Government of New Brunswick


  About coronavirus (COVID-19)
 

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. They can cause illness ranging from mild symptoms, like the common cold, to more severe illness such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV). COVID-19 is a new disease caused by a strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans.

Those who are infected with COVID-19 may have little to no symptoms. You may not know you have symptoms of COVID-19 because they are similar to a cold or flu.

Symptoms may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to COVID-19.

Symptoms have included:

  • fever
  • cough
  • difficulty breathing
  • pneumonia

In severe cases, infection can lead to death.

 

Human coronaviruses cause infections of the nose, throat and lungs. They are most commonly spread from an infected person through:

  • respiratory droplets that are spread when you cough or sneeze
  • close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • touching something with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands

 

Current information indicates that a person may develop symptoms up to 14 days after exposure to COVID-19.

Pregnancy

COVID-19 is a new disease and we are still learning how it affects pregnant women. There is currently no evidence that suggests pregnant women are at a higher risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19. There is currently no evidence that a developing child could be negatively affected by COVID-19.

Throughout pregnancy, women experience changes in their bodies that may increase the risk of other illnesses, such as viral respiratory infections. This is why it is important for pregnant women, especially those at high risk of developing severe complications, should take the following precautions to protect against the possibility of becoming ill:

  • Stay home as much as possible, except for important medical appointments.
  • Talk to your doctor, obstetrician or midwife about the possibility of telephone or videoconference appointments.
  • Avoid unnecessary visitors to your home.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or, if not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Practice physical distancing. Keep a distance of at least two metres from others.
  • Avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes.
  • Avoid crowded places and peak-hours. Make limited trips to the store for essentials
  • Avoid travel by public transit.

If you have travelled outside of New Brunswick, had close contact with someone who has or is suspected to have COVID-19 in the last 14 days, you need to self-isolate.

If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, or are waiting to hear the results of a lab test for COVID-19, you must isolate at home.

Contact your primary healthcare provider or TeleCare 8-1-1 if you are feeling ill.

Childbirth

There is currently no evidence of mother-to-child transmission through childbirth when the mother gets COVID-19 in the third trimester.

  • If you plan to give birth in a hospital or birth centre, learn about the policies in place.
    • Most hospitals and birth centres have reduced visitors or a no-visitor policy.
    • In most cases, only one support person may permitted.
    • Your support person is not considered a visitor.
  • If you plan to give birth at home, talk to your midwife about:
    • whether homebirths are still an option in your province or territory during the pandemic; and,
    • precautions to take to ensure your home environment is safe.
  • If you have COVID-19, talk to your health care provider about the preferred birth plan. The birth plan should be individualized and based on your preferences, the safety of the care provider, as well as obstetric recommendations.
  • Your health care provider will consult perinatal (immediately before birth), neonatal (after birth), infectious disease and intensive care specialists, as required.

Breastfeeding

If you or your child have suspected, probable or confirmed COVID-19, you can stay together in the same room if preferred, especially during the establishment of breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding lowers your baby’s risk of infection and illness throughout infancy and childhood. The virus that causes COVID-19 has not been found in breast milk and it is unlikely that COVID-19 can be transmitted while breastfeeding.

If you have suspected, probable or confirmed COVID-19, you must isolate yourself in your home as much as possible; this includes practicing physical distancing in your home, with the only exception being the baby. You should take all possible precautions to avoid spreading the virus to your baby, which includes:

If you are too ill to breastfeed, you are encouraged to:

  • Feed the child with formula or expressed milk
  • Ask an uninfected adult to feed the baby
  • If using a breast pump, sterilize the equipment carefully before each use
  • Don’t share bottles or breast pump

Visitors

Visitors should be restricted or avoided during the period of physical distancing. You do not want anyone to inadvertently expose you to the virus.  It is especially important not to have visitors if you or your child have suspected, probable or confirmed COVID-19.

Mental Health

Parents and caregivers who may need to be separated from their children, and children who may need to be separated from their primary caregivers as a result of illness from COVID-19, should consult appropriately trained health or non-health workers for mental health and psychosocial support.

If you have concerns about COVID-19, talk to your doctor, obstetrician or midwife.

For resources on COVID-19 and pregnancy, visit www.sogc.org 

What about pets?

There is currently no evidence to suggest that this virus is circulating in Animals in Canada.

It is possible that some types of animals can be infected with COVID-19 but there is no evidence that pets or other animals can spread the virus. There are still many unknowns about COVID-19 and this is an area that remains to be studied and understood.

Until we know more, if you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and have a pet or other animal:

  • avoid close contact with them
  • practise good cough etiquette
  • have another member of your household care for your animals
  • limit your animal's contact with other people and animals

 

 


  Treatment
 

At this time, there is no vaccine to protect against COVID-19.

While coronaviruses are a respiratory illness, these infections are not the same as those that cause influenza.  The flu vaccine does not protect against COVID-19.

Most people with mild illness will recover on their own. Your health care provider may recommend treatment or steps you can take to relieve symptoms.  For those with more severe illness, hospitalization may be required.

 

 


  Prevention
 

In general, the following advice can help reduce your risk of infection and help prevent  the spread of infections:

  • Handwashing is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family from getting sick.  Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands;
  • avoid close contact with people who are sick;
  • Practice coughing/sneezing etiquette when coughing or sneezing
    • cover your mouth and nose with your arms or tissue
    • wash your hands and dispose of any tissues you have used into the garbage
  • stay home if you are sick to avoid spreading illness to others.

 

If you are experiencing symptoms of an illness that spreads through the air, wearing a mask can help prevent the spread of the infection to others. If you have symptoms of respiratory illness (e.g. fever, coughing or sneezing), wearing a mask helps prevent the spread of infection to other people. The mask acts as a barrier and helps stop the tiny droplets from spreading around you when you cough or sneeze.

The use of non-medical masks (e.g., homemade cloth masks) by asymptomatic people in the community may reduce the touching of the nose or mouth with contaminated hands, although one needs to take care to not touch the face as the mask is adjusted or when pulled on and off.

Wearing a mask can be a way of covering your mouth and nose to prevent respiratory droplets from contaminating others or landing on surfaces. Wearing a mask is consistent with our recommendation to not cough into your hands and instead to cover your cough with tissues or your sleeve.

The effectiveness of using non-medical masks in the community to prevent infection has not been demonstrated. The use of a non-medical mask must be in combination with proven effective hygiene and physical distancing measures.

There is no harm in wearing a non-medical mask, but one should use a well-fitted (non-gaping) mask and practice good hand hygiene before wearing and after removing a mask. 

People receiving packages from China are not at risk of contracting the new coronavirus. From previous analysis, we know coronaviruses do not survive long on objects, such as letters or packages.

We are not aware of any reports of human illnesses that suggest COVID-19 can be transmitted by food or food packaging. Coronaviruses need a host to grow in and cannot grow in food.

Although food is not a host of the virus, it is possible that infected food workers or consumers could introduce the virus to food or food packaging, by coughing and sneezing, or through hand contact.

It is not certain how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on surfaces, but studies suggest that coronaviruses may last on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. This may vary under different conditions such type of surface, temperature or humidity of the environment. From previous analysis, coronaviruses tend not to survive long on objects such as paper or cardboard.

If you think a surface may be infected, clean it with disinfectant to kill the virus and protect yourself and others. Wash you hands with soap and water with an alcohol-based hand rub. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose.

It is always important that consumers follow good hygiene and safe food handling practices when preparing foods. As always, consumers should wash or scrub fruits and vegetables under running water before eating them. Thorough cooking is expected to kill the virus.

For more information on Food Safety, check out these links:

General Food Safety

Food Safety for Food Banks and Community Kitchens

Food Safety Information for Food Donors

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Homemade masks are not medical devices and consequently are not regulated like medical masks and respirators.

Physical distancing, frequent hand washing and not touching your face are proven measures that will reduce transmission of COVID-19. These measures must be consistently and rigorously applied in all settings including when you are out in the community.

The use of non-medical masks (e.g., homemade cloth masks) by asymptomatic people in the community may reduce the touching of the nose or mouth with contaminated hands, although one needs to take care to not touch the face as the mask is adjusted or when pulled on and off.

Wearing a home-made mask can be a way of covering your mouth and nose to prevent respiratory droplets from contaminating others or landing on surfaces. Wearing a mask is consistent with our recommendation to not cough into your hands and instead to cover your cough with tissues or your sleeve.

The effectiveness of using non-medical masks in the community to prevent infection has not been demonstrated. The use of a non-medical mask must be in combination with proven effective hygiene and physical distancing measures.

There is no harm in wearing a non-medical mask, but one should use a well-fitted (non-gaping) mask and practice good hand hygiene before wearing and after removing a mask.

The supply of medical masks and respirators must be reserved for HCW workers and others caring for COVID-19 patients in hospitals and closed facilities where outbreaks are occurring, and individuals are trained in the proper use of personal protective equipment.

The effectiveness of using non-medical masks in the community to prevent infection has not been demonstrated. The use of a non-medical mask must be in combination with proven effective hygiene and physical distancing measures.

There is no harm in wearing a non-medical mask, but one should use a well-fitted (non-gaping) mask and practice good hand hygiene before wearing and after removing a mask.

There is no harm in wearing a non-medical mask, but one should use a well-fitted (non-gaping) mask and practice good hand hygiene before wearing and after removing a mask.

Wearing a homemade mask can be a way of covering your mouth and nose to prevent respiratory droplets from contaminating others or landing on surfaces.

The use of these homemade cloth masks by asymptomatic people in the community may reduce the touching of the nose or mouth with contaminated hands, although one needs to take care to not touch the face as the mask is adjusted or when pulled on and off.

Wearing a mask is consistent with our recommendation to not cough into your hands and instead to cover your cough with tissues or your sleeve.

The use of a non-medical mask must be in combination with proven effective hygiene and physical distancing measures.

Reference:https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-health-products/medical-devices/activities/announcements/covid19-notice-home-made-masks.html

Who is at high risk?

While diseases can make anyone sick, some Canadians are more at risk of developing severe complications from an illness due to underlying medical conditions and age. If you are at risk for complications, you can take action to reduce your risk of getting sick from COVID-19.

Who is at high risk?

  • People with medical conditions including:
    • Heart disease
    • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
    • Lung disease
    • Diabetes
    • Cancer
  • People with weakened immune systems from a medical condition or treatment, such as chemotherapy
  • Older adults
Be prepared
  • Learn about COVID-19 and stay informed by visiting www.canada.ca/coronavirus
  • Visit your provincial/territorial and municipal health websites to keep up-to-date about COVID-19 in your community.
  • Stock up on the supplies you would need if you were to have to stay home for a few weeks, such as groceries, pet food and cleaning products.
  • Talk with your health care provider about how to protect yourself and ensure you have enough of your prescribed medications and medical supplies.
  • Prepare to stay connected with others by phone or email.
  • Ask family, a neighbour or friend to help with essential errands (e.g., picking up prescriptions, buying groceries).
  • Identify which services are available to deliver food or medications to your home.
  • Monitor yourself for symptoms.
How to reduce your risk of COVID-19
  • If possible, only leave your home for medically necessary appointments.
  • Stay away from people who are sick.
  • Avoid contact with others, especially those who have not travelled or been exposed to the virus.
  • If contact cannot be avoided, take the following precautions:
    • keep at least two metres between yourself and the other person
    • Give a friendly wave instead of a handshake, kiss or hug
    • keep interactions brief
  • Clean hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or, if not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes and/or food with your hands.
  • Carry alcohol-based hand sanitizer when you are outside of your home.
  • Avoid touching high-touch surfaces such as doorknobs, handrails and elevator buttons in public places.
  • If you need to touch surfaces in public places, use a tissue or your sleeve to cover your hand.
  • At least once daily, clean and disinfect surfaces that you touch often, like toilets, bedside tables, doorknobs, phones and television remotes.
  • To disinfect, use only approved hard-surface disinfectants that have a Drug Identification Number (DIN). A DIN is an 8-digit number given by Health Canada that confirms the disinfectant product is approved and safe for use in Canada.
  • When approved hard surface disinfectants are not available, for household disinfection, a diluted bleach solution can be prepared in accordance with the instructions on the label, or in a ratio of 5 millilitres (mL) of bleach per 250 mL of water OR 20 mL of bleach per litre of water. This ratio is based on bleach containing 5% sodium hypochlorite, to give a 0.1% sodium hypochlorite solution. Follow instructions for proper handling of household (chlorine) bleach.
  • If they can withstand the use of liquids for disinfection, high-touch electronic devices (e.g., keyboards, touch screens) may be disinfected with 70% alcohol at least daily.
  • Remind others who are sick, or may have been exposed to the virus, to stay away.
  • Avoid crowds and large gatherings.
  • Avoid cruises and non-essential travel outside of Canada.
What to do if you get a symptom of COVID-19
  • Symptoms of COVID-19 include:
    • a new cough or a chronic cough that gets worse, or
    • a fever (greater or equal to 38°C or signs of a fever like shivering, flushed skin, excessive sweating), or
    • difficulty breathing
  • If you develop a symptom, stay home and call your health care provider or local public health unit and tell them about your symptoms.
  • Always call ahead before going to see a health provider or health care facility so that they can keep others from being exposed.
  • The following symptoms should be considered urgent:
    • significant difficulty breathing (e.g., can’t catch breath, gasping)
    • chest pain or pressure
    • new confusion or difficulty waking up
  • If you develop these urgent symptoms, call 911 and inform them that you may have COVID-19 and are at high risk for complications.

We can all do our part in preventing the spread of COVID-19. For more information: Canada.ca/coronavirus or contact 1-833-784-4397

 

What does physical distancing mean?

Together, we can slow the spread of COVID-19 by making a conscious effort to keep a physical distance between each other. Physical distancing is proven to be one of the most effective ways to reduce the spread of illness during an outbreak. With patience and cooperation, we can all do our part.

What does physical distancing mean?

This means making changes in your everyday routines in order to minimize close contact with others, including:

  • avoiding crowded places and non-essential gatherings
  • avoiding common greetings, such as handshakes
  • limiting contact with people at higher risk (e.g. older adults and those in poor health)
  • keeping a distance of at least 2 arms lengths (approximately 2 metres) from others, as much as possible
Here’s how you can practice physical distancing:
  • greet with a wave instead of a handshake, a kiss or a hug
  • stay home as much as possible, including for meals and entertainment
  • grocery shop once per week
  • take public transportation during off-peak hours
  • conduct virtual meetings
  • host virtual playdates for your kids
  • use technology to keep in touch with friends and family

If possible,

  • use food delivery services or online shopping
  • exercise at home or outside
  • work from home
Remember to:
  • wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds and avoid touching your face
  • cough or sneeze into the bend of your arm
  • avoid touching surfaces people touch often
  • self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 including:
    • cough
    • fever
    • difficulty breathing
If you’re concerned you may have COVID-19:
  • separate yourself from others as soon as you have symptoms
  • if you are outside the home when a symptom develops, go home immediately and avoid taking public transit
  • stay home and follow the advice of your Public Health Authority, who may recommend isolation

·         Contact your primary healthcare provider or TeleCare 8-1-1 if you are feeling ill.

Note: The Government of Canada has implemented an Emergency Order under the Quarantine Act. This order means that everyone who is entering Canada by air, sea or land has to stay home for 14 days in order to limit the spread of COVID-19. The 14-day period begins on the day you enter Canada.

  • If you have travelled and have no symptoms, you must quarantine (self-isolate).
  • If you have travelled and have symptoms, you must isolate.

For more information: Canada.ca/coronavirus 1-833-784-4397

The fact sheet Cleaning and Disinfecting for COVID-19 provides instructions for preparing the highest concentration of disinfectant recommended. If there is confirmation that someone tested positive, then you should clean any known or suspected contact surfaces using this same concentration. Please keep in mind that it is important to clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces regularly regardless of whether you know someone tested positive for COVD-19.

Open doors and windows to improve air circulation. Cleaning crews should wear gloves and wash their hands immediately after removing the protective gear.

 


  Being Prepared
 

Communities can plan for measures that will protect individuals and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

There are actions you can take to stay healthy and protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19

Each of us can be prepared in the event of an emergency.

Prepare a Plan. 

  • Consider how to change your behaviours and routines to reduce the risk of infection.  Your plan should include:
    • how you can change your regular habits to reduce your exposure to crowded places.
    • what you will do if you become sick. If you are a caregiver of children or other dependents, think about backup caregivers.
    • what you will do if a member of your family becomes sick and needs care. Talk to your employer about working from home if you are needed to care for a family member at home. 
  • Refill your prescriptions now so that you do not have to go to a busy pharmacy if you do become sick. Consider seeing your health care provider to renew your prescriptions ahead of time
  • Stock up on essentials of non-perishable supplies that you should have on hand. This will ensure you do not need to leave your home while you are sick or busy caring for an ill family member.
  • Communicate with family and friends.  Talk to them about a buddy system in which you agree to check in on each other and run essential errands if you become sick
  • Get reliable information
  • Build on the kits you have prepared for other potential emergencies.

New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization recommends that New Brunswickers and their families should always be “72-hours ready” in case of an emergency and have everything they need, including food, water, medication, batteries, cash and other necessities. Being prepared is everyone’s responsibility.