Submitted by Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare
Global concern about the new coronavirus, a respiratory virus with pneumonia-like symptoms, is growing and Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare (MAHC) is monitoring this situation closely.
Although the risk in Ontario remains low, MAHC has already put protocols in place and are working with health-care partners, including the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, to ensure the region is prepared.
Safety of our patients and staff is most important and we have infection prevention and control policies in place. We already screen patients at registration points for travel history and signs and symptoms for communicable illnesses. Additionally, signage at our entrances asks patients and visitors about recent travel to affected areas and to put on a mask if they have flu-like symptoms, such as a fever, flu-like symptoms, muscle pain, new or worsening cough, and/or shortness of breath.
If you are feeling unwell AND have travelled from China or another affected area in the past 14 days or have been in close contact with a person who has and is unwell, you should be assessed by a health-care provider. If at all possible, make sure to call ahead to let them know you’re coming to further ensure appropriate precautions ahead of arrival.
There is no vaccine for this new virus, however you can protect yourself by washing your hands often with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand sanitizer. You can help to reduce the spread of respiratory infections such as coronavirus by coughing or sneezing into your elbow and by staying home when you are sick.
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