March 18, 2020 updates.
FOR CURRENT PUBLIC HEALTH UPDATES; follow this link
Testing for COVID-19
COVID-19 assessment clinic are being run. IF you have a travel history outside of Canada, exposure to a possible COVID-19 case AND cold symptoms; get details on assessment here.
We CANNOT provide COVID-19 assessments at our office at this time.
Self-isolation for Travellers
If you have travelled outside the country, the Government of Canada is currently asking for 14 days of of self-isolation.
What can you do?
- IF you are ill, stay home and away from others until completely recovered + a few days if possible
- Hand-washing is preferred when possible. Hand sanitizer is useful if you are worried about touch surfaces and aren’t near a sink. Always wash hands before eating where possible as hand sanitizer does not remove the microbes from your hands. It merely (hopefully) deactivates it whereas soap should both deactivate the virus as well as remove it from the skin surface.
- Social distancing. Try to limit contact to groups and maintain a 3-6 ft distance around others. No handshaking at this time. Reschedule group gatherings if possible.
- for patients 70 years old or above; or if you have significant medical illness; you may wish to self-isolate/limit your contacts with others for the next 2 weeks.
Why are we doing these extreme measures?
The short answer is that we are trying to reset the number of community cases at this time. In an outbreak scenario, we have started BEHIND the disease incidence curve and we are now trying to catch up and get in front of it.
The two hopes.
CONTAINMENT – is limiting disease to pockets and limiting the chain of spread so that it disappears. This is always the goal; but even if we don’t achieve that, the procedures in place will mitigate.
MITIGATION – is slowing down disease spread so that our health care resources aren’t overwhelmed.
Every critically ill COVID-19 case that we have in hospital is taking a spot away from our treatable/curable cases. The heart attacks, appendectomies, trauma cases that normally can have good survivability with the proper resources; may suddenly become untreatable with risk of poor outcomes.
Our Ontario health care system normally operates very close to capacity. We are buying time for capacity expansion, deployment of resources and the ultimate goal is if we can develop effective treatments or a vaccine in the interim.
We should all do our part as this is an unprecedented health crisis. Public health will take point in this fight and we should rally around their guidance wherever possible.
I encourage you to stay up to date with the news; but consider limiting yourself to an hour or so per day of news if you are finding it making you anxious.
Exercise, good sleep and socialization over remote means (internet or the good ‘ole phone call) will be helpful.