Novel Coronavirus Update – Toronto Public Health Update

04 Feb

February 3, 2020

Dear School Community Members:

Re: Novel Coronavirus Update – Risk to Toronto Residents Remains Low

I am writing to provide you with an update on the novel coronavirus. Currently, there are only two confirmed cases of this virus in Toronto. Both of these people are recovering well, and Toronto Public Health staff continue to connect with them directly to monitor their recovery during their period of isolation.

Risk to the Public is Still Low:
The risk of getting this virus in Toronto continues to be low because the virus is not spreading in the general community. The residents who contracted this virus had a history of travel in Wuhan, China. Most cases occurring around the world got the virus from travel in the affected area, were in close contact, or live in the same household as known cases.

Travelers are Being Screened:
People who have travelled to the affected areas and return to Toronto are being screened at the airport. If they develop symptoms such as a cough or fever, they are told to remain home and call public health to avoid exposing others. Symptoms of the virus occur within 14 days after being exposed.

What Can You Do?
You can help protect yourself from respiratory viruses such as the novel coronavirus by washing your hands frequently, covering your cough and sneezes and keeping your child home from school when they are ill. Students who are well can continue to attend school.

Prevent the Spread of Misinformation:
Toronto Public Health continues to provide evidence-based public information on our website so you have the information you need to make informed decisions about your health. Visit

Call Toronto Public Health at 416-338-7600. Questions can be answered in many languages. For workplace-related questions, school staff should connect directly with their Occupational Health and Safety representatives who are in regular contact with Toronto Public Health for guidance.

Dr. Eileen de Villa
Medical Officer of Health

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