First update from Ottawa Public Health concerning the COVID-19 virus.
On December 31, 2019, a cluster of cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, China (Hubei province) was reported to the World Health Organization and the cause has been confirmed as a new coronavirus that has not previously been identified in humans. The current situation is evolving. More information is expected to emerge in the coming days and weeks. New information is becoming available daily and a clearer picture is being formed as this information is analyzed by provincial, national and international health agencies.
To effectively respond locally, Ottawa Public Health (OPH) remains in enhanced operations to increase support and sharing of information to residents in addition to community and health systems partners. There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa. We continue to follow the lead of the Ontario Ministry of Health, Public Health Ontario and the Public Health Agency of Canada.
OPH and our local, provincial and federal partners are preparing for the possibility of a pandemic situation. The word “pandemic” can sound scary, but it speaks more to the geographical spread of an illness, not the severity. Most people who have contracted COVID-19 will be able to fully recover at home and not require hospitalization.
OPH has developed a new section on our website devoted to pandemic preparedness. Please check this page regularly along with our general page on COVID-19 for the latest information.
As we approach March Break, some of you may have questions about travel. Please refer to the travel information on the OPH website for the latest updates and advice.
To reduce the spread of germs including the flu and COVID-19 OPH recommends that you:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth unless you have just washed your hands with soap
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or into your arm, not your hand
- If possible, stay home if you are sick
- Avoid visiting people in hospitals or long-term care centres if you are sick
- It is still recommended to get your flu shot if you haven’t already as the flu virus is still circulating in the community
More information on novel coronavirus is available here: OttawaPublicHealth.ca/coronavirus