What is COVID-19
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease that, in most cases, will cause mild to moderate respiratory illness for any person at any age. However, it can cause serious health concerns for people with underlying medical conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, or cancer.
In late November, 2021, the WHO designated Omicron (variant B.1.1.529) a worldwide concern, declaring it a “Variant of Concern” due to being significantly more contagious. Omicron has several mutations.
How is it spread?
COVID-19 spreads by way of liquid particles from an infected person’s mouth or nose, most commonly due to coughing, sneezing, speaking, singing, or breathing.
The WHO recommends that people:
- Practice social physical distancing from remaining of about at least one metre apart from one another, whenever possible.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and/or by using alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Wear a mask in public and when social wherever physical distancing is not possible.
- Cover your mouth and nose when you cough and/or sneeze.
- Self-isolate if you develop any COVID-19 symptoms appear or test positive.a positive test is confirmed
- Get vaccinated and receive necessary boosters, when eligible.
Symptoms show very similarly to that of a common cold or flu and, but they also range in severity. Some people with COVID-19 develop little to no symptoms, while others require hospitalization. Some may even die.
On average, symptoms appear within five to six days of exposure to COVID-19, but symptoms can take up to 14 days to appear after exposure and can be transmitted if someone is not showing symptoms. Symptoms include:
- Loss of taste or smell.
- Sore throat.
- Aches and pains.
- Discolouration or a rash on fingers or toes
- Red, irritated eyes.
- Loss of speech or mobility.
- Chest pain.
- Difficulty breathing.
- Pneumonia in both lungs
Each province has its own self-assessment screening tool regarding symptoms for of COVID-19 (see below). If you are unsure if you may have COVID-19, stay home and call your local health unit/network for further instructions..
If you become ill
If you are showing symptoms of COVID-19, stay home for 14 days to avoid spreading it to others. If you live with others, isolate yourself in a separate room, if possible, ,or stay 2 metres (6 feet) away.
Call your doctor or you local health authority to inform them of your symptoms. Follow their instructions.
Coronavirus infections are diagnosed by a health care provider based on symptoms and are confirmed through lab tests.
If you have symptoms that may be COVID-19, have been diagnosed with COVID-19, or are waiting for test results, you need to:
- Stay home until the local public health authority says you are no longer at risk of spreading the virus.
- Practice social physical distancing and self-isolation in order to stay away from others and reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
If your symptoms get worse, immediately contact your healthcare provider or Public Health Authority and follow their instructions.
If you have no symptoms but may have been exposed to COVID-19:
- Stay at home.
- Monitor yourself for symptoms, even if mild, for 14 days.
- Stay away from others.
- Wear a mask.
Going outside is permitted for exercise: fresh air, a walk or run, a bike ride, or to walk a dog, as long as social physical -distancing of at least 2 metres (6 feet) from others remains in effect.
You may be exposed if you:
- Traveled outside of Canada recently.
- Have Been in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19.
Need someone to talk to during the COVID-19 pandemic?
NWAC has three in-house Elders available during this time of crisis, offering support and helping to build resiliency.
Toll Free: 888-664-7808
Additional Counseling Services