Prevention

Yes, COVID-19 spread can be significantly reduced with the following tips!

  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds.  Use hand sanitizer (min 60% alcohol base) when soap and water is not available.  
  • Use cough and sneeze ettiquete:
    • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
    • Put your used tissue in a lined garbage can
    • If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve/elbow, not your hands
  • Stop touching your face, particularly eyes, nose and mouth
  • Clean and disinfect regularly, common areas such as light switches, phones, remotes, etc. more frequently
  • Practice social distancing
  • Stop handshaking
  • Stay away from sick people
  • If you use a tissue or paper towel to open doors, or sneeze in - throw it away immediately
  • Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care
  • If you are sick, use a mask to protect others around you - See video on how to properly put on and take off masks to minize risk of contamination
  • Learn more about why outbreaks like coronavirus spread exponentially, and how to "flatten the curve"

Public Health's COVID-19 Self-Assessment.

Testing - Visit the COVID-19 Community Assessment Centres' website if you think you are exhibiting mild to moderate symptoms.
In an emergency, or if you are experiencing severe symptoms, please call 911 or call ahead to your local Emergency Department so they can prepare for your arrival.

How Coronavirus Infection Spreads

Human coronaviruses cause infections of the nose, throat and lungs. They are most commonly spread from an infected person through:

  • The air by coughing and sneezing
  • Close personal contact such as touching or shaking hands
  • Touching something with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands

Steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 if you are sick

Preventing Coronavirus Infection

There are currently no vaccines available to protect you against human coronavirus infection. You may be able to reduce your risk of infection by doing the following:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick 
  • Practice social distancing

Read more on how to protect yourself.

 Precautions for Household Members (e.g. Caregivers, Roommates) to Prevent Transmission to Others in the Home

For caregivers of a case/PUI (patient under investigation), it is important to take appropriate steps to protect yourself and others in the home environment from contracting COVID-19.

  • Perform regular hand hygiene. The ill person and the household members should perform hand hygiene regularly.
  • Practice good respiratory etiquette followed by hand hygiene.
  • Limit the number of caregivers. Ideally, the ill person should be able to care for themselves. Caregiving within 2 meters of the ill person should be limited to one person.
  • Prevent exposure to contaminated items and surfaces. Do not use personal items that belong to the case/PUI such as toothbrushes, towels, washcloths, bed linen, cigarettes, unwashed eating utensils, drinks, phones, computers, or other electronic devices. The lid of the toilet should be down before flushing to prevent contamination of the environment.
  • Frequent cleaning and disinfecting. High-touch areas such as toilets, bedside tables and door handles should be disinfected daily using a store bought disinfectant, or if not available, a diluted bleach solution (0.5% sodium hypochlorite).
  • Disposing of waste. All used disposable contaminated items should be placed in a lined container before disposing of them with other household waste.
  • Use precautions when doing laundry. Contaminated laundry should be placed into a laundry bag or basket with a plastic liner and should not be shaken. Gloves and a medical or procedural mask should be worn when in direct contact with contaminated laundry. Clothing and linens belonging to the ill person can be washed together with other laundry, using regular laundry soap and hot water (60-90°C). Laundry should be thoroughly dried. Hand hygiene should be performed after handling contaminated laundry and after removing gloves. If the laundry container comes in contact with contaminated laundry, it can be disinfected using a store bought disinfectant, or if not available, a diluted bleach solution (0.5% sodium hypochlorite).
  • Use of personal protective equipment. If household members have direct contact with the case/PUI, they should wear a medical or procedural mask and eye protection when within two meters and should perform hand hygiene after contact. Caregivers should wear disposable gloves when in direct contact with the ill person, or when in direct contact with the ill person's environment as well as soiled materials and surfaces. Hand hygiene should be performed before putting gloves on and after removing them.

  Source: Public Health Agency of Canada and Ottawa Public Health