Health officials say it’s a matter of when, not if someone in Cochrane District tests positive for COVID-19.

Timmins and District Hospital chief of staff Dr. Harry Voogjarv says the hospital is being proactive by limiting visitors to two per patient, and that might go to zero.

“We want to keep patients, health care providers and visitors as healthy as possible,” the doctor remarks.  “And large groups are to be avoided.  We’re trying to be polite about it, but this is what we need to do.”

TADH infection control coordinator Jodie Russell says similar measures are being taken at all Ontario hospitals.

Meanwhile, if you haven’t heard it yet in this era of COVID-19, here it is from Dr. Voogjarv: the best way to avoid getting the virus is clean hands. Use hot water and a lot of soap for a long enough time.

“Sing Happy Birthday twice is what the official line is,” he relates.  “Take the time, clean your hands and you will stay healthy.”

Voogjarv says hand sanitizers can be effective, if the alcohol content is 60 or 70 percent and higher. But you have to know how to use it and it takes a bit of time to kill surface bugs.