What Quebecers can do if they feel they have virus-like symptoms

Mar 13 2020, 10:03 am

As COVID-19 cases begin to mount throughout the province, Quebec health care professionals have highlighted several steps for people who feel they may have virus-like symptoms.

Those experiencing fever, coughing, and difficulty breathing are first asked to call the Info-Santé hotline at 811, regardless if the symptoms are mild or severe.

811 is reserved exclusively for people who are dealing with symptoms. Quebecers seeking information and updates concerning the coronavirus are asked to call 1-877-644-4545.

Through the 811 hotline, health care professionals will assess your situation and if need be, will give you an appointment at the Hôtel Dieu de Montréal – CHUM. Children under the age of 18 will be directed, with an adult, to Sainte-Justine Hospital.

Once testing is complete, patients will be asked to self-isolate until results are tested and returned.People who test positive for COVID-19 will be directed towards the next steps by health officials and negative results will allow people to resume regular activities.

coronavirus

CDC

The 811 hotline however, is receiving over 15,000 calls a day is pleading for patience with the public.

Quebecers who are returning from travelling are being asked to “remain vigilant” and to “watch for symptoms,” according to the Quebec’s provincial website.

Self-isolation is compulsory for all public service employees and for all health, education, and childcare personnel (both private and public) who have returned from abroad.

“There is no specific treatment or vaccine for COVID-19,” states Santé Quebec but “supportive treatments” can be offered. Health authorities say that most people with COVID-19 recover on their own, similarly to the common flu.

The COVID‑19 coronavirus usually infects the nose, throat, and lungs first and is most often spread by close contact with an infected person through couching, sneezing, and close hand contact with infected surfaces.

In general, according to Santé Quebec, the COVID-19 virus lasts three hours on dry surfaces and six days on wet surfaces.

Provincial health officials say that surgical masks are “not an effective protection tool for the general population in Quebec.” Their use is reserved for patients who are affected and health professionals who treat them.

As of Friday March 13, 17 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the province along with 266 people “under investigation” and 798 cases that have turned up negative.

More information can be found on the government’s website.