​COVID-19 Community Update

Published on: March 13, 2020

Brantford, ON – Brant County Health Unit (BCHU) and Brant Community Healthcare System (BCHS) have been informed by the Ministry of Health that the case definition for novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has been updated and a new prioritization list for testing has been created.

Under these new directions, the Ministry has recommended self-isolation for those that would now qualify as a probable case of COVID-19:

  • fever (over 38 C) and/or new or exacerbation of a chronic cough
  • AND any of the following within 14 days prior to onset of illness:
    • have travelled to an impacted area or been in close contact with a confirmed or probable case or;
    • been in close contact with a person who has an acute respiratory illness and has travelled to an impacted area

These individuals would be recommended to self-isolate until 24 hours after they are no longer showing symptoms.

Those who have travelled to Italy, Iran and Hubei, China are asked to self-isolate even if asymptomatic.

Previously lab confirmed cases are asked to self-isolate until they have been cleared by their local public health unit.  

Any children who have travelled outside of Canada will be required to self-isolate for 14 days upon return to Canada.

A number of people in Brantford and Brant County are expected to meet the new definition of a probable case. As of now, there has been no lab confirmed cases of COVID-19 or evidence of community spread locally.

Also under this new guidance, priority for COVID-19 testing will be given to the following groups:

  • Symptomatic contacts of confirmed cases, until community transmission is established.
  • Individuals admitted to hospital with acute respiratory illness.
  • Health-care workers with acute respiratory illness.
  • Individuals with acute respiratory illness who reside in long-term care homes and retirement homes.
  • Individuals with acute respiratory illness who reside in other institutions and as directed by local public health officials.
  • Health-care workers as part of health-care institutional outbreaks and as directed by local public health officials.
  • First Nation community members living on-reserve with acute respiratory illness.

Individuals not falling under these groups, but meeting the probable case criteria, will be recommended to self-isolate without having testing completed for COVID-19 and will be considered a probable case.

Most people will only experience mild effects if they contract COVID-19. If symptoms require medical attention, residents are asked to:

  • call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000
  • call BCHU at 519-753-4937
  • call their health-care provider
  • call 911, if you need immediate medical assistance
  • if you plan to go to the emergency department call ahead at 519-751-5818

Brant Community Healthcare System, with the support of Brant County Health Unit, has developed and submitted for approval a plan for an assessment centre to the provincial government, in an effort maintain access to the emergency room for those who are most at risk.

New enhanced measures have been put in place by the Ministry of Health to ensure all Ontario residents are taking the correct steps to protect themselves and prevent transmission of COVID-19.

We have been working with our community and municipal partners to ensure Brant County and Brantford is prepared for COVID-19.

BCHU will host a media briefing, in partnership with Brant Community Healthcare System (BCHS), the City of Brantford and the County of Brant at the Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre (254 North Park St.) in the Pool Room on Friday, March 13, 2020 at 3:30 p.m.

For more information about novel coronavirus (COVID-19) please visit our website.