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COVID-19 Protection

COVID-19 Vaccine

COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Local COVID-19 Vaccine Status Report

Visit our Health Statistics and Reports for the Local COVID-19 Vaccine Status Report.

Who is Eligible for Prophylactic Therapy (Evusheld) in Ontario

Evusheld is a prophylactic monoclonal antibody therapy authorized by Health Canada in April 2022 for the prevention of COVID-19 in certain immunocompromised adults and children 12 years of age and older. This therapy is used to prevent infection (prior to a high risk exposure or infection).

Evusheld can be considered for the following people at the highest risk of having an inadequate response to vaccination, upon discussion of the risks and benefits:

  • Solid organ transplant recipients
  • Stem cell transplant recipients
  • CAR-T cell therapy recipients
  • Other hematologic cancer patients undergoing treatment
  • People receiving anti-B-cell therapy (e.g., rituximab) (new as of October 2022)
  • People with significant primary immunodeficiency (new as of October 2022)

Evusheld is not recommended for immunocompromised patients beyond these groups.

To be eligible for treatment, patients must:

  • Be at least 12 years old
  • Weigh at least 40 kg
  • Not have a current COVID-19 infection
  • Not have a recent COVID-19 exposure

Before receiving Evusheld, eligible individuals should be screened to ensure they are not currently symptomatic, infected with COVID-19 and have no recent high-risk exposure to a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19. PCR, rapid antigen, and antibody testing are not required prior to receiving this therapy.

For more details see this handout on Evusheld.

General Information About COVID-19

COVID-19: COVID-19 is a unique strain of a large family of viruses (coronaviruses) that can cause respiratory diseases. There is a vaccine but it does take time for all doses and boosters to be available to everyone as they become eligible in the community. Check here regularly for updates on the vaccine.

The symptoms of COVID-19 can take up to 10 days to develop after exposure to the virus. Most people infected with COVID-19 have mild symptoms, such as low-grade fever and cough. Some people develop more severe symptoms, such as high-grade fever, breathing difficulties or shortness of breath. These symptoms are similar to those of influenza and other coronaviruses, and it is difficult to differentiate COVID-19 from other viruses based on symptoms alone. Call 911 or go directly to the nearest emergency department if you are experiencing severe difficulty breathing, severe chest pain, feeling confused or unsure of where you are or losing consciousness.

Long-COVID

Some people continue to experience symptoms of COVID-19 for weeks or months after their initial recovery. This can be termed Post COVID-19 Condition or Long-COVID. Post COVID-19 condition is not COVID-19. Symptoms can be quite different from those during the initial infection. It refers to the longer-term effects some people experience after their COVID-19 illness.

While many symptoms have been identified for Long-COVID, the most common include fatigue, shortness of breath, pain, sleep disturbances, anxiety, and depression. For some, the symptoms last for four to five weeks after the initial symptoms. For others the symptoms continue for 12 weeks for more.

Being up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccine decreases the risk of developing Long-COVID.

Here is a short video from the World Health Organization on Long-COVID: WHO’s Science in 5 on COVID-19: Post COVID-19 condition – 30 July 2021 – YouTube

If you feel you are experiencing symptoms of Long-COVID – contact your primary care provider directly. You can use the links below to learn more about how this condition is being assessed, diagnosed and managed.

COVID-19, like other coronaviruses, causes infection in the nose, throat, and lungs, and also affects other organs/ systems in the body (e.g., brain, heart) and can spread from person to person through respiratory droplets created when an infected person coughs, sneezes, sings, shouts, or talks. The droplets vary in size with large droplets that fall to the ground rapidly (within seconds or minutes, and within 2 metres) near the infected person, and smaller droplets, sometimes called aerosols, which linger in the air under some environmental circumstances, such as in a confined space with recirculated air. COVID-19 is primarily transmitted when people are in close contact with others who are infected by the virus (either with or without symptoms).

COVID-19 may be spread through touching hands or surfaces that have been contaminated by droplets from an infected person, e.g. through coughing or sneezing, and then touching the eyes, nose or mouth but this is less common.

COVID-19 has an incubation period of up to 10 days. While symptoms usually develop in the first few days, it can take up to up to 10 days from the time you were exposed to the virus before you get symptoms of the disease. You become infectious, and can spread the virus to others, from about two days before symptoms develop until 10 days after symptoms start for people with mild to moderate symptoms. That is why it is important for all of us to practice a variety of protective measures including vaccination, staying home when sick, opening windows/going outdoors, wearing masks and distancing in order to protect the most vulnerable people in our community. See the Health Canada website for more information on how COVID-19 spreads.

COVID-19 Variants of Concern

There have been a number of variants of concern identified throughout the pandemic and others may continue to be identified. The government continues to monitor for variants and effectiveness of vaccinations and other measures to determine what guidance is needed. Currently vaccinations and other protective measures are still effective at protecting against the current variants that are circulating.

See the national definitions and classifications of COVID-19 variants.

You can get the latest local information from the Local Cases & Statistics section at right. We do not provide details about the positive cases as we have an obligation to protect the identity of individuals. As our communities within Leeds, Grenville and Lanark are relatively small, providing further details may put an individual’s identity at risk. See the Contact Tracing section for more information on what to do if you are exposed to someone who is experiencing symptoms or has tested positive.

Visit the Public Health Canada website for more detailed information on COVID-19 in general.

See our social gatherings section for information on how to protect yourself and your family.

For more detailed information about stopping the spread of germs visit our Infectious Diseases section.

Flu virus is still circulating in the community. Consider making the flu shot part of your routine in the fall.

There are things you can do to prepare in case you or someone in your house becomes ill and are asked to self-isolate at home until the infection clears, or if you have close contact exposure with someone who has the COVID-19 infection.

  • Stock up on non-perishable foods gradually over the next few weeks.
  • Follow these tips for Personal Preparedness during Emergencies.
  • Prepare an emergency kit. Be prepared for two weeks should you become ill or are in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 infection and have to self-isolate at home.
  • Fill prescriptions for an extra month if you’re able.
    • Get refills with enough notice so that you do not run out of medication you may need.
    • Have over-the-counter pain/fever medications on hand.
  • Make plans for your children or other dependents in case you may be sick.
  • Stock up on supplies for your pets.
  • Stock up on cleaning supplies.
  • Ensure you have adequate sanitary and hygiene supplies.
  • Call your friends and neighbours and make plans to check in on each other; being prepared to help others out if there is a need to self-isolate.

Staying at home is not always safe. If you or someone you know is in danger at home from domestic abuse, you can contact Interval House.

If you are concerned about the safety and/or well-being of a child or youth under the age of 18 in Leeds, Grenville or Lanark, please contact Family and Children’s Services of LLG at 1-855-667-2726.

There are currently no reports of COVID-19 spreading from packaging. It is best to practice good hand hygiene (washing and sanitizer) after handling any packaging and before handling food.

If getting food or other items delivered – practice physical distancing and use no-contact ways to pay if possible (e-transfer, tap, etc.).

Fruits and vegetables should be washed before eating as before: rinse under cold, safe, running water, rubbing with hands; using a scrub brush if it is a tougher skin.

To limit trips to the grocery store, buy produce with a longer shelf-life (carrots, potatoes, squash, melons, frozen fruits and veggies) and stock up on items that don’t need refrigeration (like dried grains and canned goods). 

Current research suggests that the virus that causes COVID-19, can live for several hours on hard surfaces, so laundry machines, countertops, and furniture need to be sanitized frequently.

Health Canada has created a list of disinfectants that are safe and effective against the virus.

Although laundry from sick people should be kept bagged and separate while in your home to prevent accidental handling, there is no need to wash or dry these items separately.

Using Shared Laundry Facilities Fact Sheet

Doctors’ offices and hospitals are still open, so please seek health care when needed. Some services (like prescription refills) might be done over the phone or virtually, so always call ahead to see what the policies and procedures are for your health care provider. General health care is important to stay healthy and be best able to fight an infection if it occurs.

The Role of Your Local Pharmacy and Your Health Care Provider

As an essential service, your local pharmacy and health care provider remains available with their professional staff there to support you and your medication needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some medications, including anti-viral treatments are now available. Anti-viral treatments are now available by prescription for free to people with COVID-19 who are at higher risk of progressing to severe disease requiring hospitalization. See the Assessment and Testing page and the Anti-viral Treatment for COVID-19 tab for more information.

If you are not higher risk, COVID-19 can be managed at home in self-isolation with over-the-counter (OTC) medications that reduce fever and body aches. If you are ill, have gone for screening, screened positive and/or are experiencing the symptoms of COVID-19 (such as fever, cough, congestion, headache), but require medication, please call your pharmacy and speak to them about options for obtaining your medication, such as getting someone from outside your household (who has not been in contact with you) to pick up your medication or arranging for delivery or curbside pickup. Please do NOT enter the pharmacy yourself. Seek medical attention or call 911 if needed (e.g. chest pain, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing). Ontario’s online self-assessment tool can be used to monitor symptoms.

Your pharmacist may also be able to help you if you are unable to attend an appointment with your prescriber and need refills of your medications, if you have questions about the supply status of your medications, if you need advice on minor ailments, if you need direction on where to go to use the province’s self-assessment tool or to find the latest information from Public Health on physical distancing, respiratory precautions, wearing a cotton mask when in public places, and regular cleaning of common hard surfaces.

Sources for Information

Government of Canada. Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine: What you should know. Ottawa, ON: December 9, 2020.

Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 Vaccine product Monograph. December 2020.

The Ontario Ministry of Health’s website for healthcare providers now includes COVID-19 vaccine guidance documents. Documents are currently available in English and French.