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Ontario coronavirus case is province's first instance of human-to-human spread – Lethbridge News Now

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Both the husband and wife are in self-isolation at home in Toronto and are doing well, said Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto’s medical officer of health. The only symptoms the man had were a mild cough and self-reported fever.

More than 81,000 cases of COVID-19 have occurred around the world since the virus emerged in China, but Ontario health officials say the risk to the general public in Canada is low.

“At this time the virus is not circulating locally, however, given the global circumstances we are actively working with our city and health partners to plan for the potential of local spread,” de Villa said.

Dr. Williams said health authorities remain vigilant, but there is no cause for fear in the general public. The data from China shows that most of the spread has been to close contacts, most infected people have fairly mild and short-lived symptoms — particularly younger people — and the deaths have been in older people with underlying health conditions, he said.

“Before there’s widespread panic and that kind of stuff, look at the evidence,” Williams said, noting the mortality rate is less than that of the flu.

“I think you have to — instead of (acting) on speculation and fear — go back to the data, look at the information, ask your authorities on what the risk is. It’s still low. But does that mean we’re going to sit back and not do more surveillance? We’re going to do more surveillance.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 27, 2020

Allison Jones, The Canadian Press

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Here's what you should know about wearing cloth face masks – CollingwoodToday

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Medical officials are still stopping short of recommending the general public wear homemade masks, but they are suggesting a cloth mask could help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Dr. Charles Gardner, medical officer of health for Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, said today a homemade cloth mask could help someone who doesn’t know they have the virus keep from spreading it to others.

“People should be aware they’re not of proven value,” said Gardner. “If there is any value in them it’s more from the point of view of avoiding infecting others.”

A cloth mask could keep droplets from your nose and mouth from entering someone else’s airway or landing on and contaminating a surface.

“They have not been shown to prevent respiratory viruses from entering your airway,” said Gardner.

But it shouldn’t replace any of the other preventative measures being recommended by public health organizations in the province and country.

“What’s really important is that people do their physical distancing and their handwashing,” said Gardner.

He also recommends people stay home, think twice about whether or not they need to go out, and if they do, to focus on quick trips for essential items while still maintaining a two-metre separation with any other people.

“The more we do, the better we do this, the less that surge will be,” said Gardner. “April is a very key month for us in this outbreak. This month we’re going to see the extent to which the surge occurs. If we were very successful it will be a limited surge. If we were less successful it will be a bigger surge more likely to overwhelm our healthcare system.”

There are now 98 lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases in the region, more than 10 of those at Bradford Valley, a long-term care facility.

Gardner stressed members of the general public should not be wearing medical-grade masks.

“All of those we really need to retain for healthcare workers because of a limited supply,” he said.

Additionally, there are specific fits and protocols that make surgical masks and N95 masks effective PPE. Without following those specifications, a medical-grade mask will not offer effective protection.

If you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 including coughing and sneezing, stay home, indoors, for at least 14 days.

Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief medical officer of health, said today people can use homemade cloth masks to prevent spreading the virus to others. She said there is increasing evidence people can transmit the virus before knowing they are sick, and keeping their mouth and nose covered while in public – in addition to frequent handwashing and physical distancing – could help reduce spread.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has posted some tips on its website on using cloth face masks to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

The CDC says to use a mask that fits snugly, is secured with ties or ear loops, includes multiple layers of fabric, and can be laundered and machine dried without changing shape.

If you are using a cloth mask, put it on before you go out in public, and then don’t touch it or your face again. Once at home, remove the mask without touching your face, and put it in the laundry. Wash your hands thoroughly and disinfect surfaces you touched on the way in.

The CDC also states a cloth face mask is an additional, voluntary public health measure and should only be used with proper handwashing and physical distancing practices.

You can find sewing and no-sew instructions for cloth face masks on the CDC website.

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Homemade face masks can protect others, but not you: health officials – CTV News Winnipeg

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WINNIPEG —
The increase in demand for personal protective equipment has led to an increase in demand for homemade face masks.

Monday both the Federal and Provincial Government said there’s a benefit to wearing homemade masks when in public.

Dr. Theresa Tam, chief public health officer for Canada, said the Special Advisory Committee for COVID-19 concluded wearing a non-surgical mask can help protect those around you, but it doesn’t protect the person wearing it,

“Wearing a non-medical mask in the community does not mean you can back off of the public health measures that we know work to protect you,” said Tam.

She said we can’t “relax” any of our physical distancing efforts, but added people who want to wear masks as an extra precaution can make them out of household items.

”Simple things, not complicated,” said Tam. “If you can get a cotton material like a t-shirt, you cut up, fold it, (and) put elastic bands around it. Those are the kind of facial coverings we’re talking about.”

Some Manitobans have been pulling out the needle and thread to craft homemade face masks.

Grace Webb, the creator of the Facebook page Face Masks for Manitoba, said she got the idea to sew masks and donate them after reading a U.S. article.

She said the idea snowballed and she started the Facebook group so other mask makers could join her.

“From there it became apparent that people wanted to do this but didn’t have material,” said Webb. “So I thought, why don’t we (build) a kit we can send to people with everything they need to make mask.”

Webb said she’s donating the masks to care homes and people in the community.

Each mask comes with instructions on how to clean them properly, along with a reminder to practice social distancing and wash your hands frequently.

Dr. Brent Roussin, chief public health officer for Manitoba said wearing a non-surgical mask is like coughing into your sleeve.

He said he doesn’t want this information about homemade masks to distract from the most important message.

“If you were staying home before, stay home now,” said Roussin. “Don’t go out now because somebody has said we can use cloth or non medical masks.”

Webb said she’ll continue to sew homemade masks as long as there’s a need.

“I hope it gives them some comfort and a little bit more security,” Said Webb. “I would love to say that we did something to help slow the spread.”

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Erie County offers information on public face masks – Niagara Frontier Publications

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Mon, Apr 6th 2020 08:50 pm

The Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH) is making the following announcements.

COVID-19 Data Update

As of 5 p.m. Monday, we have received reports of 1,148 total positive lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases in Erie County residents. Of that, 30 Erie County residents have died, and 206 people have recovered. There are currently 912 people in isolation.

We reported 1,149 cases during our live video today. Through our contact tracing process, we discovered that one of those cases is outside Erie County. Our total is 1,148.

Online Case Map

The Erie County Online COVID-19 case mapping tool has been updated with a ZIP code layer. Access this map at www.erie.gov/covidmap.

Cloth Face Coverings

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended cloth face coverings (masks) for individuals when spending time in public spaces, like stores, where keeping a six-foot distance from others is not easy or possible. These coverings should:

  • Fit snugly, but comfortably against the side of the face
  • Be secured with ties or ear loops
  • Include multiple layers of fabric
  • Allow for breathing without restriction
  • Be able to be laundered and machine-dried without damage or change to shape

Most people will be able to make these from materials around their home. There are no-sew methods described in detail on the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html.

If someone is ill with respiratory symptoms, they should wear a cloth covering over the nose and mouth when around other people or in public spaces. Masks can also help people avoid touching their faces – which is another way to reduce the risk of infection.

An important note from CDC: Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

Cloth face coverings are a risk reduction tool and should be used along with frequent hand washing, good respiratory etiquette and cleaning/disinfection of frequently touched surfaces.

Age and Gender Information

The following are tables that reflect the age and gender distribution for cases up to and including April 6.

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