What Girls Inc. is Doing about Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)


Local and national health experts are advising all of us to do what we can to limit the spread of germs and strains as the Coronavirus continues to dominate our news. We had some parents concerned about the safety of our girls in the recent news report from Lakeridge Health confirming that two individuals who presented at Ajax Pickering Hospital’s emergency department (ED) on Friday, February 28 have tested positive for COVID-19. Protocols and precautions were skillfully implemented by the team and there is no risk to anyone in the ED or at the hospital.  Link for news release

Girls Inc. continues to actively work with the Ministry of Health, public health,  and community and regional organizations on a coordinated response. At the same time, our Girls Inc. team are prepared to continue to provide excellent care should more cases of this new virus be identified within the community we serve.

What are we doing at Girls Inc.

  • Encouraging regular washing of hands by staff, girls, and guests. We are re-training girls on proper hand-washing techniques.
  • Refraining from shaking hands.
  • Covering coughs and/or sneezes with bent elbows or Kleenex.
  • Avoiding touching eyes, nose, and mouth (face area).

 What can you do?

  • Wash hands often at home. Disinfect surfaces that frequently come in contact with hands such as doorknobs, tablets and phone screens.
  • If you are sick or exhibiting any symptoms of the virus (symptoms include but are not limited to coughing, fever, and trouble breathing), please stay home.
  • If you are able, stock up personally on supplies (non-perishable foods, toilet paper, etc.) in the event of a quarantine. Folks who test positive at some point may be asked to self-quarantine.

Girls Inc. will follow any action our Health Department and Durham District School Board takes regarding a potential outbreak. Girls Inc.  will definitely stay in close touch via e-mail regarding the situation and post any updates if needed.

This may not affect our operations at all (that is the hope!), but we want to be prepared. As always, the girls and team member safety and health are our priorities. Let us work together to keep everyone healthy and get through this as a team.

Here is what we have done and the precautions that we encourage you to take. These are the same precautions we currently use during our influenza seasons.

1) NO HANDSHAKING! Use a fist bump, slight bow, elbow bump, etc.

2) Use ONLY your knuckle to touch light switches. elevator buttons, etc.. Lift the gasoline dispenser with a paper towel or use a disposable glove.

3) Open doors with your closed fist or hip – do not grasp the handle with your hand, unless there is no other way to open the door. Especially important on bathroom and post office/commercial doors.

4) Use disinfectant wipes at the stores when they are available, including wiping the handle and child seat in grocery carts.

5) Wash your hands with soap for 10-20 seconds and/or use a greater than 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer whenever you return home from ANY activity that involves locations where other people have been.

6) Keep a bottle of sanitizer available at each of your home’s entrances. AND in your car for use after getting gas or touching other contaminated objects when you can’t immediately wash your hands.

7) If possible, cough or sneeze into a disposable tissue and discard. Use your elbow only if you have to. The clothing on your elbow will contain infectious virus that can be passed on for up to a week or more!

Given the evolving global circumstances, residents are encouraged to stay informed by regularly reviewing credible information sources. If you are concerned about symptoms or risk of COVID-19, connect with Durham Region Health at 905-668-2020 or 1-800-841-2729, call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 and contact your family physician or local health care team.

For more information please see the Ministry of Health news release.

Below is a helpful resource for parents, grandparents, and other concerned adults who are wondering how best to talk with children about what is happening now