access COVID-19 care.

Testing and Results

Visit COVID-19 Testing Schedule (August 3-August 14) 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:

Ten Week Total–May 26 to July 31, 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 Business Operators Toolkit

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

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.

The use of cloth masks can help control the spread of COVID-19. Renfrew County and District Health Unit (RCDHU) has recommended their use when physical distancing is not possible. When it comes to indoor public spaces, it can be difficult to know if physical distancing is possible until entering. This is why RCDHU will be taking a regional approach in accordance with all Eastern Regional Health Unit’s to mandate the use of cloth masks or facial coverings in many indoor public spaces.

RCDHU COVID-19 Directive for Masks/Face Coverings

RCDHU COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions, Re: Directive for Masks/Face Coverings

RCDHU COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions: Masks/Face Coverings

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

RCDHU Poster: My Mask Protects YOU

Why are masks important?

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that spreads from close contact with someone with COVID-19 through their respiratory droplets or touching our face with contaminated hands. Respiratory droplets can include coughing, sneezing, talking or even normal breathing. When a person is singing, laughing or talking loudly, the droplets can travel further than two metres/six feet.

As a result, people may unknowingly pass the infection to others because they do not have symptoms (asymptomatic) or have not yet developed symptoms (pre-symptomatic). The highest risk for infection is with prolonged close contact.

Accumulating epidemiological evidence indicates that the widespread use of masks and/or face coverings by all persons decreases spread of respiratory droplets, and expert opinion supports the widespread use of face coverings to decrease transmission of COVID-19. Masks or face coverings are recommended because they:

  • keep our respiratory droplets to ourselves and help to prevent the spread of the virus to others;
  • provide a non-invasive, inexpensive way to reduce the spread of COVID-19; and
  • act as a visual reminder to others to remain vigilant and stay physically distant from others.

Note: Non-medical masks or face coverings should not replace physical distancing.

For more info: Resources for Masks/Face Coverings

When should you wear a non-medical mask?

Residents should wear non-medical (cloth) masks or face coverings when going to public places or entering enclosed public settings. These cloth masks can be made with household items or purchased materials, and it is important to ensure they are used and cleaned properly. Be respectful of people who are not wearing a mask, as some health conditions make breathing difficult while wearing a mask.

Residents should also where masks:

  • If you are sick: If you are coughing or sneezing, wear a non-medical mask to protect people around you from getting sick. This is very important if you go to an appointment, clinic, or a hospital. If you are sick, you should not be going out in public for any other reason than to seek medical care. When seeking medical care, follow mask instructions given to you by a health care provider.
  • If you are caring for someone who is sick: If you are taking care of someone who is coughing or sneezing, wear a non-medical mask when you are within 2 metres (6 feet) of them. The person you are taking care of should also wear a non-medical mask to protect you from their illness.
  • If you are going to a public place: If you are outside of your home where physical distancing is difficult to maintain, like when visiting the pharmacy or grocery store, consider wearing a nonmedical mask. When wearing a mask in public, continue to practice physical distancing by keeping a 2 metre (6 feet) distance from others.

For more info:

What should I know about a non-medical mask?

Note: You should always practice physical distancing and hand hygiene when wearing a non-medical mask.

  • Non-medical masks only work when used properly and when combined with frequent hand hygiene with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Wearing a non-medical mask may increase your risk of infection if you are frequently touching your face or mask to readjust it.
  • Replace the non-medical mask as soon as it is damp, crumpled or dirty.
  • Do not share a non-medical mask with another person.
  • Wash your non-medical mask with other items using a hot cycle with regular laundry detergent and dry thoroughly.
  • If using a cloth mask, there should be at least two layers of tightly woven fabric, like cotton.
  • All face coverings that cannot be cleaned should be thrown out.
  • Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or anyone who is unable to remove the mask without assistance.

How do I put on a non-medical mask?

  • Before touching the non-medical mask, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Move hair away from your face.
  • Put the non-medical mask over your mouth and nose and secure it to your head or ears with the ties or elastics. Ensure the mask fits snuggly and that there are no gaps on the top of your nose, or around your cheeks and chin.
  • Clean your hands again after you put on your mask.
  • Do not touch the non-medical mask once you have it on. If you need 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.

For more info: Public Health Ontario – Steps to Put on a Mask

RCDHU Non-medical Mask Use when Shopping (Community Use)

How do I remove a non-medical mask?

  • Clean your hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer before removing your mask.
  • Remove the mask by grasping the ties or ear loops and removing from your ears. Do not touch the front of the mask while removing it.
  • Once removed, place your mask temporarily in a plastic bag until you return home, or dispose of it in a lined garbage bin. Do not place the mask in your pocket or purse. If you will be reusing your mask, place it directly into the washing machine when you return home.
  • Do not leave your mask in a shopping cart or on the ground.

For more info: Public Health Ontario – Steps to Take Off a Respirator/Mask

What to know when choosing a mask or face covering?

What type of mask should I wear?

There are many types of masks available including:

  • non-medical cloth masks (can be washed and reused),
  • disposable masks (can only be worn once), and
  • medical masks (such as N95 respirators that should be reserved for front-line health care workers).

Cloth masks

When buying or making a cloth mask you should look for masks that are made with:

  • Two or three layers of tightly woven but breathable cloth such as cotton, flannel or quilting cotton;
  • No seams over the mouth and nose through which air may leak;
  • Horizontal pleats to help fit a variety of faces.

Disposable non-medical face masks

  • Disposable non-medical face masks may be worn instead of a cloth mask. These masks are single use masks and should be put in the garbage after use.

Medical Masks

  • Like many countries, Canada continues to face a shortage of masks and other personal protective equipment for health care workers. To preserve supplies for healthcare workers medical masks and N95 respirators should be reserved for specific high-risk settings and are not recommended for lower-risk day-to-day activities like when you are in a grocery store or while taking public transportation. N95 respirators with valves, which let air out more easily when you breathe out, should never be used when the intent is to protect others from the virus you may be shedding because they will not trap the virus.

When choosing a mask, make sure the mask:

  • If cloth:
    • is made from at least two layers or tightly woven cotton or linen;
    • has no seams over the mouth and nose through which air may leak;
  • covers the nose, mouth and chin while still being easy to breath through;
  • fits to the head with ties or ear loops without gaping or impairing vision;
  • is comfortable enough, to avoid the urge to readjust while wearing the cloth mask or face covering;
  • maintains its’ shape after washing and drying;
  • is not made from non-breathable materials such as plastic.

Tips for proper use of a non-medical mask of face covering

  • Wash or sanitize your hands before putting on, and after taking off the mask or face covering.
  • Place the mask or face covering over your nose, mouth and chin.
  • Avoid touching your face and mask or face covering while using it.
  • Do not share your mask or face covering with others.
  • Change your mask or face covering if it becomes moist or dirty.
  • Do not leave the mask or face covering under your chin, hanging from your ear or anywhere else on your head.
  • Remove the mask by the ear loops without touching the front of the mask or face covering.
  • Place the mask or face covering in a plastic/paper bag or directly in the laundry bin to be washed.
  • Wash the mask or face covering with other clothing items and use the hot cycle and dryer settings.
  • RCDHU Do’s and Don’ts of Using Non-Medical Masks
  • RCDHU Non-medical Mask Use when Shopping (Community Use)
  • National Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health Laundry Poster

Can a face shield be used as a substitute or a replacement for a mask?

A face shield is not a substitute for wearing a face mask as it does not filter respiratory droplets. A face shield may provide additional protection for the wearer against droplets expelled from another person, however these droplets may still be inhaled around the shield. Respiratory droplets expelled by the wearer may escape around the sides of the face shield, which therefore provides less protection to others. If you choose to wear a face shield, we recommend – if possible – to wear it in addition to a properly fitted cloth masks.

Is a face shield a good alternative for someone who can’t wear a mask?

A face shield would not be considered an equal substitute for a face mask as it does not provide filtering capacity. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) supports the use of face shields as a “better than nothing” alternative to facemasks if there is a shortage of non-medical masks or for populations who are not able to properly wear non-medical masks, such as individuals with a respiratory condition that prevents them from wearing a mask. The WHO makes note that face shields are inferior to facemasks at preventing the spread of an infection through droplets and at a minimum should extend below the chin and cover the sides of the face.

Who should not wear non-medical mask or face covering?

  • Children under the age of two years old.
  • Anyone who has breathing difficulties
  • Anyone who is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise cannot remove the mask or face covering without assistance.
  • Ontario Face Coverings and Face Masks Page

Where can I get a non-medical mask?

Disclaimer: The following vendors were identified to us via social media and other Renfrew County and District residents. Renfrew County and District Health Unit (RCDHU) does not endorse any particular vendor of cloth masks, nor can we ensure that any vendor is able to maintain stock of these products. We are not liable if there are any issues related to the vendor or the purchased product. The vendors below are listed as a convenience with the intent of promoting the wearing of cloth masks in settings where physical distancing is not possible. If you are aware of other Renfrew County and District-based or Canada-based vendors producing cloth masks that are not currently listed below, please let us know at: media@rcdhu.com.

Local Vendors

Online vendors that ship:

Other Vendors:

  • Walmart: https://www.walmart.ca/en/health/home-health-care/face-masks/N-9320 and https://www.walmart.ca/en/health/home-health-care/face-masks/reusable-face-masks/N-9322
  • Rona: https://www.rona.ca/en/tools/clothing-and-safety/masks
  • Canadian Tire: https://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/disposable-3-ply-non-medical-face-masks-50-pk-3997520p.html#srp
  • TSC: https://www.tsc.ca/Disposable-Face-Masks-50Pack/pages/productdetails?nav=R:486984
  • Dollarama: https://www.dollarama.com/en-CA/p-anti-microbial-washable-mask/3096173
  • Giant Tiger: https://www.gianttiger.com/search.do?query=face+masks

Mask Vendor List for Stores in Ottawa:

Where can I get a cloth mask in Ottawa?

How can I make a non-medical mask?

For details on how to make your own non-medical mask(s), visit:

Are masks mandatory in Ontario?

While the province of Ontario has not made masks mandatory, some municipalities now have provisions in place (or soon to be) for mandatory masks. If you’re travelling within the province, please be sure to:

  • bring a cloth mask with you,
  • check the area you are travelling to for mandatory masks orders or by-laws.

Some municipalities with orders and by-laws for mandatory masks include:

Additional Resources

  • Government of Ontario: Face coverings and face masks-About
  • Public Health Ontario Document: Non-medical masks and face coverings
  • Health Canada: Non-medical masks and face coverings-About
  • Masks4Canada: Grassroots group of members from diverse ages and backgrounds, to promote and educate the use of effective, re-usable, non-medical face coverings where physical distancing is not possible. Great source of evidence and other helpful information.

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  

RCDHU COVID-19 Information for Workplaces Webpage

Stage 3

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

July 31, 2020 – TORONTO — The Ontario government, in consultation with the Associate Chief Medical Officer of Health, has amended orders O. Reg 364/20: Rules for Areas in Stage 3 and O. Reg. 263/20: Rules for Areas in Stage 2, under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020, implementing additional measures for restaurants, bars, and other food or drink establishments, as the province carefully and gradually reopens.

In order to keep patrons of restaurants, bars, and other food or drink establishments safe, the amended orders will implement the following measures:

  • All patrons will be required to be seated at all times, in both indoor and outdoor areas, with limited exceptions; and
  • Bars and restaurants (and also tour boat operators) in Ontario will be required to keep client logs for a period of 30 days and to disclose the client logs to the medical officer of health or an inspector under the Health Protection and Promotion Act on request, which will support case and contact tracing.
  • Complementary changes are being made in respect of existing provisions relating to tour operators and tour boat operators.

For full details, visit: Ontario Implementing Additional Measures at Bars and Restaurants

July 30, 2020 – TORONTO — The Ontario government is announcing the safe reopening of schools for in-class instruction beginning this September. The government has unveiled a plan that prioritizes the health and safety of students and staff, and provides school boards with unprecedented resources and flexibility, while accommodating regional differences in trends of key public health indicators. This plan was developed in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the COVID-19 Command Table and paediatric experts.

Elementary schools (Kindergarten to Grade 8) will reopen provincewide, with in-class instruction five days a week. Secondary schools with lower risk will reopen with a normal daily schedule, five days a week, while most secondary schools will start the school year in an adapted model of part-time attendance with class cohorts of up to 15 students alternating between attending in-person and online. Students from Grade 4-12 and school staff will be required to wear masks.

Parents will continue to have the option to enroll their children in remote delivery, which respects their fundamental role in making the final determination of whether they feel safe with their children returning to school.

For full details: Ontario Releases Plan for Safe Reopening of Schools in September

July 20, 2020 – TORONTO — The Ontario government is allowing seven more regions to enter Stage 3 on Friday, increasing the number of businesses and public spaces that will reopen across the province. This decision was made in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and is based on positive local trends of key public health indicators, including lower or low transmission of COVID-19, ongoing hospital capacity, public health capacity to conduct rapid case and contact management, and a significant increase in testing.

The following public health units will be allowed to move into Stage 3 on Friday, July 24, 2020 at 12:01 a.m.:

  • 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 will join the 24 public health regions that entered into Stage 3 on Friday, July 17, 2020. For more information on the restrictions that will remain in place during Stage 3, as well as the public health and workplace safety restrictions necessary to keep people safe, visit Ontario.ca/reopen.

The following regions will remain in Stage 2 until local trends of key public health indicators demonstrate readiness to move into Stage 3:

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

For full details visit: Ontario Moving More Regions into Stage 3

July 16, 2020 – TORONTO — The Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, has extended most emergency orders currently in force under s.7.0.2 (4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) until July 29, 2020. Keeping the emergency orders in place provides the government with the necessary flexibility to ensure the protection of vulnerable populations, such as seniors, while continuing to implement its Framework for Reopening the Province with many regions entering Stage 3 on Friday.

The following orders under s.7.0.2 (4) of the EMCPA are extended until July 29, 2020:

  • Work Redeployment for Certain Health Service Providers
  • Drinking Water Systems and Sewage Works
  • Electronic Service
  • Work Deployment Measures in Long-Term Care Homes
  • Electricity Price for RPP Consumers
  • Rules for Areas in Stage 1
  • Traffic Management
  • Streamlining Requirements for Long-Term Care Homes
  • Prohibition on Certain Persons Charging Unconscionable Prices for Sales of Necessary Goods
  • Enforcement of Orders
  • Work Deployment Measures for Boards of Health
  • Work Deployment Measures in Retirement Homes
  • Service Agencies Providing Services and Supports to Adults with Developmental Disabilities and Service Providers Providing
  • Intervenor Services
  • Pickup and Delivery of Cannabis
  • Signatures in Wills and Powers of Attorney
  • Use of Force and Firearms in Policing Services
  • Agreements Between Health Service Providers and Retirement Homes
  • Temporary Health or Residential Facilities
  • Work Deployment Measures for Service Agencies Providing Violence Against Women Residential Services and Crisis Line Services
  • Limiting Work to a Single Long-Term Care Home
  • Work Deployment Measures for District Social Services Administration Boards
  • Deployment of Employees of Service Provider Organizations
  • Work Deployment Measures for Municipalities
  • Limiting Work to a Single Retirement Home
  • Work Deployment Measures for Mental Health and Addictions Agencies
  • Congregate Care Settings
  • Access to Personal Health Information by Means of the Electronic Health Record
  • Certain Persons Enabled to Issue Medical Certificates of Death
  • Hospital Credentialing Processes
  • Education Sector
  • Management of Long-Term Care Homes in Outbreak
  • Management of Retirement Homes in Outbreak
  • Special Rules Re: Temporary Pandemic Pay
  • Rules for Areas in Stage 2
  • Patios

For full details, visit: Ontario Extends Emergency Orders

July 13, 2020 – The Ontario government announced nearly all businesses and public spaces will reopen in Stage 3 of the province’s reopening framework with public health and workplace safety measures and restrictions in place. As Ontario continues down the path to economic recovery, decisions on which regions will enter Stage 3 and when will be made in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts and based on trends of key public health indicators.

As part of the Stage 3 reopening, Ontario will be increasing gathering limits for those regions entering the next stage to the following:

  • Indoor gathering limits will increase to a maximum of 50 people;
  • Outdoor gathering limits will increase to a maximum of 100 people;
  • Gathering limits are subject to physical distancing requirements.

Public gathering limits apply to indoor and outdoor events, such as community events or gatherings, concerts, live shows, festivals, conferences, sports and recreational fitness activities, fundraisers, fairs, festivals or open houses. A two metre distance must still be maintained at such events.

The Chief Medical Officer of Health, public health experts and other officials have advised the following, high-risk places and activities are not yet safe to open, even if a region has entered Stage 3, due to the likelihood of large crowds congregating, difficulties with physical distancing, or challenges maintaining the proper cleaning and sanitation required to prevent the spread of COVID‑19:

  • Amusement parks and water parks;
  • Buffet-style food services;
  • Dancing at restaurants and bars, other than by performers hired by the establishment following specific requirements;
  • Overnight stays at camps for children;
  • Private karaoke rooms;
  • Prolonged or deliberate contact while playing sports;
  • Saunas, steam rooms, bath houses and oxygen bars;
  • Table games at casinos and gaming establishments.

The following public health unit regions will be allowed to move into Stage 3 first, on Friday, July 17, 2020:

  • 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 municipalities will be permitted to enter Stage 3 based on their region and, as in the previous stages, may choose to take more time before reopening. For a list of regions that will remain in Stage 2, visit Ontario.ca/reopen.

For more details visit: Nearly All Businesses and Public Spaces to Reopen in Stage 3 

July 9, 2020 – The Ontario government, in consultation with Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, has extended all emergency orders currently in force that were made under s.7.0.2(4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to July 22, 2020. The extension was made to ensure the province maintains the necessary flexibility to protect public health and safety as more businesses reopen and people go back to work.

For more details visit: Ontario Extends Emergency Orders

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 visit: 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.

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 Resource – COVID-19: Infection Prevention and Control Checklist for Reopening of Workplaces

RCDHU Poster – My Mask Protects YOU

RCDHU FactsheetCOVID-19 Guidance for Food Premises

RCDHU COVID-19 – Information for Business Operators (Toolkit) 

RCDHU COVID-19 Directive for Masks/Face Coverings

RCDHU COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions, Re: Directive for Masks/Face Coverings

RCDHU COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions: Masks/Face Coverings

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

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 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 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

Government of Canada Travel: https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/health-safety/travel-health-notices/221 

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

A Message to Petawawa Residents: https://youtu.be/JbOybrAIZug

Dr. Cushman – July 31, 2020: https://youtu.be/RurRb39SEGA

RCDHU – July 20, 2020 Masks/Face Coverings Be Kind: https://youtu.be/OR_WdhQ527A

Dr. Cushman – July 13, 2020: https://youtu.be/8H-RUp46gQI

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

Government of Ontario News Releases

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

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

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?

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 

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 28th, 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.

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

  • Any indoor gatherings, events or activities over 50 individuals be cancelled or postponed.
  • Any outdoor gatherings, events or activities over 100 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.

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 indoor gatherings, events or activities over 50 individuals be cancelled or postponed.
  • Any outdoor gatherings, events or activities over 100 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.

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.

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Pembroke Office

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

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