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COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus Public Update - March 16, 2020

Mar 16, 2020

Current Situation
The Brantford Police Service is actively monitoring all reports of COVID-19 and assessing how to best protect our members and community during this time. Working in collaboration with the City of Brantford and Brant County Health Unit, we are focusing on ensuring a measured and appropriate response to protect the health and safety of both our members and the greater community.
There are no known cases of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the City of Brantford or County of Brant at this time nor has there been any evidence of community spread in our region to date.
On March 11, 2020 the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic so it is very important that individuals and organizations be prepared for a potential outbreak in our community.
In Brantford, the Brant County Health Unit (BCHU) is the municipality’s lead agency in terms of managing a local infectious disease outbreak. The Brantford Police Service and the City of Brantford are working in close collaboration with BCHU to support their response plans in a coordinated manner.
As a precautionary measure, the Brantford Police Service has implemented several measures to help minimize the threat of COVID-19 locally. These measures are outlined below.
Public Health Resources
The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has assessed the public health risk associated with COVID-19 as low for Canada. Public health risk is continually reassessed as new information becomes available. 
The City’s Emergency Management Planning Committee (EMPC) is meeting regularly to discuss the City’s preparations and readiness for an infectious disease outbreak, should Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) present itself locally.
Members  of the public are encouraged to:
Know the facts. Follow direction from the Brant County Health Unit (BCHU) to know the signs and symptoms of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Call Telehealth Ontario at Toll-free: 1-866-797-0000 or visit the BCHU website for information on how to care for the ill, infection prevention and control, self-treatment and when and where to seek medical attention.
Follow Public Health’s direction to use infection control practices such as hand washing, covering your cough and sneeze, observing social distancing and staying home when you’re sick to reduce the spread of the virus.
It is also recommended to prepare yourself and your family for an infectious disease outbreak by having two weeks of necessities in your home in the event that you have to self-quarantine for a two-week period. Don’t forget supplies for your pet(s) as well.
The BCHU is currently not testing individuals for COVID-19 unless you’ve had direct contact with someone confirmed with COVID-19 or if you have been out of the country in the last 14 days and are showing symptoms. If you are ill, please be responsible and stay home.
Travel Notice:
To limit the spread of COVID-19, the Government of Canada and Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health have advised against all non-essential travel outside of Canada and as per the Ontario Ministry of Health. If you decide to travel outside of Canada, you will be required to self-isolate for a period of 14 days upon return.
Additionally, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is recommending that Canadians avoid all cruise ship travel due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.
Please consult the destination page on travel.gc.ca for the latest travel advice. Stay informed by checking both Public Health Canada frequently asked questions (FAQ) and bchu.org for regular health impact updates as the situation continues to unfold.
When you return from travel:
The World Health Organization requires that, upon returning from any travel outside of Canada you self-isolate and monitor yourself (and your children) for symptoms for a period of 14 days. 
Should you develop a mild cough, respiratory issue or low-grade fever (i.e. a temperature of 37.3C or more) telephone your healthcare provider or the Brant County Public Health Unit to provide them with details of your recent travel and symptoms within 24 hours of developing symptoms. 
Preventative Measures:
To ensure the health and wellbeing of our members, additional precautionary measures are being taken to ensure those entering the station properly sanitize their hands and keep a safe distance from front-desk staff.
Based on up-to-date information, we have decided to temporarily modify some non-emergency services, effective immediately. These measures are aimed at protecting staff by minimizing the possibility of human to human transmission of the virus. Please note: All emergency services remain in place.
We are asking members of the public to restrict attending the BPS facility on Elgin Street unless absolutely necessary. All citizens who require non-emergency services such as record checks, criminal background checks or general information are asked to do so by utilizing our online reporting system at www.brantfordpolice.ca or by calling the station at 519-756-0113. It is important that prior to visiting the station, we ask all members of the public to self-screen for symptoms of COVID-19 at home. We appreciate the public’s cooperation with this request in an effort to ensure the protection and peace of mind for our staff who continue to serve our community.
An increased cleaning schedule for all areas of the station and all Police cruisers has been implemented.
Potential Impact on Services:
As this situation is fluid, dynamic and continues to evolve rapidly, regular updates will be communicated regarding any potential changes to operations that may be necessary. Brantford Police Service is dedicated to serving our community.
Updated information can be found at the following:
Public Health Agency of Canada  https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada.html
Brant County Health Unit https://www.bchu.org/
City of Brantford   https://www.brantford.ca/