In COVID-19 Updates

Update 3 from COVID-19 Crisis Task Force

As-Salāmu ‘Alaykum

To our Community Members and attendees,

We hope you are all keeping well.

In recent weeks, there has been a global shift in response to the COVID-19 health crisis. New measures, such as social-distancing and staying at home as much as we can, are being put in place daily, to keep our community, our society, our country and the world safe.

At the ISIJ Secretariat Office we continue to work and provide support to our community members and attendees whilst our centres remain closed. Effective today, in the best interest of our employees, we will be moving to work remotely from our homes until April 6, 2020. Whilst our phone lines will be redirected we strongly recommend you contact us by email at [email protected], and we shall do our best to assist you.

In our latest weekly teleconference call, the COVID-19 Crisis Task Force discussed the latest updates on cases in Canada, sharing education on self-isolation, and the use of masks and gloves. Below, we’ve put together a brief update along with some more queries that we have received.

For people with mild symptoms of COVID-19, hospitalization may not be necessary. Instead, you may be recommended to self-isolate in your own home, to limit further spread of the virus. The new recommendations from our Chief Medical Officer of Health is that if you have travelled outside of Canada you should put yourself into voluntary self isolation for 14 days – this is even if you do not have any symptoms upon arrival back to Canada. Self-isolation means remaining at home or in a single designated, adequately ventilated room and preferably using a dedicated toilet.

Observe the following:

  • Do not allow visitors.
  • Separate yourself from others in the household.
  • Use face masks, if you have one, when in the same room with other people.
  • Stay in a well-ventilated room with a window that can be opened.
  • If a dedicated toilet is not available, clean the toilet thoroughly after each use.
  • Use separate towels, utensils, and other commonly shared household items.
  • Activate your support system: ask friends, family, or neighbours for help to run essential errands.
  • Avoid direct contact when interacting with others, for example, arranging groceries to be dropped at the door. Wash hands directly before and after any interaction with others.
  • Follow the advice of your doctor or health advisor and call them if your condition worsens.

Public Health Ontario has a fact sheet on How to Self-Isolate ( and a Self-Isolation Guide for Caregivers, Household Members and Close Contacts (

If you or anyone you may know is showing symptoms of COVID-19, it is strongly recommended to seek clinical assessment over the phone – either through calling TeleHealth Ontario (1-866-797-0000) or by calling your family physician and/or the York Region Public Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653. A new Self-Assessment Tool is also available at: If you need additional assessment, you will be directed to in-person care options.

Frequently Asked Questions
We have received questions and have addressed them below and will continue to address queries that we get in our upcoming communiques.

1. Are masks and gloves helpful?
The paper masks are effective in preventing the transmission of droplets if the person wearing it coughs or sneezes. However they are less effective when they are wet (from breathing), and must be changed frequently (2-4hrs). They will decrease the likelihood of spreading the virus.

If gloves are worn they must be used properly; changed frequently and between interactions. If the person wears gloves and touches different surfaces they may cross contaminate these surfaces. If they touch their own face they may spread the virus/bacteria to their own face. The best way method to prevent transmission is to wash your hands for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizers when this is not possible.

2. Will our centres be open in time for the Month of Ramadan?
We do not know. We realize how important group prayer and activities are during Ramadan and we will move to re-open our centres as soon as the health experts feel it is safe. Until then, we want to do everything we can to protect the health and well being of everyone especially our cherished seniors. Please join us in this effort by doing everything you can to stay safe and protect those around you by practicing frequent hand washing and avoiding even small gatherings for now.

3. I’m not used to being home all the time, what can I do?
Later this week, we will be sharing an exclusive segment via email and on our social media platforms on Mental well-being and what we can do whilst we are at home. In the meantime, we’re challenging you to dig up your all-time favourite board game and remind the millennials of entertainment before technology appeared! Best of 3 wins!

And remember ….
WHASUP! – Wash Hands, Always Sanitize, and Use Precaution.

We ask that you keep our community and all of humanity at the forefront of your prayers and seek to the Almighty that we are relieved of this difficult situation soon.

With Salāms & Du’ās
ISIJ Secretariat Office
Islamic Shia Ithna-Asheri Jamaat of Toronto
905.695.9786 | [email protected]