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What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is an acute respiratory infection caused by a coronavirus strain that began spreading in people in December 2019 in Wuhan, China. It is a new respiratory virus and it can cause mild to severe illness in people. The COVID-19 virus is not the same as the other coronaviruses that commonly circulate among people and cause mild illness, like the common cold.

How COVID-19 Spreads


COVID-19 spreads mainly from person-to-person, through close contact with others and through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. This is similar to how influenza also spreads.

Spread from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects

The virus can also spread when someone touches an object or surfaces with the virus on it, and then touches their mouth, face, or eyes.

Common symptoms of COVID-19 include

  • Fever (temperature of 37.8°C or greater)
  • New or worsening cough
  • Shortness of breath (dyspnea)

Other symptoms of COVID-19 can include

  • Sore throat
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • New olfactory or taste disorder(s)
  • Nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain
  • Runny nose, or nasal congestion – in absence of underlying reason for these symptoms such as seasonal allergies, post nasal drip, etc.

Other signs of COVID-19 can include

  • Clinical or radiological evidence of pneumonia

Atypical symptoms can include

  • Unexplained fatigue/malaise/myalgias
  • Delirium (acutely altered mental status and inattention)
  • Unexplained or increased number of falls
  • Acute functional decline
  • Exacerbation of chronic conditions
  • Chills
  • Headaches
  • Croup
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Multisystem inflammatory vasculitis in children
    • Presentation may include persistent fever, abdominal pain, conjunctivitis, gastrointestinal symptoms (nausea vomiting and diarrhea) and rash


COVID-19 infections are diagnosed by a health care provider, based on the symptoms, and are confirmed through laboratory tests.


There is currently no vaccine to prevent a COVID-19 infection, nor is there a treatment currently for COVID-19. Individuals with COVID-19 should drink plenty of fluids (stay hydrated) and get plenty of rest. To prevent an infection, it is best to avoid exposure to the virus.

How long can COVID-19 live on surfaces?



Paper and tissue paper

3 hours


4 hours


24 hours


2 days


2 days

Stainless Steel

2-3 days

Polypropylene Plastic

3 days


4 days

Paper Money

4 days

Outside of Surgical Mask

7 days

Chin AWH, Chu JTS, Perera MRA, Hui KPY, Yen H, Chan MCW, et al. Stability of SARS-CoV-2 in different environmental conditions. Lancet Microbe. 2020;1(1):e10. Available from:

Van Doremalen N, Bushmaker T, Morris DH, Holbrook MG, Gamble A, Williamson BN, et al. Aerosol and Surface Stability of SARS-CoV-2 as Compared with SARS-CoV-1. N Engl J Med. 2020;382(16):1564-7. Available from:

There are two COVID-19 assessment centres in the region of Windsor-Essex. There is an assessment centre located in the City of Windsor and the town of Leamington.

COVID-19 Assessment Centre: City of Windsor

Windsor’s COVID-19 Assessment Centre is located at the Windsor Regional Hospital Ouellette Campus with its entrance off Goyeau Street (located to the left of the Emergency Department entrance). Please note there is NO access from the main hospital into the Assessment Centre. All access is from the entrance off Goyeau Street.

There will be no medication or treatment onsite at the COVID-19 Assessment Centre.

Monday to Friday
9AM to 6PM

Saturday and Sunday
9AM to 4PM

Windsor Regional Hospital Ouellette Campus
1030 Ouellette Avenue, Windsor
Entrance from Goyeau Street, to the left of the Emergency Department

COVID-19 Assessment Centre: Town of Leamington

Essex County’s COVID-19 Assessment Centre is located at Erie Shores HealthCare (ESHC) at the ambulatory clinic off Fader Street in a segregated area next to the ESHC emergency department. Please note, there will be NO access into the main hospital from this entrance and NO access to the COVID-19 Assessment Centre directly from the main hospital.  The only point of access is from the entrance off Fader Street.

There will be no medication or treatment onsite at the COVID-19 Assessment Centre.

Every day (Monday to Sunday)
8AM to 4PM (there will be no new assessments after 3:30 p.m.)

Erie Shores HealthCare
194 Talbot Street West, Leamington
Entrance from Fader Street, segregated area next to the Emergency Department

First Nation, Métis, and Inuit people and their families may also choose to visit the Southwest Aboriginal Health Access Centre (SOAHAC) Windsor location for assessment and testing for COVID-19. Screening and testing is appointment based. Call SOAHAC at 519-916-1755

Monday to Friday 8:30am – 4:30pm

1405 Tecumseh Road West, Unit 2
Windsor, ON

Prioritized Groups for COVID-19 Testing

Testing is available for the following populations:

  • All people with at least one symptom of COVID-19, even for mild symptoms.
  • People who are concerned that they have been exposed to COVID-19. This includes people who are contacts of or may have been exposed to a confirmed or suspected case.
  • People who are at risk of exposure to COVID-19 through their employment, including essential workers.


What we know so far about novel coronavirus: Public Health Ontario

Coronavirus fact sheet

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Last modified: 
Wednesday, June 24, 2020 - 9:31am