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RVH is closely monitoring
new coronavirus (COVID-19)


What You Need to Know

What is a coronavirus?

A coronavirus typically causes symptoms that are similar to those of the common cold, however, it can also cause more severe illness including pneumonia and death. The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) virus was a type of coronavirus. A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain previously not identified in humans.

What are the symptoms?

Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death. 

How is a case confirmed?

  The only way to confirm this new coronavirus is with a lab test. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), symptoms of the virus may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 after exposure.

How can it be prevented?

There is no vaccine to prevent the infection, however everyday preventive actions can help to stop the spread of this coronavirus, in fact, any respiratory virus:

● Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer

● Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue away

● Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands

● Avoid close contact with people who are sick

● Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

● Stay home if you are sick

What specifically is RVH doing?

RVH has implemented a number of protocols. In addition to continuous surveillance we have:

● Enhanced screening measures: Patients are already screened at entry points of care such as the Emergency Department and outpatient clinics. This includes questions about flu-like symptoms, cough and travel within the past two weeks. Patients with a travel history to impacted areas, or those who have had contact with anyone who travelled to impacted areas and is unwell, will trigger additional screening, protection and care in a negative pressure room. Impacted areas include China, Hong Kong, Iran, Italy, Japan, Singapore and South Korea.

● Patients with symptoms or travel history will be masked and cared for in an isolation, negative pressure room by staff wearing appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including contact, droplet and airborne precautions.

● We have updated signage at our entrances and are asking patients and visitors to follow the instructions.

● We have implemented more frequent and enhanced cleaning in our busy areas.

● RVH is in frequent contact with public health and is participating in a regional committee to ensure preparedness.

What will happen if a patient with the virus comes to RVH?

Through our rigorous screening process, the patient will be identified, required to put on a mask, isolated in a negative pressure room and cared for by a team wearing appropriate protective equipment. RVH will follow the public health guidelines for treatment. RVH is well prepared.  We have a very detailed, up-to-date Pandemic Plan based on lessons learned from our experience during SARS 17 years ago, H1N1 in 2009 and, more recently, Ebola preparedness. 

Where to go for more information

  • Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit

  • Government of Canada

  • World Health Organization (WHO)