Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness. Symptoms of COVID-19 may include:
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Muscle aches and tiredness
  • Difficulty breathing
Less commonly: sore throat, headache and diarrhea have been reported.
How can I protect myself?
Handwashing is your best defense against a range of illnesses, including COVID-19. Wash your hands often to help prevent exposure to, and transmission of, illness.
Other usual health precautions that can help you protect yourself against COVID-19 and other illnesses:
  • Avoiding contact with people who are sick
  • Staying home if you are sick
  • Practicing proper cough and sneeze etiquette by coughing/sneezing into a tissue, or into your sleeve or arm (and immediately washing your hands afterwards)
  • Not touching your face (A virus's port of entry is your eyes, nose, mouth)
  • Cleaning your hands before eating/drinking
  • Cleaning frequently touched objects and surfaces, like bathroom sinks, kitchen counters, etc.

How to protect yourself against COVID-19 - World Health Organization

What steps is St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital taking to keep patients, visitors and staff safe?
  • STEGH is coordinating with Public Health Ontario, the Ministry of Health and other agencies to help guide decision-making and receive updates on the virus. 
  • A "No Visitor" policy has been implemented to limit the volume of traffic within the hospital. 
  • Active screening with controlled entry for ALL patients, visitors and staff. 
  • Social distancing cues are being installed throughout the hospital.
  • Physical barriers have been installed in all clinic areas and perimeter screening locations.
How many cases of COVID-19 are there in Elgin County?
Please visit the dashboard on Southwestern Public Health's website for a list of confirmed cases in Elgin County and the City of St. Thomas. The dashboard is updated twice each day. 
When will surgeries and procedures resume?
In March 2020, hospitals were directed by the Ontario government to cease all non-essential and elective services, including elective surgeries, outpatient procedures, and diagnostic services to ensure adequate capacity was available to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Ministry of Health amended its directive earlier this week allowing hospitals to reintroduce services in a gradual, scaled approach. In other words, hospitals are not returning to full service, which may take many months to fully accomplish. Like other hospitals, STEGH has identified top priorities for services based on patient needs.
Do I need to contact the hospital or my doctor to reschedule my surgery/appointment?

No. Patients are are asked not to contact STEGH to reschedule their surgery, procedure or diagnostic service. Physician offices and/or STEGH will contact patients to book an appointment. 

What can I expect when I visit the hospital? 

The experience will be different from what may be anticipated; new precautions and systems could include changes to the physical environment and the pre-operative process. Patients will be advised of these changes prior to coming to the hospital..

Travel-related inquiries and self-isolation
If you have not travelled, but are concerned about your symptoms, we encourage you to contact Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 or your primary care provider/family doctor; this will help keep our emergency room resources available for emergent care patients. Please only call 9-1-1 if you are severely unwell.
Travellers returning to Canada who develop respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough, or difficulty breathing within 14 days of their return should contact Southwestern Public Health at 1-800-922-0096 or Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 for further assessment and guidance. 

CLICK HERE for more information and a list of FAQs from Southwestern Public Health.  

  • How to self-monitor (If you have travelled outside Canada, it's important to monitor your health when you return to Canada. While abroad, you may have come in contact with COVID-19. Monitor your health for fever, cough and difficulty breathing for 14 days after you arrive in Canada.)
  • How to self-isolate (Self-isolation is when you have been instructed to separate yourself from others, with the purpose of preventing the spread of the virus, including those within your home. If you are ill, you should be separated from others in your household to the greatest extent possible.)

If you are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19, please Do NOT show up to the hospital unannounced. Please only call 9-1-1 in situations of severe illness.