Update on Coronavirus/COVID-19

March 11, 2020

 

To Our Valued Clients, Stakeholders & Volunteers:
 
Parkinson Association of Alberta is keeping a vigilant eye on the evolving COVID-19 situation. As it stands, we are "business as usual" and we continue to implement preventive measures in line with Alberta Health Services, Alberta Health and the Public Health Agency of Canada. Should the situation change we will inform you via e-blast and our website. Of course, you can always give us (or one of our program partners) a call to find out if your support group or program has been cancelled.
 
We want to stress that the current public health risk in Alberta is low; however, we do know that seniors can be some of the most vulnerable when it comes to a variety of illnesses. And, since many people with Parkinson disease (PD) are seniors, we want to make sure we share the knowledge and tools to keep everyone healthy and prepared as possible!
 
For up-to-date information please check the following official websites:
 
 
 

 

About Coronavirus & COVID-19

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that include diseases ranging from the common cold and influenza (flu) to more severe diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a new disease (novel) that had not been previously identified in humans.
 
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. It is most commonly spread from an infected person through:
 
  • respiratory droplets that are spread when you cough or sneeze
  • close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands, with someone who is ill with COVID-19
  • touching a surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands
 

What are the Risks?

It is important to note that both the Public Health Agency of Canada and Alberta Health have stated that the public health risk associated with COVID-19 is LOW at this time. The situation is being closely monitored and the risk level will be updated accordingly as required.
 
There is an increased risk for Canadians:
  • aged 65 and over
  • with compromised immune systems
  • with underlying medical conditions (such as lung diseases, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes)
 
As well, the risk for COVID-19 may be increased for certain settings such as:
  • cruise ships
  • heavily affected areas
  • international conferences and other large gatherings in enclosed spaces
  • and, in general, viruses (as a whole) may spread faster in residential facilities, community housing and assisted living/long-term care centers
 

Prevent & Prepare

PREVENT

To help protect yourself and others against coronaviruses, including flu and COVID-19, you should:
  • Wash your hands often and well
    - with soap and water (hot or cold) for a minimum of 20 seconds (two rounds of Happy Birthday
    or CLICK HERE for some other musical options)
    - Hand sanitizer is an option if no soap and water are available
 
  • Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
 
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
    - with the inside of your elbow or a tissue (be sure to throw out the tissue and wash your hands)
 
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched
    - with regular household cleaners
    - don't forget to include your cellphone in your list of surfaces
 
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick/infected
 
  • Stay at home and avoid direct contact with others (self-quarantine) if you are feeling ill
 
  • If you are sick, wearing a mask helps prevent YOU from passing the illness on to other people
    - If you are healthy, masks are not recommended as they don't provide full protection and can create a false sense of security.
 
  • All travellers returning from outside Canada should monitor their health for 14 days and consider limiting attendance at any large public gatherings
    - If you develop symptoms, self-isolate and call HealthLink 811

  • Alberta's Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, in today's (2020-03-11) update made the following recommendation
    - "that anyone over the age of 65 and those with chronic health conditions not travel outside of Canada as the global risk is increasing rapidly and it is difficult to predict which travel destinations may put people at risk."

BE PARKINSON'S PREPARED

  • Check all your medications. Take inventory of all medications and reorder any that are running low.
 
  • Prepare/update your Aware in Care Kit in the event you need to educate a health care professional about your PD needs.
 
  • Be sure to include:
  • Your medication list - a list of all your medications (not just PD medications). Include medication name, strength, times taken and dosages.
  • A list of your doctors and their contact information.
 
  • Don't have a Kit yet? Find out more or get yours HERE.
 

Think You Might Have COVID-19?  Here's What to Do...

If you have symptoms such as fever, cough and difficulty breathing and have travelled outside Canada or have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19, stay home and call HealthLink 811 (dial 8-1-1).
 
Do not go to a physician’s office, emergency room, lab or other health care facility without consulting with HealthLink 811 first.
 
**Please note that though wait times are currently long, this is the BEST way to receive assessment and follow-up testing as needed.**
 
Call 911 if you are seriously ill and need immediate medical attention and inform them that you may have COVID-19.
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