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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The health and safety of all students, staff and school communities is our top priority. As with all public health matters, the Upper Grand District School Board works closely with Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health and other health agencies to monitor and address concerns, and that is the case with COVID-19. Public Health is sharing information with the public on COVID-19, including how the virus spreads, symptoms of the virus and who is most at risk of infection. 

Due to the rapidly evolving nature of the situation, please visit wdgpublichealth.ca/coronavirus for the most recent updates.

Do you have questions about COVID-19?

WDG Public Health has a call centre phone line to respond to community inquiries about COVID-19. If you have questions, please call WDG Public Health at 519-822-2715 ext. 7006. For more information please visit wdgpublichealth.ca/coronavirus.


COVID-19: Information and Resources

Mental Health Resources during COVID-19

The safety and well-being of our students, their families and staff are our top priority. We are all faced with uncertainty during this time of social distancing and self isolation.  It is important to monitor and take care of our mental health.  We have prepared some resources to help with managing difficult conversations and supporting overall mental health during these difficult times.

If this is an emergency, call 911. If you or someone you know is in crisis or needs help:

  • Guelph/Wellington: 1 844 437 3247 (HERE247)
  • Dufferin: 519 941 1530 (DCAFS)
  • KidsHelpPhone: 1 800 668 6868

Supporting your anxious child/ren:

Be patient. Stay calm.  Reassure. Provide relevant information and clarity.

Inform Yourself:

Go to reputable sources for information and updates:

Keep Routines/Structure: 

Routines provide predictability and can be very supportive for those struggling to cope. Routines can include things such as learning, self care, creativity, and physical activity. 

Make yourself available and remain calm:

Children may need some extra attention or affection during these uncertain times.  They may want to talk about concerns, fear and questions. Remember children will follow your reactions so it is important to remain calm and reassuring. Emphasize that your children and your family are fine.  Remind younger children that the adults will keep them safe.  See below for ways to support these conversations with your children. 

Share information in concrete way and focus on relevant details:

Limit conversations that children cannot control or help with, such as wage losses.  Instead, talk about how you are helping to keep them safe. You can discuss good hygiene and even make games out of washing routines. If children ask for statistics or numbers ensure that you use a reliable source.  Most importantly, validate their questions and concerns.  Ensure you correct misinformation that they may have seen on social media or heard from others.  Encourage them to approach you with questions or set up a regular time, as part of your household routine, to have a discussion to answer questions and discuss new information as appropriate. Be sure that you are being HONEST while also responding in an age appropriate way while avoiding statements like “don’t worry” or “it’s all okay”. 

Age Appropriate Explanations: (adapted from www.cmhaww.ca)

JK to Grade 3:  need brief, simple information that should balance COVID-19 facts with appropriate reassurances that their schools and homes are safe and that adults are there to help keep them healthy and to take care of them if they do get sick. Give simple examples of the steps people take every day to stop germs and stay healthy, such as washing hands. Use language such as “adults are working hard to keep you safe.”

Grades 4-6:  will be more vocal in asking questions about whether they truly are safe and what will happen if COVID-19 comes to their school or community. They may need assistance separating reality from rumor and fantasy. Discuss efforts of school and community leaders to prevent germs from spreading.

Grades 7-12 Upper middle school and high school students are able to discuss the issue in a more in-depth (adult-like) fashion and can be referred directly to appropriate sources of COVID-19 facts. Provide honest, accurate, and factual information about the current status of COVID-19. Having such knowledge can help them feel a sense of control.

Monitor television viewing and social media:

Over exposure to information can be very upsetting and impact your child’s ability to cope. Take the time to discuss how not everything on social media and the internet is always accurate information.  Return to the above noted reliable sources to focus on information gathering.  Remember, information designed for adults can increase anxiety and concern in children.  So monitor your child’s use but also your own as well!

Reach out and stay connected:

Organize phone calls, face-time or other methods to create connection during social isolation.  Connectedness is an important part of mental wellness.

There are Apps available for Mental Health:

SAM (Self-Help for Anxiety Management)
Self-Help for Anxiety Management (SAM) is a free app that provides people with instructions and activities for managing anxiety. Users can log in and trend their present level of anxiety, list things that make them anxious, read about activities for improving anxiety management, use tools (e.g. though recorder, breathing timer) for anxiety management, bookmark useful tools and approaches, and discuss anxiety management with other users. 

Superbetter
SuperBetter builds resilience – the ability to stay strong, motivated and optimistic even in the face of change and difficult challenges. Playing SuperBetter unlocks heroic potential to overcome tough situations and achieve goals that matter most. (F)

Happify
Overcome stress and negative thoughts. Build Resilience. (S)

Buddhify
Made for meditation on the go (“Urban Meditation”)

Stop, Breathe, and Think
Emotional tracker lets you note moods before and after meditating and track your mental wellness over time.

The Five Minute Journal
The Five Minute Journal is based on proven positive psychology research. It focuses your attention on the good in your life and helps you set action in just 5 minutes a day.

Calm
A meditation app for beginners that also includes programs for intermediate and advanced meditators. Guided meditation sessions are available in lengths of 3, 5, 10, 15, 20, or 25 minutes so you can choose the length that best fits your schedule. 

Headspace
Learn the essentials of meditation and mindfulness with their free Basics pack. If you enjoy it, you can subscribe.

Additional COVID-19 mental health resources:

Additional mental health resources:

About COVID-19

For up to date information about COVID-19, including information about symptoms, testing and preventative measures, visit Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health: https://www.wdgpublichealth.ca/your-health/covid-19-information-public/about-covid-19

Do you have questions about COVID-19?

WDG Public Health has a call centre phone line to respond to community inquiries about COVID-19. 

WDGPH COVID-19 Call Centre

  • 519-822-2715:
    • Ext. 7006 (for health-related questions) Monday - Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.;
      Sunday - closed
    • Ext. 4020 (for non-health-related general questions about COVID-19 incl. business or workplace concerns, social distancing questions or non-emergency reporting questions) Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information please visit wdgpublichealth.ca/coronavirus.

Reliable Information Sources

WDGPH COVID-19 Call Centre

  • 519-822-2715;
    • Ext. 7006 (for health-related questions) Monday - Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.;
      Sunday - closed
    • Ext. 4020 (for non-health-related general questions about COVID-19 incl. business or workplace concerns, social distancing questions or non-emergency reporting questions) Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Websites

Please check these website frequently as they are updated with new information in regards to COVID-19:

Adapted from Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health