Government of New Brunswick Prevention Measures for COVID-19

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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.

  • 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

 

How can I Protect Myself from COVID-19?

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.

 

Should We Wear Masks?

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.

 

Are Homemade Cloth/Non-Surgical Masks Safe?

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.