Respiratory outbreaks at the Shaunavon Hospital and Care Centre and the Herbert and District Integrated Health Facility have resulted in visitation restrictions being put in place at both facilities.
The Saskatchewan Disease Control Laboratory has confirmed that the virus circulating within the Herbert and District Integrated Health Facility is coronavirus OC43. This particular strain is a common virus that usually causes mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illnesses, and symptoms include runny nose, cough, sore throat and fever.
The Cypress Health Region is currently awaiting lab confirmation of the virus circulating in Shauavnon.
Visitation restrictions at both facilities is in place for long-term care services only, so acute and emergency services remain available.
Because of the increase in respiratory illnesses across the Southwest, the Cypress Health Region is reminding the public to take precautions and safeguards to stop from getting sick themselves or spreading illnesses.
“We are seeing notable respiratory activity in our communities, from influenza and other viruses, and are implementing measures to minimize spread of these illnesses in our facilities. We ask that the public take similar steps in their homes and businesses including frequent and thorough hand hygiene, coughing into your sleeve or tissue, regular cleaning of surfaces that are commonly handled and easily contaminated, and staying home when ill unless seeking medical attention,” commented Dr. David Torr, Medical Health Officer for Cypress Health. “Some respiratory illnesses can be quite severe, especially in those who are most vulnerable. While these illnesses may be seen as minor in the eyes of some, they can actually be quite harmful and even deadly to other members of the community.”
In addition to immunization other measures to protect yourself include proper hand hygiene with warm water and soap, staying home when ill unless seeking medical attention, coughing and sneezing into your sleeve or the crook of your elbow, and frequently cleaning commonly touched surfaces. Parents with young children should wash their hands thoroughly before and after changing a diaper. Hand sanitizers should not be used as a complete replacement for proper hand hygiene.
Influenza immunizations are still available for free for those that wish to receive it.
Individuals can receive a flu vaccine by calling Public Health at 1-866-786-2510 or by attending a drop-in clinic in Swift Current. Drop-in dates and details are posted at cypresshealth.ca/event, but the next clinic is Friday, February 10 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.