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Archived - Fact Sheet - Strengthened Public Health Measures

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The Government of Canada is strengthening public health measures at Canada’s borders to protect Canadians and prevent the spread of Ebola to Canada. These measures formally take effect on November 10, 2014.

All travellers coming into Canada with a travel history from the outbreak regions will need to be monitored for up to 21 days. Quarantine Officers will require these travellers to report to a local public health authority in Canada and will provide travellers with instructions on how to report and an information kit. The kit includes a thermometer to check their temperature daily for up to 21 days.

Travellers without Symptoms
Travellers from Ebola outbreak affected regions who are not presenting symptoms will be put into one of two categories, High Risk and Low Risk.

High Risk Travellers
Travellers with a history of travel to Guinea, Liberia or Sierra Leone without symptoms but who have had direct contact with Ebola patients (e.g. funeral attendants, family contacts of infected individuals, etc.) will be ordered by a Quarantine Officer to immediately:

  • report to a local public health authority;
  • self-isolate at home or at a facility for 21 days (and are recommended to stay in proximity to a provincially designated treatment centre); and
  • be monitored daily for symptoms, including fever.

Low Risk Travellers
Travellers with a history of travel to Guinea, Liberia or Sierra Leone without symptoms and with no known exposure to the virus will be:

  • ordered to report to a public health authority within 24 hours;
  • self-monitor daily for 21 days, including a temperature check twice daily;
  • required to immediately report any Ebola symptoms; and
  • required to report any planned travel.

 Low Risk travellers will not be ordered to self-isolate at home or at a facility.

Humanitarian Workers
Healthcare and humanitarian workers returning from outbreak countries who are not presenting symptoms will also be required to report to a local public health authority, monitor their temperature twice a day, report any planned travel, and immediately report any symptoms. Quarantine Officers will decide on a case by case basis if self-isolation is required. An example of this will be if a healthcare worker, working directly with Ebola infected patients, has a known breach in their personal protective equipment and is known to be at higher risk.

Travellers with Symptoms
Travellers with a history of travel to an Ebola-affected country who are presenting symptoms will be immediately isolated and sent to hospital for a medical examination. The Quarantine Officer will coordinate patient transfers with provincial and local public health authorities.

If the traveller is released from hospital by local health authorities, he or she will still be required to follow up and self-monitor based on their possible exposure to Ebola.

To enhance the healthcare system’s ability to detect and appropriately manage any cases of Ebola that may arrive in Canada, provincial authorities have designated more than 30 treatment centres that are prepared to deal with a patient with Ebola.

*The number of designated treatment centres is subject to change*

Canada’s Quarantine Officers
The Public Health Agency is taking precautions to prevent and control the spread of communicable diseases in Canada, such as Ebola, through administration of the Quarantine Act. The Quarantine Act is administered 24 hours per day, 7 days per week at all points of entry into Canada.

In airports, land crossings and marine ports where a Quarantine Officer is not physically present, the Canada Border Services Officers refer travellers for a health assessment to an on-call Quarantine Officer, who can conduct the assessment remotely.

Quarantine Officers have the necessary training and equipment to conduct a health assessment, including checking for fever, and to determine whether additional public health measures are required.

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