Novel Coronavirus Update – Northern Ontario Report – January 31, 2020

Coronavirus

THUNDER BAY – Keeping up on the latest information on novel coronavirus means getting your information from reliable sources. There are a number of false rumours and other misinformation out there that is confusing many people.

NetNewsLedger Verified Facts

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Ontario Creates Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Website

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The Thunder Bay District Health Unit is monitoring the novel coronavirus (referred to as 2019- nC0V) situation and the response from the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Health.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe disease, such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV). This novel coronavirus, not previously identified in humans, is responsible for a cluster of viral pneumonia cases first reported in Wuhan, China on December 31, 2019.

The Ontario Ministry of Health reports on the status of cases in Ontario each morning at 10:30 am on their website ontario.ca/coronavirus. As of January 30, there are no presumptive or confirmed cases in the Thunder Bay District.

The Health Unit’s website contains links to credible sources of information for both the public and local health care providers. This information is accessible at TBDHU.COM/coronavirus.

The Health Unit will update its website as new information becomes available and both the public and local health care providers are encouraged to visit frequently.

To speak with a nurse please call 625-8318 or toll-free 1-888-294-6630, ext. 8318, Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

Ontario Indigenous Update – Novel Coronavirus

Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler says, “We are closely and diligently monitoring the Coronavirus, including direct contact with the Government of Canada to ensure that any and all new information is reaching our communities as soon as possible. After this afternoon’s conference call with senior government health officials, we continue to conduct business in the normal course, including travel arrangements.

“We understand that this may be concerning to some of our community members, but remind you that spreading misinformation and making racist remarks is never appropriate.”

A spokesperson for Indigenous Services Canada tells NetNewsLedger, “The Government of Canada is continuing to add resources to protect Canadians from the coronavirus. All cases in Canada are all isolated and are receiving care. The risk for Canadians remains low and we are well prepared to deal with this virus in Canada; hospitals have strong infection control systems and procedures in place to limit the spread of infection and protect health care workers.

“Indigenous Services Canada is working closely with the Public Health Agency of Canada, other departments, and provincial/territorial counterparts to protect the health and safety of First Nations and support them in responding to public health threats, including the novel coronavirus.

“Indigenous Services Canada has a network of Regional Emergency Management coordinators and Regional Medical Officers to advise and support First Nations communities, and lead public health emergency preparedness and response as may be required.”

Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald comments, “My office and the Chiefs of Ontario are well aware of the current status of the Coronavirus and are staying on top of the information regarding the virus and its spread.

“We will continue to be engaged and actively monitor the situation by receiving daily updates in collaboration with provincial and national health agencies as to the status of what is now a current public health emergency.

“I also acknowledge and thank the many organizations that are supporting and working with First Nations during this declared emergency, including: the Assembly of First Nations, Nishnawbe Aski Nation, Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians, Grand Council Treaty # 3, Anishinabek Nation, Mushkegowuk Council, other Tribal Councils, and Health Authorities. It’s important to note that as of today’s date, the risk to Canadians, and First Nations residents and communities currently remains low. During a time of crisis it is important to be prepared and know that we are calmly working together to protect the First Nation citizens that we all serve.”

Measures you can take to reduce the risk of influenza and other respiratory infections include:
• Clean your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water, or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer
• Cover your mouth and nose when you cough and sneeze
• If you don’t have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve or arm
• Stay at home if you are sick.