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Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Last updated: 8:45 AM February 21, 2020

As new information becomes available, we will update this webpage. Check back often.

Peterborough Public Health is actively monitoring the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and collaborating with local hospitals, primary care, emergency services, the Ministry of Health, provincial and national colleagues.

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About Coronavirus

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some that cause illness in people and others that cause illness in animals. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people, and more rarely, these can then spread from person to person through close contact.

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new strain of the virus that has not been previously identified in humans.


  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing

For Recent Travelers:

Have you recently returned from Hubei province?

You must self-isolate for 14 days from last know exposure and contact Peterborough Public Health at 705-743-1000 within 24 hours of returning to Canada. Click here for information on self-isolation.

Have you recently returned from mainland China?

Please monitor yourself for symptoms for 14 days from last know exposure and contact Peterborough Public Health at 705-743-1000 x401 between 8:30am-4:30pm Monday to Friday if you begin to feel unwell.  After hours, please call Telehealth toll-free at 1-866-797-0000.

If symptoms develop:

  • Self-isolate immediately
  • Contact local public health unit and your health care provider

Have you recently returned from another country and have concerns?

If you are asymptomatic and do not have recent travel to mainland China or contact with a known or suspected case of coronavirus, there is no recommendations for activity restrictions. If you are symptomatic with no recent travel to mainland China or contact with a known/suspected case of coronavirus, please review the precautions for respiratory illnesses below.

Individuals ill with a respiratory virus, such as influenza, are advised to:

Stay home

You should restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care. Do not go to work, school, or public areas, and do not use public transportation or taxis.  Do not invite visitors inside your home or visit other people.

Cover your coughs and sneezes

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or you can cough or sneeze into your sleeve at your elbow. Throw used tissues into a lined garbage can, and immediately wash your hands and wrists with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If a tissue is not immediately available when coughing or sneezing, you should cover your mouth and nose with the sleeve of your clothing or into your elbow if you are not wearing long sleeves to reduce droplets spread into the air.

Wash your hands

Wash your hands and wrists often and thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. You can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available and if your hands are not visibly dirty. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid sharing household items

You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding, or other items with other people in your home. After using these items, you should wash them thoroughly with soap and water.

Individuals with suspected or confirmed novel coronavirus will be contacted by Peterborough Public Health and advised to:

Separate yourself from other people in your home

As much as possible, you should stay in a different room from other people in your home.  When you are in the same room as others, maintain a 2-metre distance.  You should use a separate bathroom, if available.

Wear a facemask

You should wear a facemask when you are in the same room with other people and when you visit a healthcare provider. If you cannot wear a facemask, the people who live with you should wear one while they are in the same room with you.

Call ahead before visiting your doctor

Before your medical appointment, call the healthcare provider and tell him or her that you have, or are being evaluated for, novel coronavirus infection. This will help the healthcare provider’s office take steps to keep other people from being infected.

Monitor your symptoms

Seek prompt medical attention if your illness is worsening (e.g., difficulty breathing). When calling 911 or your healthcare provider, make sure you advise them that you have, or are being evaluated for the novel coronavirus infection. This will help the healthcare system take steps to protect workers and other patients from being infected.

You may be asked by public health to monitor your symptoms and report daily. If this is the case, you will be given more detailed information and instructions.


You may need to make arrangements to remain isolated, or quarantined, at home, including having discussions with your employer, making alternate arrangements to support children/ other dependents and taking steps to ensure an adequate supply of groceries and other necessities, including medications.

Quarantine is sometimes used by public health to isolate healthy people who have been exposed to the infection, and who may be incubating it. Typically, the isolation lasts for the full duration of the incubation period. Sometimes it includes daily monitoring and reporting of symptoms or signs, like the presence of a fever.

Other Resources

Self-isolation: Guide for caregivers, household members and close contacts