COVID-19: what you need to know

Please note: the most recent update to this post is June 12th, 2020.

 

We’re receiving daily updates from the Ministry of Health, and are following their guidelines to help prevent the spread of Novel Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.

This means there have been some changes to our services and programs: we’ve moved most of our services to virtual care, suspended our sexual health drop-in clinic on Saturdays until further notice, and cancelled all workshops moving forward. To make an appointment via telemedicine or virtual care, give us a call at 416-961-0113.

So what do you need to know about it, and how can you prevent the spread of it?

what is coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a big family of different viruses that can make you sick. They can show up in the form a cold or flu, but can also cause more serious respiratory infections like bronchitis, pneumonia or severe acute respiratory syndrome. Symptoms can involve a fever, a cough or sore throat, and difficulty breathing.

You can find more info and answers to frequently asked questions at www.virusfacts.ca.

what if I’ve recently traveled?

If you’ve recently traveled internationally, you should pay special attention to how you’re feeling for the next couple weeks. If you start to feel sick, you should call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000) and Toronto Public Health at 416-338-7660 (or your local public health unit) and let them know your symptoms and travel history.

To find more information on the recent non-essential travel advisory, please click here: https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/health-safety/travel-health-notices 

what can I do to protect myself?

COVID-19 is mainly spread from one person to another through close contact.

There are everyday actions and generally healthy habits you can make sure you’re following to help protect you and the people around you from getting sick. Now is a good time for physical distancing (some people also call this social distancing) and self isolation. Here’s a few helpful things you can do to try and stay healthy:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • If you have to sneeze or cough, you can do it into your sleeve or a tissue
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
  • Try to avoid contact with people who are sick
  • If you’re feeling sick, stay at home!
  • Keep at least 6 feet (or 2 metres) between yourself and other people when out in public
  • Wear a mask if you leave home or cannot leave space between yourself and other people

Below are some tips on self-isolation:

Trouble viewing this? Find it as a PDF in our “helpful links and factsheets” section below.

what if I’m already feeling sick?

Like having the flu or any other common respiratory infections, your symptoms can range from mild to severe.  These symptoms can include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing

There aren’t specific treatments for coronavirus, and there’s no vaccine that protects against it. It’s important to remember that most people with common human coronavirus illnesses will recover on their own.

But if you are feeling unwell, you should get medical advice from a healthcare professional: call your doctor, Telehealth OntarioToronto Public Health (or your local public health department) and let them know the situation. Tell them if you’ve traveled recently, what your symptoms are, etc.

If your healthcare provider advises you head to a COVID-19 testing centre, a few have been set up in Toronto and the GTA:

etobicoke general hospital drive-thru

Humber Queen’s Plate Parking
2 Janda Ct. 
Hours: 7 days/week; 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Age Restrictions: No children under the age of 2 years

humber river hospital 

Reactivation Care Centre, Finch Site
2111 Finch Ave. W.
Hours: 7 days/week; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Telephone: 416-747-6740
Age Restrictions: None

michael garron hospital

COVID-19 Assessment Centre
(Outpatient clinic location in D-Wing on 1st Floor)
By appointment only, accessed from Mortimer Ave.
416-469-6858
7 days/week, 8am to 8pm
Emergency Dept is dedicated assessment zone
7 days/week; 24 hours 
Age restrictions: none 
Michael Garron Hospital website 

mount sinai hospital

600 University Avenue, Ground Floor
Monday to Friday, 8am to 12pm
Age restrictions: none
Sinai Health website

north york general hospital

4001 Leslie Street (enter through Emergency Department)
Toronto ON M2K 1E1
7 days a week; 24 hours 
T: (416) 756-6000
Age restrictions: none 
North York General Hospital website

NYGH Branson Site 
555 Finch Ave. W. (North entrance immediately off Finch)
7 days/week; 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. 
Age restrictions: None 
North York General Hospital website

scarborough health network

Birchmount Hospital
3030 Birchmount Rd.
Scarborough, ON M1W 3W3
416-495-2601
Age Restriction: No children under the age of 1 year
Use South Entrance, pre-register:
Scarborough Health Network Birchmount Hospital COVID-19 Assessment Centre website

Centenary Hospital
2867 Ellesmere Road
Scarborough, ON 
416-495-2601
Age Restriction: No children under the age of 1 year 
Scarborough Health Network COVID-19 Assessment Centre website

sunnybrook health sciences centre 

U Ground Level 
2075 Bayview Avenue 
Monday-Friday 12 to 7:30pm
Saturday and Sunday, 12 to 5pm
Age restrictions: no children under the age of 16
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre COVID-19 website

uhn toronto western hospital

347 Bathurst Street 
Northeast corner of Bathurst and Dundas
7 days/week; 12pm to 8pm (last patient accepted at 7:30pm)
Age restrictions: no children under the age of 1 year
University Health Network website

unity-st.joseph’s health centre

Sunnyside Building, Main Floor East
30 The Queensway
Entrance off Sunnyside Avenue 
7 days/week, 8am to 8 pm
Age restrictions: no children under the age of 1 year
Unity-St. Joseph’s Hospital website

unity-st. michael’s hospital

Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute
38 Shuter Street
Enter from Shuter St. entrance on east side of building
Monday to Friday; 8:30am to 6 pm
Weekends and Holidays; 12 to 6 pm
Age restrictions: no children under the age of 6 months
Unity-St. Michael’s Hospital website 

women’s college hospital

76 Grenville Street
Toronto, ON M5S 1B2
Use North East entrance on Grosvenor St.
7 days/week; 9am-5pm
T: (416) 323-6400
Age restrictions: no children under the age of 2 years
Women’s College Hospital website


Drink plenty of fluids; hydration is your friend. 
Other than that, here are a few things you can do:

  • Get lots of rest. This is a good time to binge a new show or do some journaling, and sleep as much as possible.
  • To help with a cough or sore throat you can use a humidifier if you have one, or take a hot shower.
  • Stay at home  physical distancing or self-isolating are both good ways to make sure you don’t get anyone else sick.

But if you need immediate medical attention, you should call 911 and be sure to mention your symptoms and travel history.

Do you think you may have symptoms of COVID-19? Our clinician team recommends using these self-assessment tools to help you decide what your next steps are:

If you live in Toronto/the GTA, click here: https://covid19toronto.ca/ (depending on your postal code, you may be referred to another self-assesment tool. Don’t worry! This is just to help you find the closest testing centre to you).

If you live outside of the GTA and in Ontario, click here: www.covid-19.ontario.ca/self-assessment

The Ontario Ministry of Health and Public Health Ontario have put out these additional tools to help people self-monitor:

 

what is social distancing?

A lot of people are talking about social or physical distancing: the idea is to limit close contact (approximately 6 feet) with other people in your community by leaving at least about 6 feet between you. It’s a big part of slowing the spread of the virus and “flattening the curve” which really just means a longer, slower rise in the number of cases. Find more info here: Ontario Medical Association – Social Distancing factsheet

can i still have sex?

The folks at NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene put together an amazing resource on Sex & Coronavirus, and we wanted to share it with you. Head to our Instagram or click the link to check out some tips on how to enjoy sex and avoid spreading COVID-19: on.nyc.gov/2WFoK5H

helpful links and factsheets

The awesome folks on our mental health team rounded up this list of resources to help people deal with COVID-19 related stress and anxiety: www.ppt.on.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/covid19-resources-mar-30.pdf

We can’t fully endorse these services, but have assembled them in one document for easy browsing. We believe that you know you best: we recommend using your intuition to decided what resources meet your needs right now! We also recommend reaching out to agencies individually for more up-to-date info and to find out what’s still available as the situation around COVID-19 evolves.

 

Click here to download the Ontario Ministry of Health Risk Levels and Precautions Chart as a PDF

Click here to download Public Health Ontario’s COVID: How to Self-Monitor instructions as a PDF

Click here to download Public Health Ontario’s factsheet-covid-19-how-to-self-isolate as a PDF

Click here to download Toronto Public Health’s Guide to Toronto Public Health’s Guide to HandWashing as a PDF

 

where do I find updates on COVID-19 in Ontario?

For more information and to stay up to date on COVID-19 in Ontario, please visit: www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus/ 

a message from the health services team and staff at PPT:

We want our clients to know that we are aware the pandemic is having an effect on their desire to seek care because of concerns around virus transmission. We’re also worried about the negative health effects, both short term and long term, for clients and our health care system that will come from deferring or cancelling important medical visits.

We want to reiterate that PPT is open for our regular hours (with the exception of Saturday drop-in) and we are offering the majority of our usual services by either phone or video visit.

After a phone or video visit with one of our clinicians, if in-person visit is deemed necessary, we want to assure clients that we have protocols in place to ensure both client and staff safety for face-to-face encounters. As soon as we’re able to be back up and running, offering our full services, we will be!