Novel Coronavirus Awareness

One of ESS’ ongoing priorities is the health and safety of its clients, volunteers and staff.  As you may be aware, a new virus called the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has been reported in Ontario, with a few positive cases in Toronto.

Awareness, education and standard infection control practices are important steps to reduce your risk of exposure.  ESS is currently working with the Location Health Integration Network (LHIN) and Public Health in effort to monitor and reduce the risk of potential transmission of the Coronavirus and other infectious diseases such as the flu.

If you are unwell, we ask that you please stay home and refrain from attending our programs and/or visiting our sites.

If you are an ESS client, and answer yes to any of the following questions, we ask that you notify us by contacting ESS staff.

  1. Do you or anyone in your household have new/worse cough or shortness of breath?
  2. Are you feeling feverish, or have you had shakes or chills in the last 24 hours (>38 degrees Celsius/>100 degrees Fahrenheit)?
  3. Have you traveled to Hubei province, China (including Wuhan) OR anywhere in Mainland China in the last 14 days?
  4. Have you had close contact with a confirmed or probable case of someone with Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)?
  5. Have you had close contact with a person with acute respiratory illness who has been to Hubei province, China (including Wuhan) within 14 days prior to their illness onset?
What is the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. They can cause diseases ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).  Your risk of severe disease may be higher if you have a weakened immune system, are older in age or have a chronic disease.  Click here for myths about the Novel Coronavirus.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms range from common to severe respiratory illnesses and include:

  • fever
  • cough
  • difficulty breathing
  • pneumonia and kidney failure
How to Protect Yourself

To reduce exposure to and transmission of a range of illnesses, including coronaviruses, you should follow usual health precautions such as:

  • washing your hands often
  • avoiding contact with people who are sick
  • practicing proper cough and sneeze etiquette

If you are traveling 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

24/7 Help Phone:  Telehealth: 1-866-797-0000

Source:  Ontario Ministry of Health (

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