Novel Coronavirus Update

Published January 30, 2020

As you are aware, Chinese health authorities are currently managing an outbreak of a new pneumonia-like virus in Wuhan, China. This new virus has been identified as Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

The Public Health Agency of Canada has assessed the current risk associated with the Novel Coronavirus as low for Canada. This risk is continually reassessed as new information becomes available.

The Public Health Agency of Canada is working with Ontario and international partners, including the World Health Organization, to actively monitor the situation.

This serves as a reminder to practice good hygiene and to ensure you are adhering to your food safety procedures and codes of practice.

Prevention

Although specific epidemiology of the Novel Coronavirus is still being established, it stems from the larger family of coronaviruses.

Coronaviruses spread similar to other respiratory illnesses; from an infected person to others through:

  • the air via coughing and sneezing
  • close personal contact with an infected person
  • touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands

To protect yourself, follow these basic preventative measures:

  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • Wash your hands frequently, using soap and water and scrubbing for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water is unavailable, use a min. 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Always, practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette (direct into your upper sleeve), just in case you may be carrying a virus.

Symptoms

Symptoms of the Novel Coronavirus are similar to other respiratory infections, like influenza and can include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing

There are no specific treatments for Novel Coronavirus. If symptoms feel worse than a standard cold, contact your local medical service provider and/or see your health care practitioner.

Older people and/or those with chronic diseases (i.e. weakened immune systems) are at higher risk for severe illness if exposed to the virus.

Restaurants Canada’s Response

We are monitoring this situation closely and will continue to provide the necessary updates should the situation escalate.

Resources specific to the Novel Coronavirus that you can reference can be found by visiting the Public Health Agency of Canada website. Resources include:

For additional information, we recommend calling the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Novel Coronavirus information line at 1-833-784-4397 or visiting:

Kartikey Bhargava

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