March 13, 2020
Dear students of our centre,
I’m sure by now a lot of you have been quite nervous and worried about what is happening with the outbreak of the Coronavirus officially known as COVID-19.
Here at the centre, I want you to know that we have been working very hard to plan for all scenarios on how to keep you and your family safe while still offering you essential services as you need them.
As you know the local school board: District School Board of Niagara has sent out a memo that all publically funded schools in Ontario will be closed from March 16-April 5, 2020 in an abundance of caution to stay safe. As such our Centre will follow suit and our ESL classes will also be cancelled until April 5th, 2020 along with our Child Care Centre for all ages as well.
The remainder of the centre: the welcome centre, our settlement department, community connections youth program and senior services, as well as mental health, are still open for now along with our satellite locations in Welland and Niagara Falls.
As the situation is rapidly changing around the globe, we will be monitoring and following the directions of the medical officer of health in Niagara along with senior leadership from the municipality the region as well as the federal government and we ask you to keep monitoring our social media sites for further updates as we will be posting them should there be further updates or closures about programming at our centres.
As you stay home in the next three weeks with your families, please remember that your health and well-being, as well as the well being of all residents in Niagara, is very important and as such you really should be avoiding large gatherings and stay at home as much as possible until we have further developments on this pandemic.
I want to assure you that in Canada and in Niagara and at our centre, your health is our top priority and we continue to work with our provincial and federal health partners in response to this new virus, and you also need to do your part to stay safe healthy and prevent the virus from spreading further.
Recommendations for Travellers in the next few weeks:
If any students and families may be travelling overseas in the upcoming weeks, the following advice is provided to minimize risk to your students and staff. As this is an evolving situation, we continue to remind staff and parents/caregivers of the importance of using credible sources to stay informed. We continue to update our website frequently as new information is
confirmed. Please visit niagarahealth.ca
List of countries impacted by COVID-19
The risk of infection from this virus continues to be low in Niagara unless you are travelling to an impacted country. Currently, impacted countries include China, Iran, South Korea, Italy, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore. To keep up to date with the evolving list of impacted countries, refer to the Government of
Canada COVID-19 Affected Areas List (www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/health-professionals/covid-19-affected- areas-list.html).
Recommendations for travellers from Hubei Province
If a student or staff member has travelled to Hubei Province in the last 14 days:
1. Self-isolate and stay at home.
2. Limit your contact with others for a total of 14 days from the date that you left Hubei Province.
3. Contact Public Health (PH) within 24 hours of arriving in Canada at 1-888-505-6074 or 905-688-8248 ext. 7330
Recommendations for travellers from other impacted countries
(Impacted countries are listed on the Government of Canada COVID-19 Affected Areas List www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/health-professionals/covid- 19-affected-areas-list.html)
If you have travelled from any other countries impacted by COVID-19 in the last 14 days:
● Monitor yourself for respiratory symptoms including fever, new cough and difficulty breathing
● Should these respiratory symptoms develop within 14 days after leaving an impacted country, contact your health care professional or Public Health immediately
● Inform your health care professional or call Public Health about your symptoms and travel history before seeking medical care so we can discuss the most appropriate transportation options and site for testing
● Do not go to work, school, or other public areas for 14 days
● Separate yourself from others
● Sleep in a separate room
● Have a bathroom in your home dedicated to only you (if possible)
● To maintain a distance of two metres from other people
● No visitors
● Clean your hands often
● Do not use public transportation, ride-sharing companies or taxis
● If you need to go out for any reason, inform Public Health and they will provide you with detailed instructions to follow
For further information, please go to niagararegion.ca/health or contact NRPH&ES Infectious Disease program at 1-888-505-6074 or 905-688-8248 ext. 7330 Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m