Medical officer of health urges hair salons, tattoo parlours to close doors, those over 70 to “self-isolate”

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Renfrew County’s acting medical officer of health, Dr. Robert Cushman, is “strongly recommending” that services like hair salons and tattoo parlours shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic, and that those over 70 take steps to “self-isolate.”

The Renfrew County and District Health Unit issued a corrected statement Thursday afternoon noting that such businesses were not included in the list of premises legally required to close under the province’s state of emergency declaration Tuesday.

The list of premises ordered closed by Ontario’s Ministry of Health include:

  • facilities providing indoor recreational programs
  • public libraries
  • private schools
  • licenced childcare centres
  • bars and restaurants except to the extent that such facilities provide takeout food and delivery
  • theatres including those offering live performances of music, dance, and other art forms, as well as cinemas that show movies
  • concert venues.

In addition to those closures, the health unit noted that Dr. Cushman is “strongly recommending that the following premises be included to best protect the public and ensure social distancing:

  • personal service settings (hair salons, esthetician, tattoo studios and tanning salons etc.)
  • hotel pools and spas
  • unlicensed childcare centres.

“RCDHU expects the province to add the above recommended facilities to the list of closures imminently, and our advice is that it is best to be cautious in the meantime.”

In regards to social gatherings,  the health unit is recommending that:

  • individuals should stay home, unless it is necessary to leave their home
  • any social gathering, activity or event that exceeds 10 people be cancelled or postponed including family gatherings.

According to the government of Canada, all international travellers who are returning to Canada:

  • Self-isolate for 14 days.
  • Monitor your health for fever or cough.
  • Contact RCDHU within 24 hours of arriving in Canada and provide your contact information if you have returned from Italy, Iran, or Hubei province (China).

Additionally, RCDHU recommends that:

  • EVERYONE self-monitor for symptoms, regardless of travel or contact with infected individual(s). If you develop symptoms, immediately self-isolate, then contact your primary care provider or RCDHU at 613-735-8654 extension 577 or Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000.
  • Any individual over the age of 70 years, self-isolate.

RCDHU recommends following social distancing measures such as:

  • Avoiding all international travel especially travel to the United States of America.
  • Maintaining a two-metre distance between yourself and others.
  • Any gatherings over 10 individuals be cancelled or postponed.

RCDHU also recommends the following measures to reduce the spread of germs including the novel coronavirus (COVID-19):

  • Clean your hands frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then clean your hands.
  • If you don’t have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve and then clean your hands.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, unless you have just cleaned your hands.
  • If you are ill, stay home.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • Get your flu shot.
  • Avoid crowded areas/events with more than 10 people.
  • Avoid visiting family/friends who live in long-term care and/or retirement homes.

In order to better respond to concerns regarding COVID-19, RCDHU has extended its call hours and is taking calls 7-days a week; 8 am to 7 pm. “We ask you to be patient as RCDHU is experiencing high call volumes.”

“RCDHU continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation daily and there are currently no confirmed cases in Renfrew County and District as of March 18, 2020 at 2:26 pm.”

For more information, visit the health unit website at www.rcdhu.com