March break getaway: Local health unit urges people to review Government of Canada travel advisories

Local health authorities say risk of infection in Simcoe Muskoka remains low

March break is around the corner and the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit is urging people with travel plans outside the country to review posted by the Government of Canada.

Upon return to Canada, travellers are asked to visit the SMDU website for up-to-date instructions, as authorities note the situation for the area you are travelling to may change while you are gone.

Anyone who has recently travelled to Iran or Hubei Province, China is asked to self-isolate for two weeks after your last day at either of those areas, and to call the local health unit within 24 hours of arriving in Canada for further instructions.

For individuals who have travelled in other affected areas such as Hong Kong, South Korea, Italy, Japan, Singapore and mainland China(excluding Taiwan and Macau), they should monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days after leaving the affected area.

The local health unit is reminding school communities that the best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are the same as preventing the cold and flu:

  • Hand washing: Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or wash your hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty for at least 20 seconds, especially after coughing or sneezing.
  • Cough/sneeze etiquette: Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Stay home when sick: Students/children should tell parents if they are not feeling well, and together make a plan to stay home from school.
  • Keep clean: Keep hands away from face and mouth unless you have just washed your hands.
  • Stay healthy: Stay healthy by avoiding contact with sick people, eating healthy foods, keeping physically active, and getting enough sleep.

In New Brunswick, the education minister there has ordered any students, staff, volunteers or their family members who have returned from international travel after Sunday March 8 to avoid schools, district offices and early learning facilities for 14 days.