Weyburn Utility Board Subscribers

Health Canada agrees with the World Health Organization (WHO) that it is highly unlikely that drinking water is a route of transmission for COVID-19 (the disease) or 2019-nCoV (the virus). The WHO has produced a technical brief for the water, sanitation and hygiene sector (attached) that accurately summarizes the situation. The existing Canadian guidance for the safe management of drinking water applies in the COVID-19 outbreak, and no extra measures are needed. The water supply can safely be used as normal, and in particular for hand washing, following current directives on frequency and technique. 

As per the WHO technical brief attached, the COVID-19 outbreak is not considered a waterborne outbreak. Based on this information, Health Canada’s position is that drinking water authorities should not issue boil water advisories for COVID-19. 

In communities that are currently under a boil water advisory, the advice found in Table 1 of Health Canada’s  guidance document (www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/publications/healthy-living/guidance-issuing-rescinding-boil-water-advisories-canadian-drinking-water-supplies.html#a.4)  should continue to be followed.

Hand washing is a key public health measure to protect the health of Canadians. The Public Health Agency of Canada has several published resources on COVID-19 including a fact sheet – these focus on the disease symptoms and information on workplace health, self-isolation, etc. You can find them here: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/awareness-resources.html .

You can find outbreak updates for Canada here : https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html .

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