Riverside Health Care continues to monitor developments regarding the Novel Coronavirus outbreak, including staying up to date on the latest guidelines and information from Health Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Health and our local Northwestern Public Health Unit.
Our outbreak management and infection control team remain vigilant in protecting our patients, residents, visitors, staff and physicians through rigorous infection and prevention controls, including screening of patients upon arrival for symptoms consistent with the Coronavirus.
Riverside is following guidance from the Ministry of Health and taking precautions by adding screening questions specific to Coronavirus to our current symptom screenings. Protocols are in place at Riverside facilities in addition to our routine practices to appropriately isolate and test any patients requiring further investigation. This includes individuals who present with the acute respiratory infection symptoms and travel history to Wuhan, China or have been in contact with a sick person who has traveled to Wuhan, China. The symptoms of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, can include fever and cough, and are similar to other respiratory infections, including influenza. Currently, the risk to our district remains low.
Riverside is also asking patients to immediately self-identify to hospital registration staff or paramedics if they believe they are at risk for the Coronavirus. This will ensure that proper precautions are taken as soon as possible to protect other patients and staff. As Influenza and respiratory virus season is still underway, Riverside is also urging people to stay at home and refrain from visiting loved ones in the hospital or long-term care residents if they are feeling unwell to avoid spreading infections, specifically if they believe they are at risk for the Coronavirus.
To reduce exposure to and transmission of a range of illnesses, including Coronaviruses, you should follow usual health precautions such as:
– Getting a flu shot;
– Washing hands often, for at least 15 seconds with soap and warm water or by using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer;
– Putting all used tissues in the garbage right away; and
– Staying at home if sick, to avoid spreading infections to others.
More information on the Coronavirus can be found on the Public Health Agency of Canada website at www.ontario.ca/Coronavirus . If you have questions about your own health and the Coronavirus, you can reach call Telehealth: 1-866-797-0000 (24 hours, seven days a week).