WDMH emphasizes ‘we are ready’ for novel coronavirus; measures include surgical masks for coughing patients, asking visitors with respiratory symptoms to stay away

WINCHESTER — In light of the international public health emergency, Winchester District Memorial Hospital says it has a message about the novel coronavirus for the communities it serves: We are ready.

And the measures at WDMH now include “encouraging” any patients with a cough or shortness of breath and fever to wear a surgical mask and wash their hands. In addition, family and friends who are sick or have symptoms of a respiratory virus are asked not to visit patients in the hospital.

Patients coming the hospital’s emergency department are also being screened for travel history, and signage is in place to reinforce the procedures.

In a press release from the “WDMH team,” the institution emphasizes, “As always, we are following stringent screening processes to help limit the spread of infectious diseases. This includes the emerging novel coronavirus.”

WDMH is receiving regular updates from the Eastern Ontario Health Unit and the Ministry of Health, and the institution says updated information will be released through its website and Facebook page.

Meanwhile, the Canadian government has announced that Canadians evacuated from the hard-hit Chinese city of Wuhan will be quarantined at CFB Trenton for 14 days.

Four cases of the Sars-like virus have been reported in Canada so far. Most cases to date have been in China. Global media sources now put the number of infected at over 20,000, with at least 427 dead, two of those outside mainland China. The fatality rate — a percentage in the low single digits — appears to be similar to the flu.



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