• Coronavirus Advice Dr Seiden

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2019 Novel Coronavirus

 

My interpretation of the March 30, 2020 release from The Ontario Ministry of Health is:

It is recommended that all non-essential people stay home except for essential reasons such as to:

  • access health care services
  • shop for groceries
  • pick-up medication at the pharmacy
  • walk pets when required; and
  • support vulnerable community members with meeting the above needs.

 

It is STRONGLY recommended that all individuals over 70 years of age regardless of other risk factors, people with compromised immune systems and/or all people with chronic health conditions such as lung, heart disease and complicated diabetes, SELF-ISOLATE. This self-isolation should continue until further notice.

I suggest you do not fly, take a cruise or travel on any form of public transit unless it is justifiably necessary.

All people returning from travel must also self-isolate for 14 days after return.

 

Self isolation is a SERIOUS obligation. It means:

  • do not use public transportation, taxis or rideshares
  • do not go to work, school or other public places, and forget about the 5-person “gathering” rule. For you, if you don’t live with them, don’t meet with them.
  • stay in a separate room away from other people in your home as much as possible and use a separate bathroom, if you have one.
  • make sure that shared rooms have good airflow (for example, open windows)
  • if you are in a room with other people, keep a distance of at least two metres and wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth
  • if you cannot wear a mask, people who are in the same room as you should wear a mask themselves
  • wear a mask if you must leave your house to see a health care provider
  • wear a mask when you are within two metres of other people
  • wash your hands often with soap and water
  • dry your hands with a paper towel, or with your own cloth towel that no one else shares
  • use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available

 

If you are providing care to someone diagnosed with COVID-19:

  • wash your hands with soap and water after each contact with the infected person
  • use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available
  • take the gloves and mask off right after you provide care and dispose of them in a wastebasket lined with a plastic bag
  • take off the gloves first and clean your hands with soap and water before taking off your mask.
  • all waste can go into regular garbage bins
  • when emptying wastebaskets, take care to not touch used tissues with your hands. Lining the wastebasket with a plastic bag makes waste disposal easier and safer.
  • clean your hands with soap and water after emptying the wastebasket
  • clean your hands again with soap and water before touching your face or doing anything else
  • only have visitors who you must see and keep the visits short. The isolated person should not be seeing anyone unless necessary.
  • keep seniors and people with chronic medical conditions (for example, diabetes, lung problems, and immune deficiency) away from the infected person or, even better, out of your home.
  • do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding or other items with the person under investigation
  • after use, these items should be washed with soap or detergent in warm water. No special soap is needed.
  • dishwashers and washing machines can be used
  • do not share cigarettes
  • clean your home with regular household cleaners
  • clean regularly touched items such as toilets, sink tap handles, doorknobs and bedside tables on at least a daily basis
  • there is no need to separate the laundry, but you should wear gloves when handling

 

Seiden Health Management Inc. and Canadian Benefits Limited strongly support these recommendations. We have all our staff working exclusively from home aside from a few necessary members, who are occasionally required on site. We advised all staff not to use public transportation in general and not to use it if they are required to come to the office. We have put on hold all Civil Aviation Medical examinations. We are only providing Independent Medical Examinations when both the person being examined and the assessor agree that the examination is necessary, and that appropriate screening is done the night before and the day of the assessment. Our assessment area is large, well ventilated and seating is at least 2 meters apart. We do not permit people accompanying the person being assessed to remain in our waiting area. We are conducting paper review assessments and currently gearing up to perform virtual assessments particularly for people with mental or behavioral impairment.

We are providing advice to all our clients, insurance, legal, corporate, manufacturing and others on management of COVID-19. This includes timely discussion of approving self-isolation claims. Some people are making claims that have no support from Public Health or government policies.

I will keep you up to date on a weekly basis and with breaking news. If you have any specific questions, please email: info@seidenhealth.com

 

Howard Seiden MD, MSc, FCFP, FIAIME
President, Seiden Health
Adjunct Professor
Department of Family & Community Medicine
Faculty of Medicine,
University of Toronto