Information on the Novel Coronavirus

Dear Parents and Guardians, March 9, 2020

We are writing to provide you with some information about the Novel Coronavirus or COVID-19. The situation around COVID-19 can change quickly. Region of Waterloo Public Health & Emergency Services (Public Health) continues to work closely with health system partners (hospitals, paramedics, and health care providers) and the provincial and federal governments to ensure a coordinated response. To date, there has been one laboratory confirmed case in Waterloo region related to travel from Italy. The risk of getting COVID-19 in Waterloo region remains low.

With the start of March Break just days away, we wanted to provide you with some information should you have travel plans involving any of the impacted areas. Prior to travelling and upon your return, we advise you to consult the Government of Canada website for travel advice and advisories related to COVID-19.

Travel to areas of the world with COVID-19 cases: Upon returned from one of the areas with COVID-19 cases, all travellers are advised to:

 Monitor their health for flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, and difficulty breathing) for 14 days after returning

 If flu-like symptoms develop, contact Public Health immediately.

*You do not need to contact Public Health if you are well*

Travel to Hubei Province, in China, or Iran If you or your family have returned from Hubei province in China or Iran in the last 14 days:

 Stay at home and avoid close contact with others, including those in your home, for 14 days after leaving the impacted area AND

 Contact Public Health for further instructions and important information

 If you develop flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, and difficulty breathing), contact Public Health immediately.

Preventing the Spread of Respiratory Viruses During respiratory season, everyday actions can help prevent the spread of germs and viruses like colds, the flu and COVID-19:

 Wash your hands often with warm water and soap or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

 Avoid contact with people who are sick.

 Stay home when you are sick.

 Sneeze and cough into your sleeve

 Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth

Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services continues to carefully monitor the COVID-19 situation and is committed to share the most recent information available. Parents and students are encouraged to follow trusted sources online including Public Health and the Ministry of Health webpages.

If you have questions or concerns about COVID-19, please call Public Health at 519-5754400.

Thank you,

Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang
Acting Medical Officer of Health
Region of Waterloo Public Health & Emergency Services

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