How can I avoid COVID-19?
There’s no vaccine yet.
Keep at least six feet away from everyone. (Virus particles can travel up to six feet.)
Wash your hands OFTEN, using soap and water for at least 20 seconds. OR use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with an alcohol content of at least 60%.
Do NOT touch your face with unwashed hands.
Stay away from anyone who’s sick.
If you are sick, stay home and self-isolate.
There’s no evidence to support the idea that a cheap mask could offer protection. Virus particles are incredibly small and could slip through the mask anyway. An N95 mask may be helpful… but this is also unproven.
How can I know if I have COVID-19, the flu, or a cold?
Symptoms can look the same as the seasonal flu or common cold: fever, cough, difficulty breathing, pneumonia.
Or, you might not have any symptoms.
Studies show that in children, the symptoms are milder, and slightly different than adults. They may have a sore throat, diarrhea, or a runny or stuffy nose.
Symptoms could appear within two days of exposure, or up to 14 days following exposure.
The flu vaccine won’t protect you against COVID-19, nor will any natural health products.
The only way to know you have COVID-19, is to be tested by a local health care provider.
What should I do if I have symptoms?
If you’re under 50 years old and generally healthy, stay home. Do NOT go to the hospital. Most people with mild coronavirus illness will get better all on their own.
BUT if you’re older, have a compromised immune system, or are experiencing shortness of breath, yes – please do go to the hospital.
Don’t just drop in on your health care provider. They need a chance to get ready for your arrival -- call ahead to your primary care physician, walk-in clinic, or hospital emergency department. They’ll ask you to wear a mask, and you should expect to be isolated while you wait.
Be ready for when you see a doctor. Tell them your symptoms, where you’ve been traveling, if you’ve had direct contact with animals, or close contact with someone who’s sick – especially if they have fever, cough, or trouble breathing.
NOTE: some people have zero symptoms, but still test positive.
Who’s at risk?
Anyone aged 65 or older.
Anyone with a compromised immune system.
Anyone with underlying medical conditions.
What if I test positive for COVID-19 but they send me home?
You must self-isolate. Stay home, keep away from everyone – even family members.
The virus can travel up to six feet, so if possible, maintain separate bathrooms and separate bedrooms.
What if my child is sick?
So far, children have not become very sick from COVID-19. Most healthy kids will be fine in a few days. But if your child is sick, keep them at home. DO NOT send them to school. Or anywhere.
I’ve booked a trip. Now what?
If you’re travelling to any of these destinations, consider changing your plans:
Any cruise ship vacation. (If you go on a cruise despite instructions not to proceed, you may not have the chance to return to Canada via a government-organized repatriation flight. Or, you may have to pay for repatriation travel yourself.)
Before you leave:
Check your destination so you’re prepared for the potential health risks.
Stay on top of the latest news.
Read up on all the travel advisories for your destination.
Expect increased health screening measures at all points of entry for international destinations, like airports.
Also be prepared for local authorities to suddenly impose control measures such as movement restrictions and quarantines.
Realize that at any time, your destination’s government may implement entry requirements, border closures, and flight suspensions.
If you’re currently out of the country:
Follow the instructions of local authorities.
For updates, sign up for the Canadian government’s Registration of Canadians Abroad service.
When you return:
Monitor your health.
If you get sick while away, call ahead to a health professional and tell them about your symptoms and travel history.
If you get sick when you arrive home, contact your local Public Health Authority.
The Canadian government is monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak. Find updates here: