Coronavirus – March 18, 2020 Update

1. Where to find the most up-to-date information:

You can visit this dedicated website on the Coronavirus for information updated twice daily from Ontario Public Health and the Public Health Agency of Canada: https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus

2. March 18 – Federal government announced border to US is closed to non-essential travel

This decision by the federal government to close the border to non-essential travelers is a tough but necessary one. While trade travel is permitted, recreational travel and tourism crossings are temporarily suspended.

Canadians are asked to avoid non-essential travel outside Canada. For the latest and most up-to-date information, visit https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health.html

or contact the coronavirus information line at 1-833-784-4397.

If you or a family member need financial help to return to Canada, click here for information.

3. Assessment Centre now open at Markham-Stouffville Hospital

Before coming to the COVID-19 Assessment Centre, individuals should call Telehealth 1-866-797-0000, York Region Public Health 1-877-464-9675, or their family doctor. They will advise on the best course of action, and whether or not to go to the Assessment Centre.

4. Ontario schools will be closed from March 14-April 5

Based on advice from Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health and the experts at the COVID-19 Command Table, the Minister of Education has issued a Ministerial Order to close all publicly funded schools in Ontario for two weeks following March break, in response to the emergence in Ontario of COVID-19.

This means that Ontario schools have been ordered to remain closed from March 14 through to April 5, 2020.

We recognize the significant impact this decision will have on families, students, schools, as well as the broader community, but this precaution is necessary to keep people safe.

For more information, click here

5. Concerns and reporting

If you are concerned about your own health or the health of another person, or if you wish to report a suspected case of novel coronavirus, call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 or your local Public Health Unit: http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/common/system/services/phu/locations.aspx

York Region Public Health Services
Toll : 1-877-464-9675 (Access York)
Web : www.york.ca/wps/portal/yorkhome/health/ 

Please follow the instructions you are given by Telehealth or the Public Health Unit.

6. In the workplace

Many employers and workplaces have already sent out new policies for their staff to follow, which may include working remotely from home. Please check with your employer for updated policies.

If you are worried about coronavirus at your work, concerns about health and safety in a workplace should be brought to the attention of the worker’s employer. The employer has a duty to identify hazards and to put into place appropriate controls for hazards.

Workers may also wish to raise the issue with the joint health and safety committee or health and safety representative in the workplace. The joint health and safety committee, or health and safety representative, have a role in identifying hazards in the workplace and making recommendations about measures needed to protect workers.
 

Individuals with questions about workplace health and safety can contact the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development - Health and Safety Contact Centre at 1-877-202-0008 between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday to Friday. Call any time to report an unsafe work practice, critical injury, fatality or work refusal. In an emergency, always dial 911.

7. Fact Sheets

In addition to all the information above, fact sheets on Coronavirus are now available in multiple languages for you to share with family, friends, neighbours and associates:

Everyone should take comfort in knowing that our skilled health care providers are bringing their considerable experience to effectively monitor and respond to this situation.

Since learning about the outbreak of the Wuhan novel coronavirus in China, Ontario has been actively monitoring to quickly detect and contain cases of the virus.

The Public Health Agency of Canada and Ontario Public Health are working directly alongside each other and with local health units to activate and execute comprehensive pre-existing plans to keep Ontarians healthy and safe.

We anticipated that Ontario would experience cases of the Wuhan novel coronavirus and as such, were well prepared to quickly respond.

The best, most highly qualified and professionally dedicated research, medical and communications staff our province and our nation has have been working full time for many years, precisely to do the best job it is possible to do in circumstances like this.

Because Canada reformed its entire Public Health System after the SARS outbreak in 2003, we are in many ways more prepared than most other nations.

You can trust our health care professionals fully and place your confidence in their instructions and advice.

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