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Hastings and Prince Edward Public Health
Coronavirus in lung

2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

NEW AND IMPORTANT – If this is a medical emergency, please call 911 immediately. If you are looking for additional information or have questions about COVID-19, please review this website thoroughly before contacting Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH).

If you are not able to find answers to your questions on our website, or through the Public Health Agency of Canada’s self-assessment tool. If you still have questions after completing the self-assesment, please contact our  COVID-19 information line by dialing 613-966-5500. The line is currently answered by public health staff 7 days a week between 8:30 am and 8:30 pm Monday to Friday, and 8:30 am to 4:30 pm on the weekend. Please be patient, and use this line only if you are unable to answer your questions with the resources available online. Callers may have to wait for their call to be answered due to high call volumes.

If you are a health care provider or health worker, please go to our COVID-19 Health Care Resources page.

If you are an employer or an employee with questions about COVID-19 safety in the workplace, please go to our Healthy Workplaces page.

COVID-19 Pandemic

The World Health Organization has declared COVID-19 to be a global pandemic. Simply put, this means a disease that has spread across an entire country or the world, usually affecting a number of people. HPEPH is working closely with the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Health to monitor the situation and protect our community. 

At this time all residents are advised to practise physical distancing, to reduce exposure and help stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community.

For more information, review the Washington Post’s comprehensive article about the spread of infectious disease and how to “flatten the curve”.

Resources

Lab-Confirmed COVID-19 Cases in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties

Lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 are in self-isolation and being monitored by health authorities. Every effort will be made to update this list daily by 2:00 pm.

Case #Date of Lab Confirmation Transmission
(community, travel or close contact)
1March 19, 2020 travel
2March 20, 2020travel
3March 20, 2020close contact
4March 23, 2020close contact
5March 23, 2020travel
6March 26, 2020travel

Precautions for Travellers

If you have returned from travel anywhere outside of Canada, you must self-isolate for 14 days and immediately contact Public Health or your local health care provider if you develop symptoms of COVID-19. Earlier this month all travellers were asked to self-isolated when they returned to Canada. Effective March 25, the federal government made this isolation mandatory under the Quarantine Act to better protect our most vulnerable citizens. Each of us must make the responsible decision to follow the advice of health authorities. It’s in everyone’s best interest to do everything we can to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

If symptoms of COVID-19 develop, individuals are strongly advised to call HPEPH, at 613-966-5500 or 1-800-257-2803, for further direction and guidance.

Phishing Alert!

Some residents have received calls from individuals falsely claiming to be from Public Health and requesting private information or that people call 811. Hastings Prince Edward Public Health does not use the 811 line. If you have any doubts about a caller asking for your personal information, hang up and call us directly at 613-966-5500.

Repatriation

HPEPH has been working with the Ontario Ministry of Health and the federal government to support the repatriation of Canadians. More information about this process, including measures in place to protect the local community, is available in our News and Notices section.

For more general information about COVID-19 please review our Frequently Asked Questions below, or visit the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 page and the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 page and COVID-19 preparation page.

Last updated: March 27, 2020.


Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I donate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?

Belleville General Hospital is now accepting donations for all of Quinte Health Care.

All PPE donations (even if packaging has been opened) are being accepted as our local hospital supplies are limited.

Drop off instructions: Donations can be dropped off at the Sills 2 Main Entrance between 8 am-4 pm. For enquiries, please contact CovidWarehouseCoordinator@qhc.on.ca

How can I keep my workplace safe?

Your role as an employer is to help manage the spread of COVID-19 in our community. HPEPH has created an Employer Package to support you. Employers and Employees please use this self-assessment for COVID-19 risk assessment and guidance.

What is your recommendation for handling groceries?

People are understandably concerned about the potential contamination of their groceries. However, the risk of COVID-19 transmission from groceries is extremely low. The best practice is to put groceries away as usual, while avoiding touching your face. When all the groceries are unpacked, wash your hands immediately and thoroughly.

For those who want extra assurance, you can remove and dispose of external packaging, and wipe the surfaces of your groceries with antibacterial wipes or a cloth immersed in a 1:10 mixture of bleach and water. Note that vinegar is not an adequate disinfectant.

How do I report non-essential businesses that are still operating?

To slow the spread of COVID-19, the Ontario government has ordered the immediate, but temporary closure of all non-essential workplaces. A full list of essential workplaces permitted to stay open is available here.

Public Complaints & Concerns:

If you have concerns that a business or service is still open when it should not be, do one of the following:

  • Call HPEPH if your complaint involves any of the following businesses/services:
    • Child care facilities
    • Recreational camps
    • Personal services settings (including mobile and home-based settings)
    • Tanning salons
    • Facilities providing indoor recreational programs including indoor public pools and whirlpools
    • Food premises, including restaurants
    • Theatres and cinemas (including drive-ins)
    • Trailer parks
    • Schools (public and private)
  • For any other type of business, report your concerns to your local police service using the non-emergency number.  Do not call 911!  

Business Questions

Companies and workplaces that have questions about this closure order can call Ontario’s Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659.

I have a concern about individuals in the community ignoring isolation or quarantine directions. What should I do?

If you have concerns about individuals in the community ignoring isolation or quarantine directions, please call our COVID-19 information line at 613-966-5500. Public Health Inspectors will be notified and will refer to the police, where appropriate.

Do I need to stay home if I have recently travelled, or if I have been in contact with someone who has?

Enhanced public health measures have been put in place to protect the health of the public. This includes federal, provincial and local travel restrictions and advisories:

  • All individuals returning from ANY travel outside of Canada must self-isolate for 14 days and self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19.
  • If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 while you are self-isolating you should seek clinical assessment over the phone – either through TeleHealth Ontario (1-866-797-0000) , calling  your primary care provider’s office, or calling Public Health 613-966-5500. If you need additional assessment, you will be directed to in-person care options. If you are in medical distress and need urgent care, call 911 and let them know what you are self-isolating because of COVID-19.

For more information about self-isolation and self-monitoring, review the Public Health Ontario COVID-19 fact sheets.

What should I do if I feel sick after travelling?

If you have travelled outside of Canada, and you become sick during your mandatory self-isolation,  call Hastings Prince Edward Public Health at 613-966-5500, contact your own health care provider, or call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 for direction.

If you have travelled outside of Canada and become ill with severe respiratory symptoms, such as difficulty breathing or shortness of breath while doing very little, call 911.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above and have recently travelled to affected areas, it is important to avoid public transportation and to immediately inform medical staff of your travel history.

If you are experiencing symptoms of an illness that spreads through the air, wearing a mask can help prevent the spread of the infection to others. The mask acts as a barrier and helps stop the tiny droplets from spreading around you when you cough or sneeze. Your health care provider may recommend you wear a mask while you are seeking or waiting for care. In this instance masks are an appropriate part of infection prevention and control measures that put in place so that people with an infectious respiratory illness do not transmit the infection to others.

Should I be concerned about my recent travel, or my travel plans?

The federal government has issued an travel advisory, advising Canadians against all travel outside of the country. See the answer to  ‘Do I need to stay home if I have recently travelled?’ section above, or contact HPEPH at 613-966-5500 for more information. If you have travel plans, check the latest travel advisories on the Government of Canada’s website for the most up to date recommendations.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19 and how does it spread?

Many signs and symptoms are similar to other upper and lower respiratory infections, and can range from mild cold symptoms to more severe illness with fever, cough, shortness of breath, and pneumonia.

There has been evidence of transmission through close contact between humans, most likely from secretions or droplets in the air or on surfaces due to coughing and sneezing. At this time, it appears that the virus is most often being spread through close contact with another infected person who is showing symptoms. While experts believe that spread from a person who is asymptomatic (not showing symptoms) is possible, this is considered to be rare.

Prompt identification, monitoring of symptoms and appropriate management of symptoms is the only treatment for the virus at this time.

How can I protect myself, my family, and our community?

The best way to protect yourself and those around you is to stay home, physically distance and use regular infection control practises.

  • Wash your hands frequently using soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Avoid shaking hands with others, use other forms of acknowledgement
  • Cough and sneeze into the bend of your arm, not into your hand
  • If you use a tissue, throw it away immediately and wash your hands
  • Avoid touching your nose, mouth or eyes with your hands
  • Clean objects/surfaces that a lot of people touch (door handles, phones, light switches, desks), and wash your hands after touching these surfaces
  • Don’t share items such as cutlery or water bottles with others – even immediate family
  • Get your influenza vaccine to help avoid getting the flu
  • 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

Are there any cases in our region?

Please see the main page above for information about confirmed cases in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties.

Confirmed cases in the quarantine zone at CFB Trenton have not had any contact with the community and all care providers have followed comprehensive infection control procedures.

For the most up to date status of cases in Ontario, visit the Ministry of Health’s web page.

What is the risk in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties?

As we continue to see an increase in lab-confirmed cases reported in communities across the province, the overall risk has increased. The risk of exposure to COVID-19 increases with community transmission. The Chief Public Health Officer of Canada is recommending that everyone prepare for the possibility that the virus could spread further in our communities and that do their part to flatten the curve.  For this reason, it is more important than ever for residents to practice physical distancing. This means avoiding physical contact and staying a safe distance of 2 metres (6 feet) away from other people.

What should I do to prepare?

HPEPH is recommending that all residents take these essential steps to prepare for a COVID-19 outbreak in the community:

Ensure you have supplies

  • Ensure you have enough supplies and essentials to stay in your home for up to 2 weeks

Make a contingency plan

  • Make plans to ensure care for your dependents in the event you become ill or are asked to self-isolate

Know the risks

Practise good infection control procedures

For more information and detailed recommendations, please visit HPEPH’s Outbreak Preparedness web page.

I don’t work in health care and I don't feel sick. Do I need to wear a mask in public?

While your workplace or occupation may have specific requirements for wearing a mask, there is no need for individuals who are feeling well to wear a mask in public, at school, or at work.

Health care providers have been given appropriate instructions about when and how to wear masks when they are in contact with patients. If you are experiencing respiratory symptoms (cough, cold, shortness of breath), and must be in contact with others, the best way to protect yourself and those around you is to use regular infection control practises.

For travellers who become ill during or soon after their travel, masks may be appropriate to prevent spread of the illness to others. In particular, symptomatic patients may be asked to wear a mask to protect visitors and other patients in triage and health care settings, while they are waiting for or receiving treatment.

It is not recommended that healthy people or people who have not travelled to a COVID-19 affected area wear masks. Wearing a mask when you are not ill and are not at high risk for developing symptoms may give a false sense of security. Masks can easily become contaminated and need to be changed frequently and fitted properly for them to provide adequate protection.

What is Public Health doing to respond to COVID-19?

Hastings Prince Edward Public Health is working closely with the Ministry of Health and Public Health Ontario to monitor the situation, and we are working proactively to address cases of COVID-19 in our region. We are conducting ongoing local surveillance to ensure any suspected cases are promptly identified and managed appropriately. We are working with local health care providers, hospitals, and schools to strengthen regular infection control processes, and we have systems and protocols in place to be implemented in response to situations, as required.

I am a health care provider and have questions about a potential case. Who should I contact?

Health care providers are required to immediately report all persons under investigation, probable and confirmed cases of COVID-19 to HPEPH at 613-966-5500.

General questions about the virus, or any communicable disease, can also be directed to the HPEPH CD Intake Line 613-966-5500 or 1-800-267-2803, ext. 349. For additional, detailed information, health care providers are also encouraged to visit the Ministry of Health’s page for health care workers.

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Alerts:

1) Our offices are temporarily closed to the public to allow us to respond to COVID-19 demands. Phone lines remain open. Please access our media release for more information.

2) Returning travellers must self-isolate for 14 days and contact Public Health if symptoms of COVID-19 develop.

If you have returned from travel anywhere outside of Canada, you must self-isolate for 14 days and immediately contact Public Health or your local health care provider if you develop symptoms of COVID-19. Earlier this month all travellers were asked to self-isolated when they returned to Canada. Effective March 25, the federal government made this isolation mandatory under the Quarantine Act to better protect our most vulnerable citizens. Each of us must make the responsible decision to follow the advice of health authorities. It’s in everyone’s best interest to do everything we can to stop the spread of COVID-19.