Northwestern Health Unit (NWHU) urges the public to get tested for COVID-19 if they have any symptom of the virus. Some people infected with COVID-19 may show very mild symptoms that go away quickly, however, they can still spread the virus to others. NWHU reminds the public that anyone with a symptom (even if mild) should assume they have COVID-19, self-isolate immediately, get tested, and remain in isolation until their test results are known. Getting tested as soon as symptoms develop is important as it allows close contacts to be isolated before they become infectious, which reduces the chance of spreading the illness to others.
The importance of self-isolating when symptoms appear is critical to stopping the spread. “Some people who test positive have very mild symptoms that resolve quickly, however without self-isolating, they can spread the virus to others, some of whom may become seriously ill,” says Dr. Kit Young Hoon, Medical Officer of Health at NWHU.
As school resumes in person across the region on Monday, parents are reminded to do their part to keep schools safe and open. NWHU asks that parents reinforce the importance of public health measures with their children, including encouraging mask use, hand hygiene and physical distancing. Students should not attend school for 10 days if they have a COVID-19 symptom, failed the school screening tool, and did not get tested. “We may still have infections circulating in our communities that occurred over the holiday break. If any household members are sick, it is important that they self-isolate and get tested right away to prevent spreading the illness to others,” says Dr. Young Hoon.
NWHU asks that all parents screen their children every day before school using the student screening tool found on the Province of Ontario’s website.
Anyone with questions about how to get tested is asked to call their local assessment centre. For other COVID-19 information, call NWHU’s COVID-19 hotline at 1-866-468-2240 or visit their website at www.nwhu.on.ca/covid19.