Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses ranging from the common cold to much more serious diseases, such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), or Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). The new strain of coronavirus, currently making headlines across the world, is called Novel Coronavirus (nCov).
While the risk in our region is low at this point, Quinte Health Care is taking precautions. We are proactively screening patients at all of our hospitals. What does that mean for you? On arrival to one of our Emergency Departments, patients will be asked:
• About their symptoms, particularly respiratory symptoms.
• Whether they have traveled to Wuhan, China.
• If they have come in contact with someone who has or is suspected of having coronavirus.
If they are at risk of having the virus, they will be asked to clean their hands, put on a mask and be taken to a special isolation room until a diagnosis can be confirmed.
As always, but even more so with so many viruses circulating in our community, the importance of hand hygiene cannot be stressed enough. Please clean your hands frequently - on arrival to the hospital, before entering a patient's room (if you're visiting), upon exiting a patient's room, when leaving the hospital, and any number of times in between.
Remember - if you are feeling unwell, please do not visit patients in the hospital.
For more information about Novel Coronavirus, visit the Ontario Health website.