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HPEPH Collaborating with Ontario Health Agencies to Monitor Coronavirus Presence in Province

Coronavirus in lung

Hastings and Prince Edward Counties / January 27, 2020 – Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH) is collaborating with Public Health Ontario, Ministry of Health and local health authorities to closely monitor and respond to the current outbreak of a new virus (the 2019-Novel Coronavirus, or 2019-nCoV) not previously seen in humans.

The situation is evolving rapidly with cases of 2019-nCoV being reported outside of Wuhan, China where it originated. As of today, a husband and wife who recently returned to Toronto from Wuhan, China have both tested positive for the new coronavirus through the Ontario Public Health Laboratory.

The federal government has implemented additional health screening at airports to prevent the introduction into, and limit the potential spread of, the 2019 Novel Coronavirus in Canada.

Medical Officer of Health, Dr Piotr Oglaza states “The risk to Ontarians, and the community of Hastings and Prince Edward Counties remains low at this time. However, steps are in place to immediately detect and respond to any potential cases in our area”. Physicians, hospitals and other health care facilities are required to report a person under investigation for the new coronavirus to their local Medical Officer of Health. HPEPH will work closely with Quinte Health Care and community healthcare providers to quickly and effectively take all necessary steps to investigate, arrange for lab tests and provide case and contact management to prevent and control the spread of infection.

Symptoms of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus are similar to many other respiratory illnesses which include fever, cough and respiratory symptoms such as shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Anyone who has recently travelled to Wuhan, in the Hubei Province of China, should monitor themselves for respiratory symptoms for 14 days following their return to Canada. Contact Public Health for direction if you have traveled to Wuhan and become ill with mild respiratory symptoms. Travellers who become ill during, or soon after, their travels to Wuhan with severe respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough and difficulty breathing should go to their local emergency department. Immediately inform staff at the emergency department if you are ill and have recently returned from travel to Wuhan.

Hastings Prince Edward Public Health would like to remind our community of the key ways to prevent the spread of infection:

  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Cough and sneeze into the bend of your arm, not into your hand(s)
  • Avoid touching your nose, mouth or eyes with your hands
  • Clean objects and surfaces that many people touch, such as: doorknobs, phones, light switches and television remotes
  • Eat healthy foods and stay physically active to keep your immune system strong
  • Get plenty of rest or sleep
  • Get your influenza vaccine
  • Stay home when you are sick, and avoid contact with other people until your symptoms are gone
  • If you suspect you are sick, avoid visiting people in long-term care, or individuals with health concerns

HPEPH is committed to providing up-to-date information and guidance to our health care providers and local community. Current information on the 2019 Novel Coronavirus is available on our public health website and through the Ministry of Health at https://www.ontario.ca/page/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov. For more information, please visit our website, hpePublicHealth.ca, or contact us at 613-966-5500.

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Media Contact:

Emily Tubbs, Communications Specialist 613-966-5500 x 464 or 613-966-9418 etubbs@hpeph.ca

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COVID-19 VACCINES IN HPEPH

Appointments for individuals 5+ can be booked through the provincial vaccine booking site, or by calling 1-833-943-3900 from 8 am to 8 pm, 7 days a week.  

Due to limited supply, HPEPH will initially be prioritizing available bivalent vaccine for residents and workers at identified highest-risk facilities.  Some HPEPH vaccination clinics MAY offer the bivalent vaccine, as availability allows. Vaccine clinics in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties will continue to offer monovalent vaccines (the same mRNA vaccines given as the primary series) for all eligible individuals until a steady supply of the bivalent vaccine is available.

Visit the HPEPH vaccine booking web page for details.

COVID-19 PROTOCOLS

Symptoms or exposure? Visit www.ontario.ca/exposed for the most up to date information about what to do.

For the most up to date information on current provincial restrictions, visit https://covid-19.ontario.ca/public-health-measures.

The Ministry of Health has launched a new toll-free line as an additional resource to help answer questions from the public regarding evolving COVID-19 testing and isolation guidance. The line can be reached at 1-888-777-0730, and is available from 8 am to 6 pm, 7 days a week.