As many of you are aware, winters in British Columbia are cold and flu season… and this year, we have an additional risk: Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). The news media has been very quick to share news of this virus from its original outbreak to its spread.
The Wynford Group, as managing agents for the strata corporation, are not experts in the healthcare profession and we recommend that you consult trusted and respected health sources in researching this virus. The following is general information for Residents about COVID-19 and some tips to stay healthy.
What is the COVID-19?:
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses found mostly in animals. In humans, they can cause diseases ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV). The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to other respiratory illnesses, including the flu and common cold. They include cough, sneezing, fever, sore throat and difficulty breathing. (BCCDC: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/coronavirus-(novel))
How to prevent the spread of winter illnesses:
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identify the following tips for reducing your risk of infection and how to prevent spreading infection if you fall ill:
- Clean your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub often and wash for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with tissue or a flexed elbow.
- Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect objects & surfaces in your home, such as door handles, phones, taps and counter tops
- Stay home if you feel like you have cold-like symptoms.
- Consider purchasing your own medical kits and/or supplies of hand sanitizer, surface wipes, etc.
What Residents can do:
- Adhere to the above mentioned hygiene protocols;
- Avoid common facilities (gym, amenity rooms) if you feel ill;
- Avoid overcrowding the elevators;
- Limit the number of visitors and guests to the property;
- Ensure all garbage is completely sealed when disposed of;
- Stay informed through trusted government and medical sources;
- Self-quarantine and be prepared should you become ill.
What Strata Corporations (Strata Councils) can do:
- Ensure cleaning staff are using appropriate products should be appropriate to kill germs (including the COVID-19 virus);
- Increase the frequency for cleaning high touch areas (door handles, elevator buttons, disposal rooms, amenity areas);
- Consider limiting access or closing common facilities (gym, pool, meeting rooms, etc.)
- Explore options for electronic meetings, if the bylaws permit (Wynford is fully capable of facilitating electronic meetings).
Be smart and informed about Novel Coronavirus Disease
Where to find more information?
- Government of Canada Public Health (https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html)
- BC Centre for Disease Control (http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/coronavirus-(novel))
For more information on this topic, please contact your trusted health sources.