What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is the name of a novel coronavirus identified in 2019 as the cause of an outbreak of flu-like illness and pneumonia in Wuhan, China. Coronaviruses cause infectious diseases such as the common cold, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV). Since COVID-19 was not known in humans before 2019, many details regarding its transmission and clinical severity in humans (including morbidity and mortality) are still being studied.

COVID-19 in Canada

Although this coronavirus outbreak originated in Wuhan, China, the virus has now spread to most parts of the world, and the number of known cases in Canada (and the City of Ottawa) is increasing daily. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared a pandemic on 11 March, 2020. As a result, the Canadian government has taken steps to slow the transmission of the virus, including recommending the practice of self-isolation for at-risk individuals, as well as suggesting "social distancing" for everyone. 

How Does COVID-19 Affect my First Aid Training?

In order to limit transmission of Covid-19, This Is First Aid has cancelled all public classes until further notice. Private classes which are already booked are being evaluated on a case-by-case and day-by-day basis, and may be cancelled. We request that anyone showing any signs or experiencing any symptoms of infection please do NOT come to class, and we reserve the right to cancel class if it appears any participants are ill.  As a courtesy, we will happily re-book classes at no extra cost for anyone who has voluntarily stayed away due to illness. Please note: As of March 2020, we are not booking any new private classes until further notice.

As always, we take our cleaning protocols very seriously, and we are far exceeding the recommendations of both the Canadian Red Cross and the WHO when it comes to cleaning and disinfecting our equipment, classrooms, and reusable materials. 

Where Can I Find More Information?

There's a lot of bad information out there, so we recommend choosing your sources of information carefully. This Is First Aid recommends the following sites for reliable information and updates about the Covid-19 pandemic:

Government of Canada - Public Health - COVID-19 Update Page

Government of Ontario - Ministry of Health - COVID-19 Information Page

City of Ottawa - Public Health - COVID-19 Update Page

World Health Organization (WHO) - COVID-19

Centres for Disease Control (CDC) - COVID-19 (American website)