COVID-19: What you need to know
Given the ongoing developments and news coverage about COVID-19 (also referred to as the coronavirus), here is some information about the status in Canada, tools and resources you can use, a self-assessment tool, and your responsibility in staying healthy.
TELUS Health has developed a COVID-19 self-assessment tool to help you determine your risk factors and provide direction on how to keep yourself, your family, and your community healthy. The self-assessment tool was developed with guidance from the various provincial health authorities.
This tool is updated regularly to provide you with the best guidance and resources for your province. Guidelines are changing on a daily basis, so check back often.
In light of the World Health Organization’s assessment of COVID-19 as a pandemic and of the virus’ spread across Canada and the world, all provinces and territories have declared a ‘state of emergency’ in managing the virus within their jurisdiction. This allows the provincial/territorial government to implement an array of measures to protect the health of its population.
There is an increased risk of more severe outcomes for those 60 years old and over, who have compromised immune systems and/or who have underlying medical conditions. As such, national and provincial health organizations are asking all Canadians to practice physical distancing by staying at home as much as possible and avoid group settings.
The Government of Canada has also asked all Canadians to avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice, including cruise ships.
Travelers must also self-isolate for 14 days after returning from travel outside of Canada and monitor their health for fever, cough or difficulty breathing.
There is no treatment or vaccination for COVID-19.
There are two things to be looking out for: symptoms and exposure. If you would answer “yes” to both symptom and exposure criteria, please contact Public Health (see below for contact information).
- Fever (over 38 degrees Celsius) and/or
- Cough and/or
- Difficulty breathing
- Any travel in the 14 days before symptoms started, especially to affected areas
- You have been in close contact with someone who has experienced similar symptoms within 14 days of traveling
- You have been exposed to a person with a confirmed or probable COVID-19 infection
Health Guidelines: What You Should Do
It is everyone’s responsibility to keep themselves and those around them safe and healthy from COVID-19. Here are the responsibilities everyone has in coronavirus prevention, for themselves and their community:
- Practice physical distancing
- Avoid crowded places and non-essential gatherings
- Avoid common greetings, such as handshakes and hugs
- Limit in-person contact with people at higher risk (e.g. older adults and those in poor health)
- Keep a distance of at least 2 metres from others
- Stay home as much as possible
Wash your hands as often as possible with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer with > 60% alcohol
- Clean/sanitize high touch surfaces frequently
- Toys, toilets, phones, electronics, door handles, bedside tables, television remotes
Avoid touching your mouth, eyes, and nose
Cough or sneeze into your arm or sleeve
Avoid close contact with anyone who has a fever and cough
- Avoid travelling
- Follow recommendations of the Public Health Agency of Canada
- Stay home if you feel unwell and follow guidelines provided through the self-assessment tool
Pay attention to misinformation. Follow recommendations provided on official websites:
- Government of Canada
- Government of Canada – Frequently Asked Questions
- Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention
- Government of Canada – Recommendations for travelers
- World Health Organization
- COVID-19 in Canada by Empower Health
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us.
Staying healthy doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are some ways to prevent getting sick:
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer with > 60% alcohol
- Avoid contact with your mouth, eyes, and nose
- Cough or sneeze into your arm or sleeve
- Avoid close contact with anyone who has a fever and cough
- Stay home if you feel unwell
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms outlined above and also meet some of the exposure criteria, please call your provincial Public Health department immediately to get guidance on next steps.
COVID-19 TOOLS & RESOURCES:
We have been working closely with our partners at the Medisys Health Group, also part of the TELUS Health family, on our response to COVID-19. For up to date information and resources, please visit https://blog.medisys.ca/coronavirus