While Ontario might not be under an official lockdown, at least not as of the time this newspaper was printed on Tuesday morning, Orléans is under a virtual lockdown as residents have been asked by Ottawa’s chief medical officer of health to limit non-essential trips from their homes as much as possible and to keep their children out of daycare.
The cancellations and closures are almost too numerous to list. Last Friday, the city announced that it would be closing all municipal facilities to the public until April 6, except for Client Service Centres. The closures include all swimming pools, arenas, gyms, library branches and both the Centrepointe Theatre and the Shenkman Arts Centre.
All elementary and secondary schools in the province, currently closed for March Break, will remain closed for an additional two weeks until April 6.
The city’s two universities and both colleges are providing online classes-only for the rest of the semester.
All of the retirement residences and senior homes in Orléans have imposed an indefinite ban on all non-essential visitors to protect their residents from possible exposure to the novel coronavirus. Essential visitors are defined as family members of critically ill residents only.
Most minor sports associations, gymnastic centres and recreation facilities have also decided to cease operations until April 6 at the earliest. This includes the Gloucester Hockey Association, the Cumberland Minor Hockey Association, the Gloucester Cumberland Basketball Association, Kids Kingdom Orléans, the Tumblers Gymnastics Centre, and Club de gymnastique Les Sittelles.
A number of dental practices in Orléans have suspended all non-essential and elective services under advisory from the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of OntarioIf a family member is exhibiting any symptoms, they should be isolated in a separate room with limited contact with other family members. Those same family members should self-quarantine for 14 days.
If a family member is exhibiting symptoms in a household where a senior is also living, the senior family member should be isolated in a separate room as well and closely monitored.
Public health officials in several countries have noted that anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen can be a factor in aggravating the infection. If a fever is present it is better to take acetaminophen such as Tylenol. because it will reduce the fever without counter-attacking the inflammation.
One of the key ways to prevent transmission of the virus is social distancing. The recommended distance one should keep from other individuals in public is six feet. For the average person that’s an arm’s length and a half.
The need to maintain social distancing is why schools and other public gathering places have been shut down. It is also why many countries have imposed a general lockdown on their population.
Besides being a safeguard against transmission, social distancing is an important tool to limit the potential strain of the COVID-19 outbreak on the health care system also referred to as flattening the curve.
Without the practice of social distancing more people would be infected all at once, creating a spike in visits to urgent care clinics and hospital emergency rooms which would be overwhelmed, creating a crisis situation. By flattening the curve, the number of people who potentially contract the virus would be stretched out over a longer period of time, making it easier for the health care system to handle the epidemic.
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