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Current situation

 

IMPORTANT UPDATE – PLEASE READ THE INFORMATION BELOW CAREFULLY

Halton Region Public Health is focusing on those most at risk of COVID-19. Testing is currently recommended for the following people who have symptoms (external link) (e.g., fever, new cough, difficulty breathing, etc.):

  • those aged 60 and over;
  • those with pre-existing medical conditions;
  • those who have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19;
  • those living or working in a health-care or long-term care setting or institution;
  • First Nation community members living on-reserve; or
  • anyone else directed by Halton Region Public Health.

Residents must have an appointment to attend an Assessment Centre.

  • Residents of Oakville, Milton or Halton Hills: Call 905-203-7963 to book an appointment at a Halton Healthcare Assessment Centre.
  • Residents of Burlington: Call 311 to speak to Halton Region Public Health for direction on assessment and testing.

Individuals without symptoms are not being tested at this time.

Anyone who develops symptoms, whether they have travelled or not, should self-isolate for 14 days, or until they have been symptom-free for 24 hours, whichever is longer. Those with mild symptoms and no complications do not need to contact Public Health.

If you have severe symptoms, please call 9-1-1 immediately.

 

Current confirmed positive cases in Halton

  Read the latest surveillance report


Daily case table updates now feature the number of lab-confirmed cases by age range and municipality to show a clear image of the current situation. This approach aligns with the information provided at ontario.ca/coronavirus

Last update: Sunday, April 5 at 12:15 p.m.

Halton cases (confirmed), by age group

Age group Total confirmed cases
0-19 2
20-44 37
45-64 72
65-79 20
80+ 11
Total 142

Halton cases (confirmed), by municipality

Municipality Total confirmed cases
Burlington 36
Oakville 55
Milton 34
Halton Hills 16
Undetermined 1
Total 142

Total cases with preliminary positive results awaiting confirmatory testing: 39

Data notes:

  • Extracted from iPHIS at 7 a.m. on April 5, 2020, with data current to end of day on April 4, 2020.
  • All data includes only individuals whose main usual residence is in Halton Region.
  • Data are dynamic and subject to change with future updates. 

Sign up for weekly COVID-19 updates

The COVID-19 Surveillance Report provides a weekly summary of COVID-19 cases in Halton.

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Media updates and announcements

  • December 31 - Health authorities in Wuhan, China first report cases of undiagnosed viral pneumonia. The cause is confirmed as a new coronavirus, known as 2019-nCoV or new coronavirus, which has not previously been identified in humans. For updated information on the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), visit the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Coronavirus Infection: Symptoms and treatment webpage (external link).

COVID-19: Health Advice

  • COVID-19 is a new coronavirus that was identified in January 2020 after an outbreak of pneumonia originating in Wuhan, China. 
  • Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause symptoms similar to the common cold but in some cases can cause more severe respiratory illness.
  • Anyone can be infected with COVID-19. Most people will develop mild symptoms and will recover on their own at home. The risk of severe illness and outcomes is higher for older adults and those with weakened immune systems and underlying medical conditions (diabetes, heart and lung disease).

To learn more about COVID-19, please visit ontario.ca/coronavirus (external link).

Protect yourself and others

Human coronaviruses are most commonly spread from an infected person through:

  • respiratory droplets produced when you cough or sneeze
  • close, prolonged personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • touching something with the virus on it, then touching mouth, nose or eyes before washing hands

The best way to control the spread of respiratory viruses including COVID-19 is to:

  • practice physical distancing (social distancing) (external link);
  • stay home unless absolutely necessary to go out;
  • cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or sleeve;
  • wash hands frequently with soap and water or with alcohol-based hand rub;
  • clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces;
  • avoid all non-essential trips into the community;
  • avoid all non-essential travel until further notice; and
  • if you have travelled, it is now mandatory to self-isolate for 14 days from when you return home.

Halton Region Public Health does not recommend wearing a surgical or N95 mask for day-to-day activities. Surgical masks are meant to be worn by those who are symptomatic.

Wearing rubber gloves out in public does not reduce your risk of COVID-19. Regular handwashing with soap and water and avoiding touching your face, nose and mouth offer more protection.

Physical distancing (social distancing) (external link) involves taking steps to stop or slow down the spread of COVID-19 in the community by limiting close contact with others. Help protect the safety and health of you, your family and friends, and the community by following these measures:

Physical distancing do's

  • Stay home as much as possible.
  • If you must go out in public, keep a 2 metre (6-foot) distance from other people.
  • Use technology to keep in touch.
  • Shop online and arrange to have things dropped off at home if possible.
  • If healthy, go outside for a walk or run for some fresh air.
  • When in public, practice good hand hygiene.

Physical distancing don'ts

  • Don't leave home if you feel sick.
  • Don't congregate in public, including street parties, pick-up sports or meetings at playgrounds and parks.
  • Don't have visits with neighbours and friends, playdates, coffee dates, sleepovers or parties.
  • Don't visit long-term care homes, retirement homes, supportive housing, hospices and other institutional care settings unless the visit is absolutely essential.
  • Don't shake hands, hug or kiss cheeks in greetings.
For more information, please visit the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Novel Coronavirus infection: Symptoms and treatment webpage  (external link).

Symptoms and treatment

Symptoms range from mild (like the flu and other common respiratory infections) to severe. The most common symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • fever
  • new cough
  • difficulty breathing
  • muscle aches
  • fatigue
  • headache
  • sore throat
  • runny nose
  • diarrhea
  • Symptoms in young children may be non-specific (e.g., lethargy, poor feeding)

If you think you have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, use the Ontario COVID-19 online self-assessment (external link) to help determine how to seek further care.

At this time, there is no specific treatment for COVID-19 and no vaccine. Most people with COVID-19 will recover on their own by:

  • drinking plenty of fluids;
  • getting rest and sleeping as much as possible; and
  • using a humidifier or a hot shower to help with a sore throat or cough.

Health Canada states that there is no definitive evidence that ibuprofen worsens COVID-19 symptoms. Please consult Health Canada’s website(external link) .

Consumption of methanol will not protect against COVID-19. Methanol is not meant for human consumption and may lead to adverse effects to human health. Methanol should never be ingested, should not come in contact with skin and vapors should not be inhaled.

Testing

Testing is currently recommended for the following people with symptoms of COVID-19 (see Symptoms & Treatment Tab):

  • those aged 60 and over;
  • those with pre-existing medical conditions;
  • those who have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19;
  • those living or working in a health-care or long-term care setting or institution;
  • First Nation community members living on-reserve; or
  • anyone else directed by Halton Region Public Health.

Residents must have an appointment to attend an Assessment Centre.

If you are a resident of:

  • Oakville, Milton or Halton Hills: Call 905-203-7963 to book an appointment at a Halton Healthcare Assessment Centre.
  • Burlington: Call 311 to speak to Halton Region Public Health for direction on assessment and testing.

Individuals without symptoms are NOT being tested at this time.

Test results

The Government of Ontario is increasing Public Health Units’ capacity to stop COVID-19 (external link), including a new user-friendly online portal (external link) for the public to easily access their COVID-19 lab test results, both positive and negative.

  • If you have been tested for COVID-19 and are awaiting lab test results, you are encouraged to check the provincial online portal (external link) for your results.
  • Halton Region Public Health will only contact residents or follow up with those who have tested positive for COVID-19.

Self-isolation

If you have been directed to self-isolate for 14 days, you need to:

  • stay at home and self-monitor for symptoms, even if mild;
  • avoid individuals with chronic conditions, compromised immune systems and older adults;
  • avoid having visitors to your home;
  • avoid situations such as social gatherings, work, school, daycare, health-care facilities and seniors’ residences;
  • avoid taking public transit;
  • wash your hands often with soap under warm running water often for at least 20 seconds; and
  • cover your mouth and nose with your arm to reduce the spread of germs.

If you share your home with others, keep at least 2 metres (6 feet) between yourself and the other person (physical distancing), keep interactions brief, stay in a separate room and use a separate bathroom.

Self-isolate if you:

  • Are over the age of 70 years
  • Have a compromised immune system
  • Underlying medical conditions
  • Have no symptoms and
    • Have travelled outside of Canada within the last 14 days or
    • Have come in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 or
    • Have been asked to do so by Public Health

If you develop symptoms, even if mild, stay home, avoid other people and contact 311 as soon as possible.

When self-isolating, you may go outside for a walk if you do not have symptoms of COVID-19 and you:

  • have not travelled outside of Canada in the past 14 days;
  • are not awaiting test results for COVID-19; and
  • have not been diagnosed with COVID-19.

If you go out for a walk, always practice physical (social) distancing by keeping at least two metres apart from others at all times.

Travellers

Canada has implemented a number of additional measures to prevent COVID-19 from spreading in Canada. These additional measures include:

The Government of Canada has implemented an Emergency Order under the Quarantine Act (external link) requiring anyone entering Canada to self-isolate for 14 days, even if they do not have symptoms. Essential workers required for movement of goods and people, and individuals who receive or provide other essential services to Canadians, are exempt from this Order.

Non-essential travel includes travel that is considered tourism or recreational in nature.

While in self-isolation, travellers should monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 (see Symptoms & Treatment tab). If symptoms develop:

  • Remain in isolation for an additional 14 days from when symptoms began, or until you have been symptom-free for 24 hours, whichever is LONGER.
  • If your condition worsens, call 311, your health care provider, or call 911 if it is urgent. Call ahead before going to see a health care provider so that appropriate measures can be taken when you arrive.

 

More information about COVID-19

What is Halton Region Public Health doing in response to COVID-19?

Halton Region Public Health is closely monitoring the evolving situation. We are working closely in collaboration with local, provincial and federal governments, as well as healthcare providers and hospitals, police, long-term care homes and other community partners.

Halton Region Public Health:

  • educates the public regarding steps they can take to reduce the spread of COVID-19;
  • assesses the risk among residents with symptoms and determines if testing is required;
  • coordinates testing (when required) at an appropriate location;
  • ensures those who are showing symptoms understand how to reduce the risk of transmission to others; and
  •  ensures those under investigation and their close contacts understand and follow self-isolation protocols and monitor for symptoms.

Should I avoid close contact with others?

  • All Canadians are being asked to practice physical distancing (social distancing).
  • Physical distancing (social distancing) involves taking steps to stop or slow down the spread of COVID-19 in the community by limiting close contact with others.
  • You are asked to consider the following options to help protect the safety and health of you, your family and friends, and the community:
    • Avoid non-essential trips in the community.
    • Cancel or limit group gatherings.
    • Work from home, where possible.
    • Participate in virtual meetings rather than meeting in person.
    • Keep your children at home.
    • Avoid visits to long-term care homes, retirement homes, supportive housing, hospices and other care settings unless the visit is absolutely essential.
  • When spending time outside, try to be in settings where you can maintain a 2 metre (6 feet) distance from others.
  • Remember: While you may not feel sick and while we know these measures are an inconvenience, please be mindful of the members of our community who are more vulnerable to COVID-19 than others. We are all in this together.

I was at the same location at the same time as a confirmed case. What should I do? 

  • ​If you are identified as being a close contact of a COVID-19 case, public health will contact you. Otherwise, self-monitor yourself for symptoms for 14 days.
  • If you become symptomatic, self-isolate for 14 days from when the symptoms began, or until you have been symptom free for 24 hours, whichever is longer.

School closures and program suspensions

  • On March 23, 2020, the Province announced that all publicly funded schools in Ontario will remain closed until further notice.
  • As a result of Ontario’s declaration of emergency on March 17 and its associated orders, all licensed child care centres and all private schools, as defined in the Education Act, are legally required to close until April 13. This timeline may be reassessed and considered for extension.
  • Until further notice, Halton Region Public Health has temporarily suspended all school health programs. This includes:
    • cancellation of suspensions and enforcement related to the Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA) for children born in 2010-2012;
    • vaccine education sessions for parents and guardians;
    • immunization and oral health clinics; and
    • school health promotion activities performed by public health nurses.

COVID-19 emergency child care for health care and frontline workers

  • In response to COVID-19, Halton Region has partnered with local child care operators to offer emergency licensed child care to health care and other frontline workers.
  • The centres will care for infants to school age children and some centres will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week to accommodate shift work.
  • Spaces are limited and families will receive service sequentially, in order of the applications received.
  • Learn more about emergency child care
  • In Ontario, non-essential workplaces have been ordered to close by Tuesday, March 24 at 11:59 p.m.
  • Where possible, businesses are encouraged to provide staff with necessary accommodations to work from home so operations can continue.
  • Businesses can call the Province’s toll-free line, 1-888-444-3659, to get help with questions about the emergency order to close non-essential workplaces.

My business is an essential service. How can I protect my employees and volunteers?

  • Essential businesses and services that remain open are encouraged to put the following measures into place to safeguard the wellbeing of employees and volunteers:
    • Make hand sanitizers available throughout your facility.
    • Increase the frequency of environmental cleaning for all common areas and frequently touched surfaces. 
    • Ask the following employees and volunteers to self-isolate for 14 days or until they are symptom-free for 24 hours, whichever is longer:
      • Those who have COVID-19 symptoms
      • Those who are close contacts of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19
      • Those who have travelled outside of Canada within the last 14 days (even if they don’t have symptoms)
  • Employers can also encourage staff to:
    • work from home, if possible;
    • participate in virtual meetings rather than meeting in person;
    • screen themselves daily before coming to work using Ontario's online self-assessment tool;
    • stay home when ill;
    • wash hands frequently with soap and water or with alcohol-based hand rub;
    • avoid touching the eyes, nose and mouth;
    • cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or sleeve; and
    • practice physical distancing (social distancing), such as maintaining a 2-metre distance from others.
  • Halton Region Public Health does not recommend wearing a surgical or N95 mask if you are healthy. Surgical masks are meant to be worn by those who are symptomatic.
  • Please consult our Economic Support section to learn about supports for workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the most recent physician communications from the Halton Region’s Medical Officer of Health on COVID-19 (2019 Novel Coronavirus), please visit our Information for Physicians page.

Who should I be testing for COVID-19?

  • These are current interim recommendations for COVID-19 in order to conserve testing supplies in Halton Region.
  • The following groups of people should be prioritized for COVID-19 testing:
    Individuals with acute respiratory illness (regardless of travel history) who:
    • are healthcare workers;
    • reside in long term care homes and retirement homes;
    • are contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases;
    • have severe symptoms and are being admitted to hospital;
    • are directed by Halton Region Public Health to be tested; or
    • are First Nation Community members living on-reserve.
  • All other individuals will NOT be tested at this time.
  • Asymptomatic individuals should NOT be tested.
  • Please report all individuals who are tested to Halton Region Public Health by calling 311.

What about returning travellers with or without symptoms?

  • It is now mandatory for all travellers returning to Canada to self-isolate for 14-days from return. If symptoms develop, they are to remain in self-isolation for 14 days from when symptoms began, or until they have been symptom-free for 24 hours, whichever is longer. 
    • These individuals will NOT be tested at this time.
  • Returning travelers who are considered “essential workers” at their place of employment may be exempt and should consult their employer’s policy for further direction regarding returning to work.

Can I perform COVID-19 testing in my clinic?

  • If you have access to testing supplies (nasopharyngeal swabs) AND appropriate personal protective equipment for droplet precautions (gown, gloves, surgical mask, eye protection), you can perform COVID-19 testing in your clinic.
  • Prior to testing, review the COVID-19 Testing Approach for Assessment Centres and Clinicians algorithm to ensure testing is appropriate.
  • N95 respirators are NOT required for COVID-19 testing.
  • If you are testing someone in your clinic, you must report this to Halton Region Public Health by calling 311.
  • If you are not able to perform COVID-19 testing at your clinic, call Halton Region Public Health at 311 to arrange an alternate assessment and testing location for your patient.

How do I obtain more testing supplies?

  • Please consult the COVID-19 memo from March 19, 2020 (PDF file) to find a list of alternative specimen collection kits that can be used to collect specimens for COVID-19 testing. If you have any extra swabs in your office, please consider supporting COVID-19 testing by sharing them with the assessment centre at your local hospital.

Can I continue to provide care to my patients? 

  • On March 19, 2020, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health issued a directive to health-care providers to stop or reduce all non-essential and elective services to minimal levels, until further notice.
  • Physicians are NOT required to close their offices and services entirely.
  • Decisions regarding the reduction of services should be made using processes that respect professional obligations and are fair to all patients.
  • Exceptions can be made for time sensitive circumstances to prevent negative patient outcomes or situations that would impact patient safety.

Can I use virtual services to provide care to my patients?

  • The Province is implementing provincial rate and billing code changes to allow for virtual care for patients, including physician services, nursing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, social work and dietetics.
  • Please see the memo and guidance document attached to the March 20, 2020 Physician Update.

Reporting non-compliance

Outdoor recreational amenities

On March 30, 2020, the Provincial Government issued an order to close many outdoor recreational amenities. Affected open spaces included:

  • Outdoor Allotment Gardens
  • Community Gardens
  • Outdoor Picnic Site/Shelter/Bench in a Recreational Area

Specific signage will be posted at all Regional sites closed as a result of this order. Closed amenities may also feature parking blockades, fencing and flagging tape where applicable.

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