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Public health encouraging residents to prepare for potential spread of COVID-19

Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH) is preparing for the possibility that the COVID-19 virus could emerge locally.

“Measures put in place to date have been effective in containing the spread in Canada, and while the current risk to Canadians remains low, this could change very rapidly,” said Dr. Piotr Oglaza, Medical Officer of Health, and CEO at HEPEH.

He noted HPEPH is working with national, provincial, and local health care partners to contain COVID-19.

“However, as more cases emerge across the province, there is a strong possibility that this virus could emerge locally.”

HPEPH is encouraging local residents to ensure they are prepared to self-isolate for two weeks in the event that they, or someone in their home, becomes ill with COVID-19.

“If an individual is asked to self-isolate to prevent the spread of COVID-19, they will be asked to stay in their home and limit contact with others.”

HPEPH recommends residents take four basic steps to ensure they are prepared for a potential COVID-19 outbreak in the community:
– Ensure you are prepared with enough supplies and essentials to stay in your home for up to two weeks.
– Make a contingency plan to ensure care for your dependants in the event you become ill or are asked to self-isolate.
– Know the risks – Get up to date information from reliable health resources, and stay up-to-date on health travel notices from the Government of Canada.
– Practice good infection control procedures to protect yourself and those around you.

To help stop the spread of germs:
-Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or use your elbow when you cough or sneeze.
-Put your used tissue in a waste basket.
-If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands.
-Cleanse your hands frequently by either washing thoroughly with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (with at least 70% alcohol).
-Don’t share cutlery or water bottles with others – even immediate family.
If you are ill, you should try to distance yourself from others so you do not spread your germs. Distancing includes staying home from work or school when possible.

More outbreak preparedness on the HPEPH website

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