January 27, 2020
The new strain of coronavirus,
currently making headlines across the world, is called Novel Coronavirus(2019-nCov). Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses
ranging from the common cold to much more serious diseases, such as Severe
Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), or Middle East respiratory syndrome
coronavirus (MERS-CoV). While the risk in our region is low at this point,
the Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance (HPHA) is taking precautions which
include proactively screening patients at all four of our hospital sites.
What does that mean for you? On
arrival to any one of our hospital sites, patients will be asked:
- About their symptoms, particularly respiratory
- Whether they have traveled to Wuhan, China.
- If they have come in contact with someone who
has or is suspected of having coronavirus.
If they are at risk of possibly having
the virus, they will be asked to clean their hands, put on a mask and be taken
to a special isolation room until a diagnosis can be confirmed.
As always, but even more so with
so many viruses circulating in our community, the importance of hand hygiene
cannot be stressed enough. Please clean your hands frequently - on arrival
to the hospital, before entering a patient's room (if you're visiting), upon
exiting a patient's room, when leaving the hospital, and any number of times in
Other ways to protect yourself
include avoiding contact with people who are sick and practising proper cough
and sneeze etiquette.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you
cough or sneeze.
- Put your used tissue in a waste basket.
- If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze in
your upper sleeve, not your hands. Wash
your hands after coughing or sneezing.
Please remember, if you are
feeling unwell, do not visit patients in the hospital.
For more information about Novel
Coronavirus, you can visit the Ontario Health website.