Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Symptoms of COVID-19, which is the disease caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus, range from mild — like the flu and other common respiratory infections — to severe.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • fever (feeling hot to the touch, a temperature of 37.8 degrees Celsius or higher)
  • chills
  • cough that’s new or worsening (continuous, more than usual)
  • barking cough, making a whistling noise when breathing (croup)
  • shortness of breath (out of breath, unable to breathe deeply)
  • sore throat
  • difficulty swallowing
  • runny, stuffy or congested nose (not related to seasonal allergies or other known causes or conditions)
  • lost sense of taste or smell
  • pink eye (conjunctivitis)
  • headache that’s unusual or long lasting
  • digestive issues (nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain)
  • muscle aches
  • extreme tiredness that is unusual (fatigue, lack of energy)
  • falling down often
  • for young children and infants: sluggishness or lack of appetite

How can I protect myself?

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

Close physical contact means:

  • being less than 2 metres away in the same room, workspace, or area
  • living in the same home

Everyday Infection prevention activities:

  • wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • sneeze and cough into your sleeve
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
  • avoid contact with people who are sick
  • stay home and self-isolate if you are sick
  • wear a mask when exposed to people you do not live with in situations where you are unable to practice physical distancing (2 metres). In many regions masking is mandatory in all indoor public spaces.
  • frequently clean high-touch surfaces
  • stay home as much as possible

What steps are Middlesex Hospital Alliance taking to keep patients, visitors and staff safe?

MHA has coordinated prevention activities to align with recommendations from Public Health Ontario, Ontario Ministry of Health, Ontario Health and Regional Pandemic Advisory Boards. These include;

  • Controlled entry points and perimeter screening to assess for the presence of COVID-19 symptoms and identified exposure risks for everyone who enters our facilities.
  • Increased hand hygiene stations
  • Adoption of masking/facial covering policy
  • Placement of physical barriers, e.g. PlexiglasTM , stanchions
  • Enhanced signage to promote hand hygiene, masking, and physical distancing
  • Incorporated alternative ways to provide care in a safe manner, e.g. virtual or remote appointments
  • Updated visitor policies
  • Adhered to a slow and measured resumption of services

Preparing for your Surgery

Ensuring the safety of our patients and staff is a top priority. We recognize the added stress of the COVID-19 Pandemic may have you feeling more anxious about your upcoming surgery or procedure.

Please be assured that our routine diligent infection prevention measures are still in place as well as additional pandemic measures in accordance with recommendations to hospitals by the Ontario Ministry of Health.

Please refer to Patient Information for Elective Surgery

Pre-admission/pre-anaesthesiology appointments

Some patients may require additional assessment. Be assured, this does not mean your surgery will not take place. It’s recognized that patients who have infection at the time of their surgery are at greater risk of developing complications during their health care journey. You may be require an in-person or remote assessment by our pre-admission nursing staff or anaesthesiology physicians. Your safety is very important to us. Please provide us with thorough and accurate in

Self-Isolation

It is recommended that patients adopt a period of self-isolation prior to their surgical procedure to prevent exposure to the virus. Ideally, your period of self-isolation should last for 14 days prior to your surgical procedure.

Please refer to Public Health Ontario Fact Sheet on Self-Isolation formation.

You will be notified by your physician’s office or hospital staff if testing for COVID-19 is required prior to your surgical procedure. Please arrange testing through a COVID-19 Assessment Centre.

Preparing for your outpatient visit

Although outpatient services are returning, restrictions to the number of people in areas of the hospital is limited. Please help us all stay safe.

  • If you are able to come to your appointment unattended, please do so. One support person is permitted for the following reasons;
    • To assist with a physical or cognitive impairment
    • If they are a parent/guardian accompanying a minor
    • If they are a designated driver for an appointment in which the patient is receiving sedation or medication in which operating a vehicle is not recommended
    • If they are supporting a person for a scheduled elective surgical procedure
  • Exceptions must be requested and will be assessed on a case by case basis in consultation with your health care provider prior to the day of your appointment.
  • Please ensure you arrive for your appointment at the time provided. If you are early, you may be asked to wait before you are able to enter the facility.
  • On arrival, you (and your support person) will be asked questions about symptoms you may be experiencing or exposures to the virus you may have had. These questions may be asked at multiple points during your visit.
  • Everyone must perform hand hygiene when entering and prior to exiting the facility
  • Facial protection that adequately covers the nose and mouth is required by everyone entering the building. If you choose not to wear facial protection, your elective outpatient appointment will be rescheduled or cancelled.
  • Waiting room space is limited due to physical distancing requirements. If you are a support person meeting the requirements above, waiting space will be provided. Additional persons may be requested to find an alternative waiting location external to the hospital building.
  • Follow signs and practice physical distancing

Visitors

Our visitor policies are evolving. Please refer to our website for up to date information. https://www.mhalliance.on.ca/patients-and-visitors/visiting/

Entry Points

Refer to information in floating green banner at top of page.

Helpful Resources

Middlesex-London Health Unit:   https://www.healthunit.com/novel-coronavirus

Public Health Ontario:   https://www.publichealthontario.ca/en/diseases-and-conditions/infectious-diseases/respiratory-diseases/novel-coronavirus/

Ontario Ministry of Health  https://covid-19.ontario.ca/

How to self-isolate: https://www.publichealthontario.ca/-/media/documents/ncov/factsheet-covid-19-how-to-self-isolate.pdf

Take a self-assessment:  https://covid-19.ontario.ca/self-assessment/

Find an assessment centre:  https://covid-19.ontario.ca/assessment-centre-locations/