How can you keep you and your family safe and prevent the spread of infection?
There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to reduce the risk of infection is to practice general infection prevention control. This includes:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are ill.
- Stay home when you are ill.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then immediately throw the tissue in the garbage and wash your hands.
- If you don’t have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve or arm.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces like door knobs, toilet seats, light switches, etc.
- Wipe down phones, computers and other devices regularly with alcohol wipes.
- Self-isolate if you are symptomatic or if you may have been exposed to the virus.
- Wear a mask if you are symptomatic both in the home if you have close contact with others and if you leave to seek treatment
- Wear a non-medical (e.g., cloth) mask where physical distancing may be difficult
- Voluntarily avoid crowded places.
- Refer to our frequently asked questions about COVID-19 and food and shopping
Do I need to wear a face covering in public spaces?
- Yes, effective 12:01 a.m. on July 17, 2020, Dr. Nicola Mercer, Medical Officer of Health for the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Health Unit, has updated the class order that any customer, patron, employee or visitor who enters a commercial establishment be required to wear a face covering at all times while inside the establishment, with the exception of:
- Children under the age of two years.
- Children under the age of five years (either chronologically or developmentally) who refuse to wear a face covering and cannot be persuaded to do so by their caregiver.
- People whose ability to breathe in any way is inhibited by the face covering.
- People that have any other medical reason they cannot wear a face covering safely, such as, but not limited to, respiratory disease, cognitive difficulties or difficulties in hearing or processing information.
- The obligation to provide reasonable accomdation under the Ontario Human Rights Code requires exemption from this requirement.
- Maintaining physical distance (2 metres or 6 feet) in addition to wearing a face covering is critical in slowing the spread of the virus.
- If you are symptomatic, wear a face covering in the home if you have close contact with others
- Wearing a homemade face covering may help prevent people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.
- Reserve medical masks for healthcare workers.
For more information, please read our Face Coverings FAQs
Do I need to take extra precautions if I am pregnant?
- The risk management advice is the same whether someone is pregnant or not.
Can I make my own hand sanitizer?
- For hand sanitizer to be effective, it must have at least 60% alcohol content, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Recipes for DIY (do-it-yourself) hand sanitizer are all over the internet, however it can be difficult to ensure the concentrations are correct. If incorrectly made, it can be harmful.
- All hand sanitizers should be kept away from children.
- The best option is still to wash your hands with soap and water when available.