COVID-19

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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. Travel outside of Timiskaming 
  8. Recommendations for out of country travelers
    1. Welcome Home. Stay Home Resources 
  9. Social Distancing 
  10. Information for individuals and families
    1. How to self-isolate
    2. How to self-monitor
    3. Self-isolation guide for caregivers
    4. What is physical (social) distancing?
  11. Food security for Timiskaming communities
  12. Mental Health and COVID-19
  13. Personal Protective Equipment
    1. Wearing masks
  14. Information for employers
  15. Information for childcare
  16. Information for Smokers and Tobacco Users | Information pour les fumeurs et les consommateurs de tabac
  17. 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. 

New positive cases of COVID-19 in the Timiskaming district

Case #
Numéro de cas 
Age
Âge
Gender 
Sexe
Exposure Category 
Renseignements sur l’exposition 
Tested
Date du test 
Status
Statut 
4 50s Male Contact of a confirmed case 2020-04-01 Self-isolation
5 Late teens Male Contact of a confirmed case 2020-04-01 Self-isolation
6 70s  Male  Contact of a confirmed case  2020-04-01  Self-isolation 
70s  Female  Contact of a confirmed case  2020-04-01  Self-isolation 

(Updated April 8, 2020 @ 4:07 p.m.)

 

Summary of COVID-19 situation in the Timiskaming district

Tests submitted locally
Tests soumis à l'échelle locale

227

   
Positive COVID-19 cases to date
Cas d'infection à COVID-19 jusqu'à présent
Positive cases resolved
Cas d'infection - RÉSOLUS 
 2
Negative COVID-19 cases to date
Cas COVID-19 négatifs jusqu'à present
177    
Pending Results
Résultats en attente

43

   

 (Updated on April 10 at 3:21 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 will 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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Travel outside of Timiskaming

To limit the spread of COVID-19, Timiskaming Health Unit recommends that all Timiskaming residents limit non-essential travel outside the district. Examples of essential travel include medical/health related reasons, and/or work related for essential employees. 

If you do have essential travel needs outside the district, and have COVID-19 symptoms when you return, please self-isolate immediately, conduct a self-assessment, and call Telehealth @ 1-866-797-0000 or Timiskaming Health Unit @ 1-866-747-4305 for additional screening.

In addition, we ask that you avoid traveling to any area with a high number of COVID-19 cases. 

These measure will help stop the community spread of COVID-19 in our district.

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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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Physical Distancing

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

Gatherings and closures: guidance

Ontario government prohibits gatherings of more than five people with strict exceptions. Stronger action required to stop the spread of COVID-19

L'Ontario interdit les rassemblements de plus de cinq personnes, sauf dans certains cas précis. Renforcement des mesures visant à endiguer la propagation de la COVID-19 

  • 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 physical distancing?

Physical 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 physical 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 physical distancing slows the spread!

How to practice physical distancing

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

  • You should cancel all group gatherings greater than 5 people and do not introduce new people into your physical social group at this time.
  • 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.” Physical 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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Mental Health and COVID-19

It is normal for situations like Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) to affect your mental health. Everyone will experience these events in their own way. It is completely natural to feel stress and concern during these times and so it is important to practice positive coping strategies.

Below is a listing of Mental Health Resources available to you. 

If you are in crisis, please contact the Timiskaming Crisis Response Line (24 hours a day/7 days a week) at 1-888-665-8888.

If you (or your child) are experiencing thoughts of suicide or harming yourself, please call 9-1-1.

Telephone Supports:

Online Mental Health Resources

For information on how to cope with and reduce stress and anxiety, how to talk to our children about COVID-19, and how to support yourself as well as your loved ones' mental health, please visit:

For an online peer to peer support community for your mental health, please visit:

During these times, it is important to take care of yourself too! Here are some mental health tips to cope with stress during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  1. Practicing social (physical) distancing doesn’t mean to disconnect. Connect virtually with friends and family, use email, phone, or your preferred social media platforms to connect. 
  2. While staying at home as much as possible, try to maintain a healthy lifestyle including healthy eating, sleep, and exercise. 
  3. Avoid using substances to deal with your emotions. If you are feeling overwhelmed talk to a health worker or counsellor.
  4. Get your information from reliable sources, and limit the amount of time you spend watching or listening to media coverage. 
  5. Use the skills you have used in the past that have helped you manage life’s challenges. 

WHO Factsheet on Coping with stress during the COVID-19 outbreak Faire face au stress durant la flambée de maladie à coronavirus COVID-19

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Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Medical masks, including surgical, medical procedure face masks and respirators (like N95 masks), must be kept for health care workers and others providing direct care to COVID-19 patients.

Wearing a non-medical mask (for example a homemade cloth mask) in the community has not been proven to protect the person wearing it. 

Wearing a non-medical mask is an additional measure you can take to protect others around you, even if you have no symptoms. It can be useful for short periods of time, when physical distancing is not possible in public settings such as when grocery shopping or using public transit.

Wearing a non-medical mask is another way to cover your mouth and nose to prevent your respiratory droplets from contaminating others or landing on surfaces. A mask can reduce the chance that others are coming into contact with your respiratory droplets.

If wearing a non-medical mask makes you feel safer and stops you from touching your nose and mouth, that is also good. But remember not to touch or rub your eyes.

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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Are smokers and tobacco users at higher risk of COVID-19 infection? | Les fumeurs et les consommateurs de tabac sont-ils exposés à un risque accru de contracter la COVID-19 ?

Smokers are likely to be more vulnerable to COVID-19 as the act of smoking means that fingers (and possibly contaminated cigarettes) are in contact with lips which increases the possibility of transmission of virus from hand to mouth. Smokers may also already have lung disease or reduced lung capacity which would greatly increase risk of serious illness.

Smoking products such as water pipes often involve the sharing of mouth pieces and hoses, which could facilitate the transmission of COVID-19 in communal and social settings.

Conditions that increase oxygen needs or reduce the ability of the body to use it properly will put patients at higher risk of serious lung conditions such as pneumonia.

To get telephone-based smoking cessation support, and advice, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, call Telehealth Ontario toll free at 1-866-797-0000. Smokers Helpline

 

Les fumeurs sont sans doute plus vulnérables face à la COVID-19 car lorsque l'on fume, les doigts (et potentiellement les cigarettes contaminées) sont en contact avec les lèvres, ce qui augmente la possibilité de transmission du virus de la main à la bouche. En outre, les fumeurs pourraient déjà être atteints d'une affection respiratoire ou présenter une capacité pulmonaire insuffisante, ce qui augmenterait considérablement le risque de maladie grave.

Les produits du tabac tels que les pipes à eau nécessitent souvent le partage des embouts et des tuyaux, facilitant ainsi la transmission de la COVID-19 dans les milieux communautaires et sociaux. Les conditions favorisant les besoins en oxygène ou réduisant la capacité de l'organisme à l'utiliser correctement exposeront les patients à un risque accru d'affections pulmonaires graves telles que la pneumonie.

Vous pouvez obtenir du soutien téléphonique pour arrêter de fumer, à compter du 1er octobre 2019, ainsi que des renseignements et des conseils sur les soins de santé, et ce, 24 heures sur 24 et 7 jours sur 7, en appelant Télésanté Ontario au 1 866 797-0000 (sans frais) ou au 1 866 797-0007 (ATS sans frais).  Téléassistance pour fumeurs

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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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