COVID-19 and FAQ (Updated May 13, 2020)

*If you are experiencing severe symptoms of ANY illness, please call 911 or go to your nearest Emergency Room*

 

If you believe you have been exposed to COVID-19 or have symptoms, please take Ontario’s Self Assessment Tool(click here)

This is an anonymous online tool which provides you with:

  • directions on the next steps you should take, based on your answers about your COVID-19 symptoms/exposure.
  • lab results, if you have been tested for the virus
  • status of cases in Ontario (spread/deaths/recovery)
  • updates about province-wide closures and the plans for reopening
  • social support resources everyone in Ontario, including students, workers, and businesses.

If the online COVID-19 self-assessment tool instructs you to call your physician, please know that Dr. Ricky Sheth is available for telephone visits on the following days:

Sun:  10am to 6pm

Mon:  10am to 8pm

Tues:  10am to 8pm

Wed:  10am to 8pm

If you are seeking information specifically about York Region, please visit the York Region Public Health Website:  (click here)

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I go to the Emergency Room to get tested?
Answer:  You should visit the ER if you have severe symptoms, or call 911.  If you are not sure if your symptoms are classified as severe, please take the Ontario Self-Assessment Tool provided at the top of this page.  This will guide you with clear instructions about your specific situation.

Can I still visit the clinic in person?
Answer:
  Unfortunately, no.  The Ministry of Health is allowing physicians to treat Patients over the telephone.  This will help reduce the spread of the virus.

Is it better if I email you or phone you?
Answer:  Your are welcome to phone us anytime, for any reason.  If you just want to quickly put yourself in queue, you can email us your FULL name and phone number.  Our email is info@drsheth.ca.  We’ll put you in queue right away.

I’ve never seen Dr. Sheth before.  Can I still talk to him on the phone?
Answer:  Yes, absolutely.

Does your clinic sell masks, hand-sanitizer, or soap?
Answer:  We do not.

What can I do to reduce the spread of this virus?
Answer: 

  • Wash your hands thoroughly (including wrists and under nails) for 20 seconds minimum, regularly throughout the day.  Here is a video demonstration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IisgnbMfKvI
  • Sneeze or cough into your arm, not your hands.  Here is a video demonstration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2jbEetZ8G4
  • Avoid social gatherings completely.  Connect digitally for the time being.
  • Sanitize high traffic areas of your home more often than usual (doorknobs, light switches, keyboards, fridge door, remotes, bathrooms, etc).
  • Try to use delivery services for groceries and pharmacy needs.  Many grocery stores are providing delivery services now, and even pickup services where the grocery store arranges for your items to be put directly into your trunk, without any physical interaction.  These alternative ways of shopping will protect you and protect the valued essential workers who are putting their health at risk to keep our communities running.

Is grocery shopping safe?  Should I wash my groceries?
(Long) Answer:  You can reduce the chances of contracting COVID-19 at grocery stores if you follow certain precautions.  We do not definitively know how long the virus lasts on surfaces.  To be safe, please consider making these changes for the time being, if you cannot arrange delivery:

  • Make a detailed meal plan and grocery list to reduce the time spent walking through the grocery store.
  • Explain to your family that you are committing to ONLY go shopping weekly or biweekly.  If their item is not on the list, they must wait for the next trip.
  • We recommend only 1 person from your family visit the grocery store, once per week at most.  You should not bring your whole family, or even 1 more person than necessary.
  • Wear a mask and/or gloves, and disinfect the cart’s handlebar, if possible.
  • Do not bring reusable bags from home.  Use plastic bags during this pandemic.
  • Maintain a distance of 6 feet or 2 metres from other shoppers.
  • Try not to touch multiple items and put them back.
  • Upon returning home, immediately recycle cardboard food packaging.  Take a photo of the nutritional label if you need it.  If there is a plastic bag inside the box (like cereal packaging), that should be fine.  We must assume that internal packaging is at least a few weeks to a few months old, so there is likely no live virus on it.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly (including wrists and under nails) for 20 seconds minimum, as soon as you enter your home.
  • Disinfect your kitchen sink and sink trap thoroughly with a bleach or antibacterial cleaning solution.  We do not want to transfer sink bacteria onto the food we are washing.
  • Wash plastic packaging (like frozen vegetables/fruit) with soap and water thoroughly before putting them in your fridge.
  • DO NOT WASH FRUITS AND VEGETABLES DIRECTLY WITH SOAP AND WATER.  They will absorb soap, which means you will eventually ingest the soap.  This can cause vomiting, among other health concerns, since soap is not meant for ingestion.
  • There is no research indicating that washing vegetables in vinegar and water, or salt water, will remove the virus from your food, as some people have heard.
  • At this time, our best suggestion is to rub your fruit and vegetables with running water and clean hands.
  • Leave the plastic grocery bags outside of your home, if possible (in your car/an unused closet), for a few days before using them again.
  • Sanitize everything your new groceries have touched (counters, sink, towels).

Is it safe to order restaurant/take-out delivery?
Answer:  Dr. Sheth recommends avoiding this if possible.  But if necessary, please order from companies who offer contact-free delivery.

Is it safe to visit my family for holidays (Mother’s Day, birthdays, etc)?
Answer:  It is not safe or responsible to visit family for any reason other than providing them assistance with food, medicine, or other essential service.  Visiting for social reasons is strongly discouraged.  It is possible to carry the virus while showing no symptoms.  Holidays are not a reason to ignore the quarantine.  Please consider keeping in touch with family via free video services such as Zoom, Skype, Facetime, or over the telephone.

How do I protect my mental health or the mental health of vulnerable members of my family?
Answer:   Dr. Sheth has always provided counselling and talk-therapy visits.  He continues to provide these services over the telephone.  Please consider reaching out to Dr. Sheth or another phone counselling service to speak about anxiety, depression, or any other mental health-related concern.  Please be mindful of those who seem quiet.  Many people do not reach out and choose to internalize their struggles.  This quarantine is challenging in many ways, but especially for those who are isolated completely.  Consider allotting a few minutes to reach out to one family member, friend, or acquaintance every day.  Severe social isolation can cause physiological changes in a humans.  Cortisol levels will elevate which causes feelings of stress or paranoia.  Our brain understands social isolation to be rejection from the tribe.  Five thousand years ago, that was a death sentence.  We are biologically a social species.  Not to say we are all social butterflies, but we all want to feel wanted, or thought of, by someone.  If you have never experienced complete social isolation before, please do not underestimate it’s toll.  Consider making time to reach out to people who are alone at this time.

Emergency Mental Health Resources:

Kids Help Phone  Anonymously call  1-800-668-6868  or  send a text message saying “Connect” to 686868

Distress Centres of Greater Toronto (anyone in Ontario can call):  Anonymously call  416-408-4357  or  send a text message to 45645 for support.

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Please do not hesitate to reach out to Dr. Ricky Sheth.

 

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DISCLAIMERS: 

1)  IN AN EMERGENCY, PLEASE VISIT A HOSPITAL OR DIAL 911.

2)  The information we are providing to you about COVID-19 is the MOST RECENT information we have received from York Region Public Health as of May 13, 2020.  Please be aware that this information can (and has changed) often.  The two links given at the top of this page (the Ontario COVID Self-Assessment site, and the York Region Public Health site) are the best sources for up-to-date information.

Thank you and be safe.

Elgin Mills Crossing Clinic Team