The City of Airdrie is providing information to residents concerned about the local impacts of COVID-19, an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus which has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO).
"The overall risk of exposure to people in Alberta (including Airdrie) is considered low at this time," reads the City's website. "We are actively monitoring the situation and continuing to prepare for the potential that the risk in our area will change.
"The City’s top priority is the health, safety and well-being of the public and our employees. Our focus is to maintain the essential services that our residents rely on."
If you’re feeling unwell or have travelled recently
• If you start experiencing a fever or cough, even if it is mild, please self-isolate immediately and call 8-1-1.
• Do not go to an emergency department, urgent care centre, or family doctor’s office for this assessment and testing.
• Health Link officials at 8-1-1 will arrange testing.
• Limit attendance at large public gatherings
These steps are especially important if you have recently travelled outside of Canada, the City added. If you are returning or visiting from a trip outside of the country, you are asked to remain at home and closely monitor your health for 14 days. If you begin to experience flu-like symptoms, please call 8-1-1.
Preventing the spread of illness
To help protect you and your family against all respiratory illnesses, including flu and COVID-19:
• Stay home if feeling sick, as with standard health practices in flu season.
• Wash your hands frequently with soap and water – and make sure they are washed well for at least 20 seconds.
• Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched.
• Cover your mouth and nose with your arm to reduce the spread of germs when coughing or sneezing.
• Dispose of any tissues you have used as soon as possible and wash your hands immediately.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with your hands.
• Avoid close contact (within two metres) with people who are ill.
• Avoid situations where you are in close contact with people who may be ill or where transmission is most likely.
• Do not visit seniors centres or health care facilities if you are feeling ill.
• Call 8-1-1 and self-isolate at home if you have travelled outside Canada in the last two weeks and have flu-like symptoms. Do not go to your health care provider; call 8-1-1 to arrange testing.
Things you can do to prepare
The City recommends residents keep themselves informed from credible sources of information, such as the Province of Alberta, Alberta Health, Health Canada and the World Health Organization. Residents can also sign up for emergency alerts from the municipality through MYAIRDRIE.
Alberta public health officials recommend the following ways to prepare:
- Create a household plan of action.
- Meet with family members, friends, neighbours and co-workers to discuss what to do if a COVID-19 outbreak occurs in Airdrie and how you can support each other.
- Plan ways to care for those who might be at greater risk for serious complications. This includes practical steps like ensuring you have sufficient medication and determining what supplies are needed, and if they can be delivered.
- Create a list of local organizations that you and your household can contact in the event you need access to information, health care services, support and resources.
- Create an emergency contact list.
Practice good personal health habits and plan for home-based actions:
- Choose a room in your home that can be used to separate sick household members from those who are healthy. Identify a separate bathroom for the sick person to use, if possible. Plan to clean these rooms, as needed, when someone is sick.
- Be prepared if your child’s school or childcare facility is temporarily dismissed.
- Plan for potential changes at your workplace.
- Learn about your employer’s emergency operations plan.
- Ask about what sick-leave policies and telework options are available if needed.
Stockpiling of goods is not recommended at this time, the City noted.
"While it’s always best practice to have three days worth of supplies on-hand, people should avoid purchasing food and other materials in bulk due to the impact on suppliers and people who have day-to-day needs," the website states.
Information will be updated on the City's website as it is made available.
Public health is the mandate of Alberta Health Services and the Province of Alberta. Visit alberta.ca for the most up to date info.