- What is COVID-19?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some cause illness in people and others cause illness in animals. Human coronaviruses are common and are typically associated with mild illnesses, similar to the common cold. COVID-19 is a new disease that has not been previously identified in humans.
- What is a pandemic?
A Pandemic is the worldwide spread of a new disease, regardless of how severe the disease is. Typically they are declared when there is sustained person-to-person transmission. On March 11, 2020 the World Health Organization declared the global outbreak of COVID-19 to be a pandemic. Click the link below to learn more about the World Health Organization or their day-to-day global Situation Reports on COVID-19.
- Incubation Period
The incubation period is the time from the moment of exposure to an infectious agent until signs and symptoms of the disease appear. In the case of COVID-19, it is believed that the symptoms may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure. This is why self-isolation for a 2 week period is effective in mitigating the spread of the disease between asymptomatic carriers.
- How does it spread?
As a respiratory infection, COVID-19, is most commonly spread from infected persons thru close prolonged contact. Coughing and sneezing release respiratory droplets into the air, which can then infect people in the immediate area. Contact with the virus can also occur when touching surfaces infected with the virus, then touching your face, primarily eyes, mouth or nose. Individuals should practice hygienic practices to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
- What are the risks of getting it?
The risk of contracting COVID-19 increases when interacting with large crowds. There is minimal risk of contracting the virus due to contaminated products or foods, as the virus does live for long periods without a host. Certain individuals are more vulnerable after having contracted the virus. People 65 or older, those with immune system deficiencies or those with underlying medical conditions should take extra precautions to avoid infection.
- Animals and COVID-19
Animal to human spread of COVID-19 is still being monitored, but there has yet to be a conclusive infections from one to the other. It is important for pet or livestock owners to be aware that some animals may get COVID-19 and that they should seek advice from veterinarians or other relevant authorities if issues arise.
- Food Safety and COVID-19
There is currently no evidences suggesting that food is a likely source of transmission of COVID-19, though governments are still monitoring the possibility closely. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) monitores Canada’s food supply chain, ensuring that food remains available and safe for consumers.
- What was Canada's response?
The Government of Canada is working in collaboration with the Provinces, Territories and Indigenous communities to protect the health and safety of Canadians during this global pandemic. To learn more about the Government of Canada's action on COVID-19 click the link below.
- What was Ontario's Response?
On March 17, 2020, Ontario became the first government in Canada to enact a 'Declaration of Emergency' to help contain the spread of COVID-19 and protect the public. As a result of this declaration a number of establishments and public events (over 50 people) were closed immediately.
Since the initial declaration, their have been more closures & all organized public events of over 5 people are now prohibited for the duration of the order. These orders will remain in place until May 29, 2020 when the province will reassess for an extension or end closures.
- 'Emergency Law' Fines
Anyone caught violating the emergency orders could face up to one-year in prison or a fine of up to $100,000 for an individual. A director of a corporation can be fined up to $500,000, and a corporation can face a fine of up to $10 million. Further more refusing to identify yourself to the police can also carry a fine of $750 dollars.