COVID-19


On this page:

  1. Current situation in Timiskaming
  2. Services at THU
  3. What THU is doing to respond to COVID-19
  4. What to do if you suspect you have symptoms
  5. When should you call THU?
  6. Feeling unwell and not sure if you should be tested?
  7. Recommendations for out of country travelers
    1. Welcome Home. Stay Home Resources 
  8. Social Distancing 
  9. Information for individuals and families
    1. How to self-isolate
    2. How to self-monitor
    3. Self-isolation guide for caregivers
    4. What is social distancing?
  10. Food security for Timiskaming communities
  11. Information for employers
  12. Information for childcare
  13. Credible sources for information

The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Learn about how the Ontario Ministry of Health is preparing for the 2019 novel coronavirus in Ontario. Find out how to protect yourself, what to do if you’re sick after you travel and how to recognize possible symptoms.

 

 

Current situation in Timiskaming

Timiskaming Health Unit is actively monitoring the situation and providing public health guidance to the public, returning travelers, local health professionals, and local employers. 

Tested 143
Positive 2
Negative 119
Pending 22

 (last updated on March 31 at 3:45 p.m.)

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Services at THU 

To continue protecting the health of our clients and staff, and to allow us to offer essential public health services in the community, THU is modifying our approach to services. Please check back often as this list may change daily.

If you are looking for service from THU, please call first.

Kirkland Lake and Temiskaming Shores offices are open but doors are locked. Clients will be screened before entering. Englehart THU office is currently closed.

In Office Client Services:

Health Protection: 

  • Food premise inspections: shifted to complaint based follow-up 
  • Tobacco/Vape Inspections: shifted to complaint based follow-up
  • Adverse Water Quality Incidents (AWQI) will be followed up on
  • Animal bite exposure will be followed up on
  • Private well water testing will be postponed in the Englehart office, New Liskeard and Kirkland Lake will continue at this time
  • Outbreak and reportable diseases: continuing

Health Promotion and Disease Prevention:  

  • Breastfeeding support: available by phone 
  • Parenting groups in collaboration with partnering agencies postponed
  • HBHC Blended Family Home Visiting: postponed (telephone visits where possible)
  • Some health promotion work with partners continuing if capacity allows, encouraging virtual meetings and social distancing

Thank you for working together to protect those most vulnerable.

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What Timiskaming Health Unit is doing to respond to novel coronavirus

THU is closely monitoring the global situation and working alongside stakeholders to coordinate activities at a local, provincial, and national level with the assistance of health care professionals and other agencies.

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What to do if you suspect you have symptoms of novel coronavirus

If you develop symptoms of COVID-19, call Telehealth Ontario for medical advice at 1.866.797.0000 (TTY 1.866.797.0007) or Timiskaming Health Unit at 705.647.4305 (toll-free 1.866.747.4305).

Be sure to mention your symptoms and your travel history, including the countries you visited.

If you are ill and must visit a health care professional, call ahead and tell them that you have a respiratory illness. You may be asked to wear a mask while waiting for or receiving treatment to prevent the spread of illness.

If you need immediate medical attention, call 911 and mention your travel history and symptoms.

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When should I call the Timiskaming Health Unit?

To help us best manage our COVID-19 response resources we are providing guidance on when to call THU. 
Please read this message fully so that your questions are answered as quickly as possible. 

Our current priority:

  • Health care providers who are seeking or reporting information
  • All residents who have returned to Canada from abroad AND are experiencing symptoms (fever, coughing or difficulty breathing).

PLEASE NOTE: If you are NOT someone who is described above and you have questions or concerns about COVID-19, please read the information on our website. If you don’t find the answer, please check back frequently or call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000. 

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Feeling unwell and not sure if you should be tested?

  • A COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool has been posted to the Ontario Government site. If you suspect you have COVID-19, you can use this online tool to determine if and how you should seek further care. 
  • Call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000
  • Consult your family physician or nurse practitioner
  • Call Timiskaming Health Unit at 705-647-4305 or 1-866-747-4305
  • If you need immediate medical assistance, please call 911, and tell first responders about your symptoms and any recent travel, so that appropriate precautions can be put in place.

PLEASE NOTE: To help our hospitals continue to care for those who need urgent treatment, please understand that going to the emergency department for COVID-19 testing is not recommended or appropriate for everyone. You can check with your health care provider to see if they are able to provide testing for COVID-19.  

All returning travelers with symptoms should notify their health care provider prior to visiting any health care facility.

As things are changing rapidly and as we respond to many important questions, we appreciate your patience, compassion and commitment to the health of your community. 

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Recommendations for Out of Country Travelers 

All travelers returning to Canada are to self-isolate for 14 days upon their return. They may require testing if they start showing symptoms.

Right now, there are no recommendations to test people other than travelers who have symptoms. However, if your health care provider determines you should be tested, testing can be done. These recommendations are changing rapidly. 

Health care agencies have been advised of additional guidelines for health care workers who have traveled outside of Canada within the last 14 days.

Welcome home. Stay home

Please help us share these important health messages to reach as many in our community as possible:

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Social Distancing

In light of the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic, Timiskaming Health Unit is recommending we all do our part and follow social distancing guidelines.

Gatherings and closures: guidance

THU is recommending the immediate suspension of all large events and public gatherings of over 50 (as of March 16, 2020) people. Organizers who have questions about smaller gatherings are encouraged to contact Timiskaming Health Unit. 

  • Organizations that can take advantage of virtual options to continue providing services are strongly encouraged to do so.
  • For up-to-date information on school closures visit the Ministry of Education website.
  • For information about community events or services impacted by COVID-19, please consult your local municipality or individual event organizers of service providers. 

What is social distancing?

Social distancing means limiting the number of people you come into close contact with and distancing from each other to reduce the opportunity for the virus to spread from person to person. What is social distancing? Infographic

Why is social distancing important?

When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the novel coronavirus, if the person coughing has the disease (COVID-19) (WHO, 2019). COVID-19 can also be spread via direct contact with surfaces that are potentially contaminated with the virus. Practicing social distancing slows the spread!

How to practice social distancing

Avoid crowded spaces and stay two metres apart from others when you will be in public areas.

  • If possible, consider cancelling group gatherings.
  • Avoid shopping at peak hours.
  • Keep up-to-date with current closures.
  • Avoid physical contact with others (for example, no handshakes).
  • Ask your employer about options to work from home, if possible. If you have meetings planned, consider doing them virtually instead of in person.
  • When spending time outside, go to settings where people can maintain a two-metre (6 feet) of distance from each other. 
  • Practise physical (social) distancing  | Pratiquer la distanciation physique (sociale)

Key recommendations to protect the most vulnerable include:

  • If you are experiencing symptoms, or if you are not experiencing symptoms, but have had close contact with a confirmed case, stay home.
  • If you have travelled outside of Canada in the last 14 days, you are asked to self-isolate for 14 days. (The exception is for workers who are part of workplaces that are essential to daily living. These individuals are asked to self-monitor for 14 days.)
  • If you begin to feel unwell (fever, new cough, or difficulty breathing) you are being asked to return home, self-isolate and seek clinical assessment over the phone.
  • Limiting contact with vulnerable individuals, such as those who are at higher risk of negative health impacts (individuals who are ill or have poor health, elderly people, etc.). For example, avoid visits to long-term care homes, retirement homes, supportive housing, hospices, and other congregate care settings unless your visit is essential. Vulnerable individuals should also limit their exposure to crowded places.
  • If you are over 70 years of age or immunocompromised, you are advised to self-isolate for 14 days.
  • Separating from others and, if you are at higher risk, avoiding contact with those who might be more likely to transmit the disease, such as small children.

These guidelines do NOT mean “you must stay in your home.” Social distancing does not have to mean social isolation. Connecting with others using the key points above means that you can safely interact with others, if even virtually. For example, you can connect using technology or go outside to take a walk. 

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Information for individuals and families

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Food Security for Timiskaming Communities

The situation we are facing with COVID-19 is unique. Understandably, the response can be overwhelming and, at times, it may be hard to know what to do to protect ourselves and our loved ones. Measures to protect our population from COVID-19 include making sure people are ready in case the illness spreads largely in our communities.

To help guide our decisions around purchasing and to ensure there is enough food for all in our communities, we have provided some recommendations. This includes information about available local food banks services.

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Information for Employers

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Information for Childcare 

Timiskaming Heath Unit acknowledges the importance and need for ongoing child care and is aware that there are many unlicensed child care options in our district (i.e. friends, family, private and licensed home child cares). The situation with COVID – 19 is changing quickly. In order to protect the health of our community, we strongly recommend the following to all those providing child care.

At the beginning of each day, all children, staff, parents and visitors should be asked the following questions upon arrival. Anyone who answers “yes” to one or both, of these questions should be advised that they cannot attend. Those who answer “no” to both questions are eligible to attend for the day.

  1. Do you have any of the following symptoms: fever/feverish, a new or existing cough, or difficulty breathing
  2. Have you traveled outside of Canada in the past 14 days?

Resources for Childcare |  Ressources pour la garde d’enfants

Timiskaming Health Unit (THU) is providing updates to the community as necessary. Please watch for these and share communications developed by THU to ensure consistent and current information. Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact us. We now have a dedicated COVID-19 communication line for community use, by calling our regular number and following the prompts. 

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Credible sources of information

Canadians’ best defense against COVID-19 is to stay informed and be prepared. The following are credible sources of information.

 

 

 

 

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