Staying Informed - Coronavirus Updates and Information
As I’m sure you’re aware, there have been many headlines over the past number of days regarding the new novel coronavirus, most recently with the news that the World Health Organization has declared that coronavirus is an emergency of international concern.
While I understand that this news may cause some concern for Torontonians, it’s important to know that we have a strong and capable public health system in place for just this reason and the risk of contracting the virus in Toronto remains low.
There was also news last week that there are two confirmed cases of coronavirus in Toronto. The individual with the second confirmed case recently travelled to Wuhan and is the spouse of the individual with the first confirmed case of the novel coronavirus. Since arriving in Toronto, this individual has been in self-isolation. Toronto Public Health continues to monitor the situation and provide updates.
Toronto Public Health has a strong and experienced communicable disease surveillance program. They do this work each and every day. The TPH team is working with the affected individuals and their health care team to follow up with all known contacts who may have been exposed to the virus. TPH is coordinating closely with provincial and national health agencies, hospitals, airports, and community agencies.
As Chair of the Toronto Board of Health, I have full confidence in our Medical Officer of Health and the Toronto Public Health team and will continue to work closely with them to ensure the public remains protected and informed.
TPH is recommending that you take the normal steps to reduce the risk of transmitting the flu and other common respiratory illnesses, which are already prevalent in Toronto at this time of year:
- Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water, or use an 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 ill, and
- Get your yearly flu vaccine, available from clinics and pharmacies.