The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is spreading rapidly across the globe with many countries reporting new cases daily. Although the Canadian Government assures that “the risk to Canadians is still low“, adapting our lifestyle to reduce the spread of germs and preparing for a possible outbreak won’t make matters worse.

The most important message that we must always remind ourselves of is “everyone has a role to play” in preventing the spread of the Coronavirus to assure the health and safety of all Canadians.

Preparation: 

If COVID-19 were to become present in your neighbourhood, having a plan in place is a key factor in avoiding panic and confusion.

The Plan:
  • Reducing your exposure to large crowds
    • Do your grocery shopping at off-peak hours
    • Commute by public transit outside of the busy rush hour
    • Opt to exercise outdoors instead of in an indoor fitness class
  • Moderately stocking up on fundamental non-perishable food supplies
    • Canned vegetables and beans
    • Prepared canned soups
    • Dried pasta and sauce
    • Pet food
    • Toilet paper
    • Facial tissue
    • Feminine hygiene products
    • Diapers (if you have children who use them)
  • Filling of prescriptions
  • What to do if you or a family member were to become ill
  • Discuss working from home with your employer

Prevention: 

Even though at this time, there is currently no vaccine for COVID-19, there are still many measures we can put in place to prevent the spread of the virus.

  • When returning from travel to an at-risk area, self-isolate at home for 14 days
  • If you are showing symptoms of sickness such as fever, cough, difficulty breathing:
    • Wear a mask
    • Maintain a 2 meter-distance from others
    • Avoid individuals with a compromised immune system
    • Avoid frequent visitors
    • Cover your mouth and nose with your arm when coughing and sneezing
  • Performing Proper Hygiene:
    • Wash hands frequently and adequately
    • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
    • Clean high-touch surfaces frequently

If you are experiencing symptoms such as a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, you are advised to communicate with Info-Santé by calling 8-1-1 to speak with a nurse.

For more information, watch the West Island Blog’s exclusive interview with MNA Greg Kelley regarding the Coronavirus in the West Island as well as consult the Federal and Provincial government websites.

Quebec Coronavirus graphic with tips on preparation and prevention
Image Source: Government of Quebec

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