How Canadians can Protect Themselves Against Coronavirus COVID-19

How Canadians can Protect Themselves Against Coronavirus COVID-19

COVID-19 is a new disease against which all Canadians have a civic duty to STOP THE SPREAD & FLATTEN THE CURVE.  How can you best protect yourself against the virus, and keep your family, friends, and community safe?  Here is a compilation of the most effective tips, instructions, resources, and other information about the coronavirus COVID-19.

COVID-19 PREVENTION & RESPONSE CHECKLIST

  1. Get your information from the most credible sources
  2. Take the Government of Canada Self Assessment Tool
  3. Stay informed on the current situation
  4. Stay at home unless you need something essential, or are an essential worker
  5. Wash and sanitize your hands regularly and properly
  6. Avoid skin-to-skin, and bare skin contact.  Wear protective gloves.
  7. Know and cooperate with social distancing rules
  8. Cover your nose & mouth when you cough or sneeze. Consider wearing a protective mask.
  9. Self Isolate if you are within the vulnerable population
  10. Quarantine yourself and immediately contact a health care professional if you have symptoms of COVID-19, or think you have it
  11. Keep your homes and workspaces clean and disinfected.
  12. Respect Mental Health and use Self-Care Methods
  13. Be vigilant for and don’t fall prey to scams
  14. Get educated about COVID-19 and coronaviruses, and know how you can make a positive difference

1. Get Your Information from the Most Credible Sources

This includes Government of Canada websites and the World Health Organization. Below are links to each.
https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html
https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

2. Take the Government of Canada Self Assessment Tool

If you have any of the symptoms of Covid19, or if you are concerned you may be infected, use the online self assessment tool created by Health Canada at the following link: https://ca.thrive.health/covid19

Be sure to review your results at the end, and follow any resulting instructions.  Alternatively, download and use the new Government of Canada Covid 19 app, available on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.

https://apps.apple.com/ca/app/Canada-COVID-19/id1505010304

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=ca.gc.hcsc.canada.covid19

3. Stay Informed on the Current Situation

Keep up to date with all new briefings from federal, provincial, and municipal governments.  There are daily briefings for the Province of Ontario at the following link: https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus

As Condor Security Canada serves the local Greater Toronto Area, we would like to provide the local municipal resource links for updates specific to those regions:

Toronto
https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/

Peel Region
https://www.peelregion.ca/coronavirus/

Durham Region
https://www.durham.ca/en/health-and-wellness/novel-coronavirus-update.aspx

4. Stay at Home, unless you need something Essential, or are an Essential Worker

Here is a useful resource from Public Health Agency of Canada. A preparation checklist for staying at home.

5. Wash & Sanitize your Hands Regularly and Properly

  • Wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds, with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub.
  • If you plan to go out in public, and are not sure if soap will be available, bring your own pack of “travel soap” that you can use if needed. 
  • If soap and water is not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and wash your hands properly at the next available opportunity. 
  • If your hands are not clean, avoid touching anything, and in particular, do NOT touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.

6. Avoid Skin-to-Skin and Bare Skin Contact.  Wear Protective Gloves.

Wear protective gloves when in public spaces, such as a grocery store.  Wherever possible, do NOT touch other people, or other people’s property, or any public property with your bare hands or bare skin.

7. Know and Cooperate with Social Distancing Rules

Physical Distancing, otherwise known as Social Distancing, is proven to be one of the best ways to reduce the spread of illness in a pandemic.  What about social distancing in your own home? Household contacts (people you live with) do not need to distance from each other unless they are sick, show symptoms, or have traveled in the last 14 days.

  • Avoid crowded places and non-essential gatherings.  Do not gather in groups.
  • Avoid common greetings, such as handshakes, hugs, and kisses with any persons with whom you do not live.
  • Limit, and where possible, eliminate close physical contact with people at higher risk like older adults and those in poor health.
  • Keep a physical distance of at least 2 arms-length (approximately 2 metres) from others.
  • Go outside to exercise but stay close to home. If you do go out for a walk, do not congregate.  Always stay at least 2 metres apart from others at all times.

8. Cover your Nose & Mouth when you Cough or Sneeze. Consider wearing a Protective Mask.

Here is a useful video on how to protect yourself and others against coronavirus spread:

HOW TO WEAR A MASK?

  • Before putting on a mask, clean hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
  • Cover mouth and nose with mask and make sure there are no gaps between your face and the mask.
  • Avoid touching the mask while using it; if you do, clean your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
  • Replace the mask with a new one as soon as it is damp and do not re-use single-use masks.
  • To remove the mask: remove it from behind (do not touch the front of mask); discard immediately in a closed bin; clean hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.

9. Self Isolate if you are within the Vulnerable Population

You should self isolate whether or not you have any symptoms of COVID-19, if you fall under any of the categories which have an an increased risk of more severe outcomes for Canadians:

  • aged 65 and over
  • underlying medical conditions
  • compromised immune systems

10. Quarantine yourself and immediately contact a Health Care Professional if you have symptoms of COVID-19, or think you have it

If you are showing symptoms of COVID-19, reduce your contact with others. Immediately isolate yourself in your home for at least 14 days to prevent spreading it to others. If other people live with you, stay in a separate room, and maintain social distance practice. Immediately contact a Health Care Professional or your Public Health Authority; explain your signs and symptoms and follow their instructions.

11. Keep your Homes and Workspaces Clean and Disinfected.

Wash clothes with the hottest water possible.  If you rely on shared laundry facilities (such as a laundromat), here is a useful resource from the National Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health:

There is currently no specific data for exactly how long COVID-19 survives on surfaces, but research suggests that it behaves similar to other coronaviruses. Preliminary information on COVID-19 suggests that the virus may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days depending on different conditions, such as the temperature, type of surface (ie. metal or plastic or wood), and the humidity of the environment.

Surfaces frequently touched with hands are most likely to be contaminated, including:

  • tables
  • handrails
  • doorknobs
  • electronics
  • countertops
  • light switches
  • faucet handles
  • cabinet handles
  • elevator buttons

Products shipped within or from outside of Canada could also be contaminated. However, because parcels generally take days or weeks to be delivered, and are shipped at room temperature, the risk of spread is low. There is no known risk of coronaviruses entering Canada on parcels or packages.

Coronaviruses are enveloped viruses. This means they are one of the easiest viruses to kill with the appropriate disinfectant when used according to the label directions.

How to find out which disinfectant meets Health Canada’s requirements for COVID-19

  1. Locate the Drug Identification Number (DIN) on the disinfectant product label
  2. Look for that number on the Public Health Canada Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) list

12. Respect Mental Health and use Self-Care Methods

The COVID-19 pandemic is new and unexpected, which for many people, can be unsettling. There can be feelings of losing control. It’s normal to feel sad, stressed, confused, scared or worried in a crisis. People may react in different ways. Some common feelings may include:

  • Fear of becoming ill or infected with COVID-19, or infecting others
  • A sense of being socially excluded or judged by others
  • Fear of being separated from loved ones due to isolation or physical distancing
  • Feelings of helplessness, boredom, loneliness and depression as a result of isolation or physical distancing
  • Fear of losing your job or not being able to work and struggling financially
  • Concern about your children’s education and wellbeing

Condor’s management has reached out to mental health professionals and have prepared a resource for Condor’s Staff.  We have invited Sarah Kinsley, a Registered Clinical Counsellor, BA (Hons.), Bed (Primary) Med (counseling), to create a short series of Mindful Consultation videos for our staff and community.  See the first of these videos below:

Self-Care Methods for your Mental Health and Wellbeing

  • Keep informed, but make sure to take breaks from news, social media, reading current events, etc.
  • Practicing social distance doesn’t been social isolation – stay connected with your friends and family using the benefits of modern technology!
  • Try new things! Many companies have allowed their services to be used for free at this time. Learn a new skill, study a new language, and if you like the service, continue it, if you want to cancel, cancel.
  • Practice mindfulness, take deep breaths and find time to relax.
  • Stay healthy! Eat well, sleep well, get some exercise.
  • Focus on the positive aspects of your life, and work on the things you can control.
  • Respect and be kind and considerate towards others – we are going through this together!

You are NOT alone! Ask for help and you’ll have it!

13. Be Vigilant for and Don’t Fall Prey to Scams

Unfortunately, in times of increased fear and uncertainty, criminals sense and take advantage of vulnerability.  There have been many email and social media scams where criminals attempt to steal personal information, credit card details, and other private information. 

Be aware that the Canadian Government will NOT reach out to you directly by email or social media to offer you financial relief, or for other financial matters.  They will operate in the regular manner.  If you receive a “strange looking” email, or a social media message saying that you owe money to the government as a fee for supporting the covid-19 pandemic, DO NOT OPEN IT, and do not believe it to be valid. 

You may receive a phone call from someone claiming to be a government official.  They may try to trick you into providing your social insurance number, bank account details, etc.  A real government official would not do so, as they would already have your information on file, or would ask you to enter it through the official channels, such as a legitimate government website.  Often these scam calls involve someone pretending to be from the Canadian Border Services demanding that a fee or fine be paid otherwise you’ll be arrested. 

Sometimes you may receive a “text scam” in which you may be instructed to click a link in a text message, which will take you to a malicious website or download malware onto your phone.  Don’t click any strange links or open messages from unknown persons.  The government would NOT text message you for any official business.

Here are some helpful tips to avoid email and social media scams:

  • Install a “spam filter” on your emails
  • Watch for messages that claim to be official, yet contain poor spelling and  grammar errors
  • The Canadian Government doesn’t have @outlook or @gmail on their email addresses, so always check the actual email address the message is coming from
  • Don’t assume you’re always being told the truth – people and businesses may not be who they say they are
  • Do NOT release any personal or financial information unless you are absolutely certain of who you’re dealing with, and always do so over a secure and normal channel (ie. the government would not require you to e-transfer funds via email)
  • Trust your gut – if you think it may be a scam, it probably is.

For more resources on how to avoid cyber-security scams, visit the Canadian Anti Fraud Centre at the following link:  https://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/index-eng.htm

14. Get Educated about COVID-19 and how You can make a Positive Difference

There is lots of information floating around in cyberspace, within circles of families and friends. It’s important to get educated with accurate information and understand clearly the steps to take in order to keep your family, friends, and community safe.

Condor Security is a leading provider of professional, integrated security solutions and services based in the Greater Toronto Area, and aimed at bringing safety and peace of mind to its clients and their communities.