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Update on the Corona Virus – COVID-19

There is a lot of information in the news about the new Coronavirus, now called
COVID-19 and we want to assure you that we are reviewing the updates from government and health authorities to ensure we are doing everything required to keep the people we support and our employees healthy and safe.

Here are three key messages that will help all of us be prepared:

  1. Please get your information from reputable sources like this Government of Canada Corona Virus COVID19 Update website. The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has assessed the public health risk associated with
    COVID-19 as low for Canada.

  2. Remember Universal Precautions that help you and the people you care for stay healthy.  COVID19 is another respiratory illness, similar to colds and the flu, that can be very dangerous for people with compromised immune systems and we all have people in our lives who could be at risk.
    1. Wash your hands.
    2. Clean frequently touched surfaces.
    3. Cough into a tissue.
    4. Avoid touching, eyes, mouth, nose as much as possible
  3. Stay home when sick and get medical attention through your family doctor, or call 8-1-1 to get medical advice.

We are reviewing government updates and considering what actions Spectrum needs to take to ensure the safety of the people we support and our employees.  Please let us know if you have questions.

‘Coronavirus (COVID19): How to stay healthy and protect yourself’ provides some great tips:

Is all the talk about coronavirus making you nervous? Are Canadians at risk? Here’s what you need to know about it.

For many, getting sick inevitably comes as the snow flies. But with so much talk about coronavirus going around, you may start to feel concerned.

True, the latest coronavirus – called COVID-19 – is more serious than the common flu. And, the amount of media coverage and attention around the disease can be worrying. So what can you do to stay calm, prepared and alert right now? Get a clear understanding of your risk level, practice some simple healthy habits and look to trusted sources for advice.

To start, here’s a quick breakdown of how COVID-19 started, its symptoms and risk to Canadians.

What is coronavirus?

According to the Government of Canada, coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses. These viruses can cause various illnesses, ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases.

In December 2019, there were a number of reported cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, China. The cause was later confirmed as a new coronavirus called COVID-19. Health officials have reported thousands of infections with COVID-19 in China. It wasn’t long until other countries began reporting outbreaks as well.

What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

Some cornaviruses spread between animals and some between animals and people. Others can spread from people to people.

Symptoms include:

  • runny nose,
  • headache,
  • coughing,
  • sore throat,
  • fever and/or
  • a general feeling of being unwell

Are Canadians at risk of coronavirus?

COVID-19 has emerged in several other countries apart from China, including the U.S., Japan, Germany, Italy and Britain.

Canada has reported a few cases of COVID-19 as well. Does this mean coronavirus poses a threat to Canadians? No, for the time being. The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) says Canadians at home are currently at a low risk.

Are Canadians travelling abroad at risk?

The PHAC further added that Canadians travelling abroad are also at low risk, but their risk levels vary depending on their travel destination.

Are you planning on going overseas or heading south to the States? The Public Health Agency of Canada(PHAC) recommends looking at travel advisories on You can search by the country you’re visiting to find the latest information on:

  • possible health hazards and health restrictions,
  • local safety and security conditions and which areas to avoid,
  • entry and exit requirements and more.

How to protect yourself from coronavirus

With the COVID-19 situation changing everyday, you can stay calm, healthy and prepared with a few simple tips.

1. Wash your hands regularly

Wash your hands every two to three hours, using proper hand-washing techniques. Use lots of soap and hot water, and be sure to rub vigorously for 20 to 30 seconds.

2. Clean your surroundings

Whether you’re at home or work, try to maintain a clean living space. Use disinfecting wipes on tables, kitchen surfaces, desks, telephones and anything else you frequently touch.

3. Keep away from common areas when you can

Avoid touching commonly shared surfaces such as washroom doorknobs, kitchen counters, or stair railings as much as possible.

4. Don’t touch your face with unclean hands

Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth whenever possible.

5. Practise self-care and eat healthy foods

Take care of yourself by getting lots of rest, staying hydrated, exercising regularly and making an effort to eat more fresh fruits and veggies. All of these activities boost your immune system and allow your body to better fight the germs that cause illness.

6. Open windows (if you can)

If your home or office and the weather allow it, open your windows to get some fresh air circulating.

7. See a doctor or qualified health professional.

Do you feel concerned about any cold and flu symptoms you’re experiencing? Consult your doctor or a qualified health-care provider. The sooner you get treatment, the faster you’ll recover.

8. Stay at home if you get sick

Ask your employer if they have any clear policies and procedures in place for global health events like COVID-19. Some employers may insist that you stay at home or work from home if you’re feeling sick or experiencing symptoms of coronavirus. Other employers and companies recommend self-isolation for a certain amount of time if you:

  • have recently travelled to a country with a coronavirus outbreak or
  • have been in contact with someone who’s travelled to a country with a coronavirus outbreak.
  • Consult your HR department for more info

    9. Don’t panic and get accurate information.

Hearing about the spread of coronavirus in the news can feel daunting. But try not to panic. Think of it in the same you would a bad weather situation. In case it happens, you want to be prepared and alert. This means looking to trusted sources for advice on what to do if an outbreak happens in your community.

We recommend visiting the following sites for the latest updates on COVID-19:

We’ll continue to provide further updates as we have them. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact