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Health Unit Continues To Urge Precaution Despite Zero COVID-19 Cases As Of Tuesday

Tuesday March 17th, 2020, 9:08am


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The Windsor Essex County Health Unit is continuing to urge social distancing precautions despite no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Windsor.

Medical Officer of Health Dr. Wajid Ahmed said Tuesday morning the area had zero positively confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Officials said a total of 96 tests have been performed in Windsor-Essex, including tests from the Windsor Regional Hospital Assessment Centre. They said a total of 37 tests are still pending.

Officials say social distancing should continue to take place as much as possible in the community.

Dr. Ahmed noted there have been major changes in the past 24 hours including border restrictions and the declaration of a provincial State of Emergency.

He said travelers heading outside of Canada must still self-isolate for 14 days and should complete a self assessment for symptoms.

Dr. Ahmed noted the State of Emergency requires several categories of businesses to close, along with the requirement for no events or gatherings over 50 people.

The recommendations and guidance of the Chief Medical Officer of Health for Ontario and Medical Officer of Health for Windsor-Essex were strengthened this morning with an order from the Provincial Government.

Current Provincial Guidance

The province is providing guidance and recommendations on a regular basis to public health. As of March 17th, 2020, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams has recommended:

  • All non-essential travel outside of Canada be suspended.
  • Anyone traveling outside of Canada should self-isolate for 14 days upon return. If symptoms develop during self-isolation, including fever and/or cough call public health at 519-258-2146 ext. 1420.
  • Healthcare workers and/or other essential workers are asked to self-monitor for any symptoms
  • School Closures for two weeks following March Break.
  • Closure of all recreational programs and libraries.
  • Closure of all private schools
  • Closure of all churches and other faith settings
  • All bars and restaurants, with the exception of restaurants that can shift to takeout/delivery mechanisms.
  • Long Term Care, Retirement Facilities, Hospice, and residential care facilities only permit essential visitors and actively screen visitors for symptoms and travel history, excluding entry if failed screening.
  • Immediately suspending all large events or public gatherings of 50 people or more.
  • University, Colleges and workplaces consider virtual options.

Current recommendations from Dr. Wajid Ahmed, Medical Officer of Health

  • Practice social distancing (2m distance from others)
  • Bars, restaurants, nightclubs and Royal Canadian Legions should close, at minimum for St. Patrick’s Day, cancelling large scale events
  • All area businesses should exclude workers for 14 days following travel outside of Canada and move to work from home where feasible
  • Essential workers should report travel outside of Canada to their employer and self-monitor if asymptomatic, including daily temperature reading.
  • Seniors and high risk individuals should avoid any non-essential trips and stay home as much as possible
  • Anyone travelling outside of Canada with children should self-isolate for 14 days upon return
  • Commuters that cross to Detroit for work purposes should consider work from home options with their employer where possible and regularly self-monitor for any symptoms including taking their temperature.
  • Physicians should screen clients over the phone and refer as appropriate.
  • Create an emergency preparedness plan to ensure you have what you need in case of self-isolation.
  • Wash hands with soap & water thoroughly and often.
  • Cough or sneeze into your sleeve or a tissue. Dispose of tissue immediately and wash your hands.
  • Keep surfaces clean and disinfected.
  • Stay home when you are sick; call your health care provider for advice and take the online self assessment tool for COVID-19

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