COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus)

Updated on February 20, 2020.

Every weekday at 10:30 a.m. ET, the Province of Ontario's COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) webpage will be updated with the most up-to-date information including the status of cases in Ontario. Follow the Eastern Ontario Health Unit on Twitter or Facebook to receive notification of local updates.

What measures should be taken by travellers returning from affected areas?
What is the situation in Eastern Ontario?
How can I protect myself and my family?
What are the symptoms of COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus)?
How are people being treated for this illness?
What is COVID-19?
What are coronaviruses?
Hand hygiene and infection prevention resources

What measures should be taken by travellers returning from affected areas?

Travellers who have returned from Hubei province, including Wuhan City, should:

  • Contact the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) at 1-800-267-7120 within 24 hours of arriving in Canada
  • Stay at home and avoid close contact with others, including those in their home, for a total of 14 days from the date they left Hubei province
  • Contact the EOHU at 1-800-267-7120 or Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 if they experience symptoms of COVID-19 (previously called Novel Coronavirus), and follow the instructions provided

Travellers who have returned from mainland China should:

  • Monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) for 14 days after leaving China
  • Contact the EOHU at 1-800-267-7120 or Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 if they experience symptoms of the COVID-19, and follow the instructions provided

Individuals who are advised to go to the hospital should put on a mask and immediately report to triage at the hospital ER.

Individuals who are displaying symptoms and have a history of travel to the affected area should notify their healthcare provider about their travel history and whether they have been in any high-risk circumstances during their travel, such as direct contact with animals or their droppings (e.g. when visiting a live animal market or farm), or close contact with a sick person.

What is the situation in Eastern Ontario?

At the moment, the risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus is considered low. However, the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) continues to work with our partners at the regional, provincial and federal levels to monitor the situation, and is prepared to respond to any potential cases in our area should they occur.

How can I protect myself and my family?

We recommend that you use the same precautions as you regularly use to prevent the spread of viral infections, such as:

  • Frequently wash your hands with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth unless you have just washed your hands
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your arm, not your hand
  • Stay home if you are sick

If you plan to travel, you should consult the Government of Canada’s Travel Advice and Advisories website for destination-specific health notices and recommended precautions.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus)?

Symptoms reported amongst infected individuals in China are common to a number of respiratory illnesses. Currently, only persons who become ill within 14 days of having visited China or having been in close contact with someone who has a respiratory illness who has been to China within 14 days prior to their illness onset are considered at risk for COVID-19 infection. Common symptoms of infection include fever, cough and respiratory symptoms such as shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.

How are people being treated for this illness?

For now, there is no specific treatment for most people with COVID-19 infection. Most people will recover on their own. Your healthcare provider may recommend steps you can take to relieve symptoms.

Symptom management is the primary focus of treating clients with this illness. Individuals usually recover with the supportive care that is regularly offered to manage pneumonia.

What is COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus)?

On December 31, 2019, a cluster of cases of pneumonia was reported in Wuhan, China, and the cause has been confirmed as a new coronavirus that has not previously been identified in humans. This virus is now known as COVID-19 (previously called 2019 Novel Coronavirus or 2019-nCoV). The extent and severity of illness caused by the COVID-19 virus is still not fully known.

There are now confirmed cases of COVID-19 that have been identified internationally, including in Canada. The current situation is evolving. New information is becoming available daily and a clearer picture is being formed as this information is analyzed by provincial, national and international health agencies.

The Ontario Ministry of Health has added COVID-19 as a designated disease reportable under Ontario's public health legislation. Physicians, hospitals and other healthcare facilities are now required to report any suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 to their local medical officer of health.

What are coronaviruses?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. They can cause diseases ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV). Some coronaviruses transmit easily from person to person, while others do not. There is now evidence of sustained human-to-human transmission of COVID-19 in China, however, the extent and severity of illness is still not fully known. More information is expected to emerge in the coming days and weeks.

Hand hygiene and infection prevention resources

Handwashing

Hand Disinfection Method for Hand Sanitizers

Tips for Preventing the Spread of Infection at Home

Germy the Germ Gets Washed Away! (animated video for young children)

Handwashing for Young Children (video for young children)

Hand Hygiene: The Dirt on Germs (video for elementary students)

Hand Hygiene: Duck and Cover Your Cough! (video for high school students)

See our full playlist of hand hygiene videos


    For more information:

    www.ontario.ca/coronavirus

    www.canada.ca/coronavirus

    About Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) - Fact Sheet from the Public Health Agency of Canada

    Quarantine of Repatriated Canadians at the NAV Centre - Fact Sheet from the Public Health Agency of Canada

    Eastern Ontatio Health Unit / Bureau de santé de l'Ontario