Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update - February 2020
The Novel Coronavirus, now known as Covid-19, is making headlines around the world and healthcare professionals want to know how they can protect themselves and others from the spread of disease. It is important to follow your workplace policies and procedures as these may differ from other requirements.
The Ontario Government has created a dedicated website with up-to-the-minute information about the virus. In addition, a healthcare guidance website is available with information on sector specific information (including: Primary care, acute care, long-term care, community, etc.).
The World Health Organization (WHO) has established a website with up-to-the-minute information you need to be informed about the Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) and it is recommended you check back regularly for updates. Please watch the 5-minute introduction video on detection, prevention, response, and control of the virus. You can enroll for a free 3-hour, self-paced course which provides more information - additional modules will be coming in the future.
Generally, WHO advises the following:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub
- Cough and sneeze into your elbow or tissue – then wash hands or use alcohol-based hand rub
- Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and other people, particularly those who are coughing, sneezing, or have a fever
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth – to reduce transmission
- Seek medical attention early if you have a fever, cough, or difficulties breathing if you have traveled to areas in China affected by the virus
- Stay home if you have mild respiratory symptoms with no history of travel to or within China
- Practice safe food handling and cooking safety.
The College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario (COTO) has established an information page on the Novel Coronavirus which you should review regularly. Refer to the Standards for Infection Prevention and Control, 2019 which will provide support to your practice.
In addition, you may be interested in these employee/employer related issues which should be considered - including your rights to time off should you become ill or need to care for an ill family member.
Please contact COTO or OSOT with practice related questions.