In light of the increasing number of community-acquired COVID-19 cases in Ontario, the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) is reminding residents returning from international travel to self-isolate for a period of 14 days as soon as they enter the country.
“I am pleading with residents returning from international travel to go straight home upon their return to Canada,” says Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, Medical Officer of Health at the EOHU. “It is imperative for all travellers to not make any stops on their way home. Self-isolating is the only measure that will help prevent the further spread of the disease and protect the community from COVID-19.”
Returning travellers must schedule an essential item drop-off
Returning travellers are being asked to avoid going shopping upon their return, even for the essentials like groceries and medication. Instead, they should ask a friend, family member or neighbour to get the essentials and drop them off in front of their door. Once the essential items have been dropped off, the self-isolating individuals can open their door and retrieve the items.
Adopting the above-mentioned technique will ensure the people dropping off the essential items do not get infected by returning travellers who may be infected with COVID-19.
Everyone must take precautionary measures
The EOHU is reminding the general public that everyone must adopt infection prevention measures, despite not having travelled recently or been in contact with someone who has travelled internationally within the last 14 days.
“While I acknowledge that social distancing takes a toll on the public, I am still recommending that people stay home when possible and avoid non-essential outings,” states Dr. Roumeliotis. “Besides protecting your family, you’ll be doing your part to keep the most vulnerable members of your community safe.” Seniors and people with pre-existing health conditions are at an especially high risk of suffering from complications due to COVID-19.
To limit the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, the EOHU 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 cleaned your hands
- Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue or into your arm, not your hand
- Try to stay at least 2 metres away from others
- Stay home as much as possible, especially if you’re sick
- Avoid visiting people in hospitals or long-term care centres if you’re sick
For more information about COVID-19, please consult EOHU.ca/coronavirus, Ontario’s website at Ontario.ca/coronavirus, where you’ll find the new self-assessment tool, and the federal government’s website at Canada.ca/coronavirus.