What can we do in our Hutterite community to be proactive and rational, with a well-intended and well-studied effort to decrease the risk and slow the spread of infection?
In our communities we make personal and community decisions every day that impact the lives of all our community members, and now we are asked to be even more vigilant because of the coronavirus. We rely on the principles of community-based decision-making, transparency, and trust. We hope those principals will help us navigate in dealing with COVID-19 management and containment and to help us protect those at higher risk in our communities.
This is the main approach health professionals are focusing on:
There is a wave of COVID-19 coming. If we manage to flatten that wave so it occurs slowly, that means it’s easier for the medical system to cope. A slower wave means doctors and nurses aren’t overworked, hospital emergency rooms aren’t overwhelmed, hospital beds are available, and medical supplies like ventilators are available to those who need them.
For Hutterite Communities:
Information to help deal with Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
Frequently asked questions
What is the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)?
Coronaviruses can cause illness in humans and in animals. Sometimes an animal coronavirus can cause illness in a human. Common coronaviruses that infect humans usually cause mild symptoms similar to the common cold. COVID-19 is a new strain of the virus that has not been previously identified in humans.
What are the symptoms of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)?
Symptoms range from mild (fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat) to severe (shortness of breath and breathing difficulties). Older people and those living with chronic health conditions appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill.
How does COVID-19 spread?
The virus is spread through close contact (within 2 meters/ 6 feet) with an infected person who is coughing or sneezing. You can also get COVID-19 by touching objects contaminated with the virus and then touching your mouth, eyes or nose.
How can I reduce my risk of infection?
It is especially important to clean your hands:
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing and sneezing, or you can cough or sneeze into your sleeve. Throw used tissues in the garbage and immediately wash your hands. Avoid sharing household and personal care items (i.e., dishes, towels, pillows, toothbrushes, etc.). After use of these items, wash them thoroughly with soap and warm water, place in the dishwasher for cleaning or, wash in your washing machine.
Is there a vaccine for COVID-19?
At this time, there is no vaccine to prevent the spread of COVID-19. There are no specific treatments for coronavirus illnesses. Most people with COVID-19 will get better on their own. Some individuals, however, may require medical treatment.
Should I wear a mask to protect myself?
It is not clear there is any significant benefit to wearing masks to prevent influenza or influenza-like-illnesses (including COVID-19) in community settings.
Where should I go if I think I have COVID-19?
If you are ill and have recently traveled to an affected area, or if you are ill and have been in close contact (within 2 meters/ 6ft) with an ill person connected to the current outbreak, you should call Health Links–Info Santé, who will provide advice on where to go to be assessed. Individuals may be asked to self-monitor themselves for symptoms if they have recently returned from an affected area, or have been in close contact with someone who may have COVID-19. Individuals asked to self-monitor are not sick. However, if they develop symptoms such as a fever, cough, shortness of breath, breathing difficulties or any other symptoms, they should self-isolate (i.e., limit contact with other people) and call Health Links–Info Santé, or 911 if it is an emergency.
How do I self-monitor my symptoms?
To self-monitor your symptoms, you should take your temperature twice a day, in the morning and at nighttime, using a digital thermometer by mouth (oral). Do not eat, drink, smoke and/or chew gum 30 minutes before taking your temperature. Do not take acetaminophen (e.g. Tylenol®) or ibuprofen (e.g. Advil®) during the 14-day self-monitoring period UNLESS your health care provider advises otherwise. A Temperature Self-Monitoring Form is available on the Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living coronavirus website (www.manitoba.ca/health/ coronavirus/providers.html).
What do I do if I start having symptoms?
If you develop a fever higher than 38.0°C (100.4°F), cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms at any time during the 14-day self-monitoring period, call Health Links–Info Santé before going to your local urgent care centre or emergency department, or call 911 if it is an emergency. Be sure to advise health officials as to your travel and/ or exposure history.
Call Health Links–Info Santé in Winnipeg at 204-788-8200;
toll free elsewhere in Manitoba 1-888-315-9257;
Manitoba’s coronavirus website: www.manitoba.ca/health/coronavirus/index.html
Canada’s coronavirus website: www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/ diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html
Visits, Travel and Returning home
For business or work connections, be mindful to limit contact. Cancel non-essential work travel outside of Manitoba. Use virtual meetings to reduce prolonged, close contact between individuals.
Shopping - Any unnecessary or non-essential shopping outings should be avoided. Please weigh the risks and exercise caution. If you really need a particular supply, go buy it and wash your hands. But if you can delay your need for an item for a few months, do so.
Health care: Consider cancelling medical appointments for minor conditions. This includes visits to doctors, dentists, chiropractors, physiotherapists, massage therapists.
What is social distancing?
Social distancing measures include cancelling or postponing any large-scale events with more than 250 attendees. This measure helps reduce prolonged (more than 10 minutes), close (less than two metres) contact between other individuals in public.
Public health officials continue to recommend these social distancing measures for all Manitobans:
• minimizing prolonged (more than 10 minutes), close (less than two metres) contact between individuals in public;
• avoiding greetings that involve touching such as handshakes;
• disinfecting frequently used surfaces;
• following public health advice related to self-monitoring and self-isolation if you have travelled or have been exposed to someone ill with the virus; and
• avoiding all non-essential travel, as well as crowded places and events.
What should I do if I feel overwhelmed or anxious?
It is very important to get reliable information.
Make sure that you get high-quality information about COVID-19 from reliable sources. The Public Health Agency of Canada is a reliable source of information, as are provincial and territorial public health authorities.
How to clean surface and objects to prevent the spread of COVID-19?
All public places (e.g., shopping malls, grocery stores, restaurants) as well as workplaces should ensure all surfaces and commonly touched objects are cleaned and then disinfected at least twice daily or, as needed (i.e., if surfaces/objects are visibility dirty). Cleaning removes germs and dirt using soap and warm water. Disinfecting kills germs using diluted bleach (one part bleach to nine parts water), alcohol solutions with at least 70 per cent alcohol or EPA-registered household disinfectants. Ensure the disinfectant is on the surface/object for one minute. People should wear disposable gloves when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and objects. For soft surfaces and items such as carpeted flooring, rugs and curtains, clean with appropriate cleaners indicated for use on these surfaces/items or, wash in the washing machine using hot water if possible.
What to do if you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19?
If you may have been exposed to COVID-19 through direct contact with an ill person or in your recent travels. You are therefore being asked to self-isolate and monitor yourself for symptoms for up to 14 days.
What is the difference between self-monitoring versus self-isolating?