How to Protect Yourself:
Currently, there is no approved vaccine that protects people against coronaviruses. As a respiratory illness, the best method to protect yourself against COVID-19 is to practise everyday preventive actions, including:
- Practise proper cough and sneezing etiquette (into the bend of your elbow);
- Wash your hands often with soap and water; if soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer;
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands;
- Maintain safe food practices; and
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid unnecessary travel to affected areas.
- Avoid large crowds and practice social distancing (do not shake hands, hug or kiss)
There is no evidence that surgical masks protect persons who are not sick. The World Health Organization does not recommend the use of any masks if you do not have a travel history and respiratory symptoms. If you have respiratory symptoms such as cough or difficulty breathing and a relevant travel history you should wear a surgical/procedure mask when seeking medical care at a health facility. If you are going to a health care facility for treatment of your respiratory illness and do not have a mask, ask for one at the admission desk and one will be provided to you. (source: https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/government-structure/ministries/~/link.aspx?_id=6C6BF971659346E0B8E9DE4AE3B2AFF9&_z=z)
3M Bulletin: Use of Respirators Beyond Shelf Life
Centre for Disease Control (CDC) also published information regarding research NIOSH has performed on five stockpiled 3M respirator models that are past their shelf life. Release of Stockpiled N95 Filtering Facepiece Respirators Beyond the Manufacturer-Designated Shelf Life: Considerations for the COVID-19 Response.
Get more information at the Government of Canada: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
Additional Reliable Sources of Information:
Health Canada has published guidance on optimizing the use of masks and respirators during the COVID-19 outbreak. This includes:
- guidance on the use of expired N95 respirators and masks; and
- guidance on the use of commercial-grade respirators for medical purposes.
- Several websites have been created for COVID-19 that act as a portal for trusted and legitimate information and resources and have been shared below.
- COVID-19 Information Portal
- COVID-19 EBSCO Resource Page
- COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus)
PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT SOURCES:
- Rapid training and ongoing coaching for appropriate PPE use
- Summary of PPE Recommendations for Residents suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 in Continuing Care
- Summary of PPE Recommendations for Patients Suspected or Confirmed to have COVID-19 in Primary Care
- Donning and Doffing PPE Checklist
- Poster: Putting on (Donning) Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Poster: Taking off (Doffing) Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)