FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ON COVID-19
WHAT IS COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a new disease which had not been identified prior to the outbreak declared in December 2019.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
While the infection often causes mild impairment, it can also be severe with certain individuals, particularly those with a weakened immune system or people suffering from chronic disease.
According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, the risk of a more serious outcome is greater for Canadians who are:
- 65 years of age and over;
- suffering from immunodeficiency;
- subject to underlying medical conditions.
THE SYMPTOMS ARE AS FOLLOWS:
Fever • Cough • Trouble Breathing • Lost sense of smell
WHAT ARE THE COVID-19-RELATED CRITERIA?
In the 14 days prior to the appearance of the first symptom:
- You have been in close contact with someone who has a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19;
- You have been given instructions to remain in voluntary home isolation;
- You are experiencing the following symptoms:
- fever or chills;
- trouble breathing
- lost sense of smell
- You have been in close contact with a person experiencing symptoms or one who has recently travelled.
WHAT DOES “CLOSE CONTACT” MEAN?
A close contact is defined as having provided care or having had close physical contact with a person who has a confirmed or probable case of the disease while that person was ill.
IS THERE ANY TREATMENT?
There is no specific treatment or vaccine for COVID-19. Supportive treatment is available, however. The majority of people affected by COVID-19 recover on their own. There is research on treatments and vaccines currently being carried out, but it will take several months before they produce any results.
HOW IS COVID-19 BEING SPREAD?
COVID-19 usually infects the nose, throat and lungs. Most often, it is transmitted through:
- close contact with an infected individual when that person sneezes or coughs;
- hand contact on an infected surface followed by hand contact with the mouth, nose or eyes.
CAN COVID-19 SURVIVE ON SURFACES FOR LONG PERIODS?
COVID-19 may survive from a few hours to a few days depending on the type of surface and whether that surface is dry or damp.
WHAT ARE THE RECOGNIZED AND RECOMMENDED SANITARY MEASURES?
Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm running water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based disinfectant if soap and water are not available.
- All residents should avoid hugs, kisses, handshakes, etc.
- Observe hygienic measures when coughing or sneezing:
- Cover your mouth and nose with your arm to reduce the spread of germs.
- If you are using a paper tissue, throw it away as soon as possible and wash your hands afterwards
WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO ME IF I AM CONTAMINATED?
Depending on your condition and instructions from public health authorities, the residence’s personnel will implement the appropriate measures.
WHAT IS COVID-19’S INCUBATION PERIOD?
COVID-19’s incubation period is unknown. In compliance with the World Health Organization’s case definition of COVID-19, an exposure history based on the 14 previous days is currently recommended.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I BELIEVE THAT I HAVE SYMPTOMS?
Inform the residence’s nursing department without delay and measures will immediately be implemented to ensure your safety and that of others.
Public health authorities ask that anyone experiencing COVID-19-like symptoms speak to a nurse by calling 1-877-644-4545 for an assessment as to whether or not a screening test is required.
IS THE HOME’S NURSING STAFF TRAINED TO ACT IF SYMPTOMS APPEAR?
Our staff has received the required training and information. Depending on your state of health or on the instructions of public health authorities, you may be transferred to a hospital or a designated centre.
ACCORDING TO THE LATEST PUBLIC HEALTH AUTHORITY DIRECTIVE, MY TRIPS OUTSIDE THE HOME ARE FORBIDDEN. WHY?
Outside trips are supervised but not unconditionally forbidden. This measure has been implemented because of the high risk posed to seniors by the virus and it could create problems if it made its way into the residence.
If you must go out for a major reason such as dialysis or radiology treatments, you may do so. You will be asked, however, to sign a register to that effect at the front desk and to fill in a special exemption form. You will also be confined to your apartment for the 14 days following your trip outside.
WHAT IS THE MEANING OF SELF-ISOLATION AND ISOLATION OF CONTACTS?
When we ask someone to go into self-isolation, that person must remain in his or her apartment for an undefined period. The self-isolation measure will be lifted in compliance with instructions from public health authorities.
CAN VISITORS COME TO MY APARTMENT?
According to the recommendations of the Province of Quebec's public health authorities, it is forbidden to have visitors in your apartment. Only support workers from the CLSC-CIUSSS and residence staff are permitted to enter your apartment.
I HAVE A CAREGIVER WHO COMES TO MY APARTMENT. WILL THAT PERSON STILL BE ABLE TO COME?
The caregiver who provided services such as a bath may no longer enter, but the CLSC or the residence will take over these services. The public health Director has issued these instructions following the existence of community transmission of the virus in the region.
A PROTECTIVE ZONE HAS BEEN SET UP IN MY RETIREMENT HOME. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
The protective zone is designed to reduce the risk of having the virus enter the residence. Upon their arrival at the residence, all our employees, and those of the CLSC are required to enter that area to change into their work clothes or, in the case of CLSC personnel, into a medical blouse. All work clothes, uniforms, medical blouses and masks are washed inside the retirement home. Hand-washing is also required upon arrival (and throughout the day) as well as the need to sign in at the front desk register.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I HAVE MEDICATION DELIVERED?
Your medication will be delivered to the front desk and we will contact you so that you may come and pick it up. If you are unable to come to the front desk, we will bring it to you.
CAN I TAKE PART IN THE HOME’S ACTIVITIES?
Group activities are cancelled as they result in a closeness which goes against the Government’s recommendations requiring a three to six-foot distance (one to two metres) between individuals. The entertainment department will publish a list of activities that you can do in your apartment. Bus and car-sharing trips, as applicable, are cancelled.
WHY IS THE DINING ROOM NOT CLOSED?
The dining room remains an important place which allows us to leave our apartment and socialize while observing the distancing rules required by public health authorities. According to provincial regulations, dining rooms in retirement homes are not deemed to be restaurants, thereby allowing them to remain open. To do this, service hours and table arrangements must be reorganized. We are sensitive to your habits, but the exceptional circumstances which we are currently experiencing demand some flexibility from each and every one of us!
WHY IS THE DINING ROOM CLOSED IN SOME RESIDENCES?
Because the dining room’s size or layout does not allow us to observe the distancing required by public health authorities.
IF I NEED TO BUY GROCERIES, WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I CANNOT GO OUT?
You can place your order online with various food store chains. Here are a few sites:
If you need help, feel free to speak to our staff at the front desk.
I WOULD LIKE TO BE IN TOUCH WITH MY LOVED ONES, BUT I CANNOT GO OUT. HOW CAN I DO IT?
We can provide you with iPad electronic tablets which you can use to stay in touch with your loved ones. If you wish to use one, please speak to our front desk staff who will be pleased to assist you.