Severity: Warning Alert

Health: COVID-19 activity continues in Canada during April, primarily in Quebec, Ontario, and British Columbia. Maintain basic health precautions.

This alert affects Canada

This alert began 03 Apr 2020 22:05 GMT and is scheduled to expire 30 Apr 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19); local transmission
  • Location(s): Nationwide, especially southern areas (map)
  • Period: January-April 2020
  • Cases: 11,747

Summary
Canadian authorities have identified a total of 11,747 confirmed cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) according to data through April 3. This surge is due to expanded testing for the disease. Cases have been identified in nearly all provinces and territories; however, most cases have occurred in southern areas of Quebec, Ontario, and British Columbia. The current distribution of cases is as follows: Quebec (5,518 cases), Ontario (3,255), British Columbia (1,121), Alberta (968), Saskatchewan (206), Nova Scotia (193), Newfoundland and Labrador (183), Manitoba (167), New Brunswick (91), Prince Edward Island (22), Yukon (6), and the Northwest Territories (4). No cases have been identified in Nunavut. This represents the most complete data available as of April 3.

Background and Analysis
These figures include repatriated Canadians and those who returned following quarantine on a cruise ship. The US CDC maintains a "Warning-Level 3" travel health notice due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. This is the highest of three levels and indicates US authorities recommend avoiding all nonessential travel. Furthermore, older individuals and people of any age with chronic medical conditions or otherwise compromised immunity should consider postponing nonessential travel, including domestic travel, and take special precautions to avoid becoming ill, especially where sustained community transmission of COVID-19 has been identified. All individuals should monitor their health and limit interactions with others for 14 days after returning from travel.

Older individuals, infants, and those with chronic illness are more susceptible to infection and are at increased risk for severe complications. Human-to-human transmission can occur, though it remains unclear how easily the virus spreads between people.

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions.

Advice
Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

Resources
WHO coronavirus knowledge base: www.who.int

US CDC: Guidance for Businesses and Employers: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response

US CDC: Preventing COVID-19 Spread in Communities: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community

Mental Health Considerations during COVID-19 Outbreak: www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/mental-health-considerations

US CDC: Manage Anxiety and Stress: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety

US CDC Global COVID-19 Travel Health Notice: wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/warning/coronavirus-global

WHO: Getting your workplace ready for COVID-19: www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/getting-workplace-ready-for-covid-19

WHO advice for international travel: www.who.int/news-room/articles-detail/updated-who-recommendations-for-international-traffic-in-relation-to-covid-19-outbreak