Coronavirus: Public health urges prevention

Limestone Learning Foundation
Coronavirus: Public health urges prevention
Posted on 03/02/2020
Image of the coronavirus magnified

Although there are currently no cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in our area, KFL&A Public Health is asking the public to continue to limit the spread of germs and make preparations should the virus spread further.

As cases of continue to spread internationally, it is becoming more likely that we will see additional cases of the virus in Ontario, and within our local communities. KFL&A Public Health has been collaborating with partners at all levels of government, our acute care and community health-care providers and our school communities to prepare for local cases.

Currently, public health officials recommend that schools take standard respiratory illness precautions, the same precautions that are recommended every year during cold and influenza season. At present, school closures are not recommended for the prevention of coronavirus.

Schools and sites in Limestone are taking the following steps to help prevent the spread of infection:

  • increased environmental cleaning (using a low-level disinfectant), with particular attention to high-touch surfaces such as desks, keyboards, doorknobs, light switches, and phones.
  • increased supply of alcohol-based hand sanitizer in all classrooms.
  • additional education to school population regarding infection control strategies such as importance of hand hygiene and proper respiratory etiquette (cover your cough).

Parents/guardians and other caregivers are a major source of comfort and reassurance to their children during heightened times of stress or concern. We ask families to help reinforce hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette with their children, as well as ensure appropriate environmental cleaning at home. As always, parents/guardians make decisions about keeping their children home if they are sick.

We encourage all families to follow the following infection prevention and control strategies:

  • Wash your hands frequently using soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Cough and sneeze into the bend of your arm, not into your hand.
  • If you use a tissue, throw it away immediately and wash your hands.
  • Avoid touching your nose, mouth or eyes with your hands.
  • Get plenty of rest, eat healthy and stay physically active to keep your immune system strong.
  • Stay home when you are sick and avoid contact with other people until you are better.
  • If you suspect you are sick, avoid visiting people in long-term care, or individuals with health concerns.
  • If you are seeking medical care and are experiencing respiratory symptoms, always put on a mask when you arrive to help protect others.

With March Break around the corner, public health is also urging travelers to check the latest guidance and recommendations for each country to which you will travel. Students, staff and members of the public who are regularly in our schools will need to check themselves for symptoms of acute respiratory illness, fever, cough, difficulty breathing before starting travel, and upon returning home. If students or staff or family members have any symptoms, they are instructed to contact public health, telehealth, or their primary care provider in advance for assessment.

As this is an evolving situation, we continue to remind people of the importance of using credible sources to stay informed and encourage others to do the same. We continue to update our website as new information is confirmed. For more the most up to date information, in multiple foreign languages visit the Ministry of Health website.

Questions? Visit the
 KFL&A Public Health website
 or call KFL&A Public Health 613-549-1232, Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

The Limestone District School Board is situated on traditional territories of the Anishinaabe & Haudenosaunee.