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Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Preparing For A Possible Pandemic

Simcoe County | by Bayshore News Staff  

The Simcoe-Muskoka District has some tips for residents.

Although there are no COVID-19 cases in Simcoe County and Muskoka, the local health unit says it’s good time to start thinking ahead about ANY possible pandemics or emergencies.  

It says you should always have a supply of necessities, such as: diapers; toilet paper; over the counter medication to help with symptoms; non-perishable foods and pet food.

COVID-19 (previously known as 2019-nCoV or novel coronavirus) is a respiratory virus with pneumonia-like symptoms that appeared in Wuhan City, China, late last year. 

Although there are no current cases in our region, this could change quickly. What matters is how households, communities, organizations and businesses prepare for potential disruption to normal life if the virus starts to infect more people locally. Visit our preparing for a pandemic page for tips that will help you, your family, your business or organization prepare for this type of situation.

All travellers who are returning from Hubei province in China and Iran should:

  • report to your local public health unit within 24 hours of arriving in Canada (in Simcoe Muskoka contact SMDHU at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520); 
  • stay at home and avoid close contact with others, including those in your home, for a total of 14 days from the date that you left the affected area; and
  • monitor your health for fever, cough and difficulty breathing and contact Telehealth 1-866-797-0000, your health care provider, or your local public health department by phone (in Simcoe Muskoka contact SMDHU at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520), if you develop symptoms of COVID-19. 

Anyone who has been to an *affected area should:

  • monitor your health for fever, cough and difficulty breathing; 
  • avoid places where you cannot easily separate yourself from others if you become ill; and 
  • contact Telehealth 1-866-797-0000, your health care provider, or your local public health department by phone (in Simcoe Muskoka contact SMDHU at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520), if you develop symptoms of COVID-19. 
  • *Affected areas as of February 27, 2020 include: Mainland China (excluding Taiwan and Macau), Hong Kong, Iran, Italy, Japan, Singapore and South Korea

Protecting yourself

Coronaviruses such as COVID-19 are spread mainly from person to person through close contact, for example, in a household, workplace or health care centre.

There are everyday actions that can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses. Take these everyday steps to reduce exposure to the virus and protect your health:

  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or wash your hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
  • sneeze and cough into your sleeve
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth unless you have just washed your hands
  • avoid contact with people who are sick
  • stay home if you are sick
  • If you are travelling to an area known to have cases of coronavirus, be sure to avoid:
  • high-risk areas such as farms, live animal markets and areas where animals may be slaughtered
  • contact with animals (alive or dead), including pigs, chickens, ducks and wild birds
  • surfaces with animal droppings or secretions on them


For more details on preventing pandemics, please visit the Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit

For the latest on Ontario cases of COVID-19, please click here. 

For more details on past health pandemics in Canada, please click here

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