Coronavirus

Information for Fraser Health-area residents about COVID-19.

At Fraser Health, the health of our residents is our top priority. 

We are working closely with the BC Centre for Disease Control and the Public Health Agency of Canada to monitor the national and provincial COVID-19 situation.

Non-medical information about COVID-19, including the latest information on travel recommendations and physical distancing. Information is available in more than 110 languages, 7:30 am - 8 pm at 1-888-COVID19 (1-888-268-4319) or via text message at 1-888-268-4319.

For any medical questions, call 8-1-1 to talk to a registered nurse. 

The BC COVID-19 symptom self-assessment tool helps determine whether further assessment or testing is needed.

Elective surgery information

  • When will our hospitals resume elective surgeries?

    Elective surgical services will begin May 19 with detailed screening and risk assessment, as capacity increases over several weeks to near normal pre-COVID productivity levels.

  • How will our hospitals keep up with the demands from the rescheduled surgeries in addition to new elective surgical cases?

    We will be expanding operating room capacity in the coming months. 

  • How and when will patients be contacted?

    Fraser Health has started contacting patients who had their elective surgeries postponed to inform them of the restart plan and ask whether they would like to continue with their surgery while COVID-19 is still a concern. 

  • Will patients have a choice to reschedule their elective surgeries or opt to not reschedule at this time?

    We recognize that some individuals may wish to continue to postpone their elective surgery while COVID-19 remains in our communities. Those who indicate they want to wait will have the decision shared with their surgeon for follow-up.

  • How will elective surgeries be prioritized?

    Patients will be rescheduled based on priority determined by their surgeon.

  • Is there enough PPE, supplies and drugs?

    Yes, we have confirmed the availability of the PPE, supplies and drugs needed.

  • What measures will be taken to minimize risk of transmission of COVID-19 for patients, staff and medical staff?

    When possible, patients will be assessed through a virtual pre-admission clinic by video conference prior to their elective surgery. This will prevent a hospital or clinic visit for the patient. Consistent screening tools and risk assessment guidelines will be used.

    Patients will also be assessed 24-72 hours prior to surgery and upon arrival the day of surgery. Surgeries will be scheduled with time to accommodate additional cleaning and infection control measures.

  • What about other health services,  like diagnostic services?

    We will resume the screening and diagnostic programs that help patients and care providers reach the decision for surgery. Every effort will be made toward timely implementation.

  • Are there other factors that may impact the surgery renewal plan?

    Our plan is dependent on several factors such as adequate supply of personal protective equipment, full commitment of all partners, and monitoring of possible fall/winter resurgence of COVID-19.

Prenatal and postnatal care

General information

  • I want more information about COVID-19. Where can I find it?

    For non-medical information about COVID-19 call 1-888 -COVID-19 or text 604-630-0300. Information is available in more than 110 languages.

    If you think you have COVID-19, try the new self-assessment tool for symptoms of COVID-19 first. 

    If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, visit our pages on Self isolation and Testing for COVID-19 for guidance on what to do next, or call 8-1-1

    If you are looking for additional information about COVID-19, see the Q & A’s below or visit the BCCDC website.

  • What is coronavirus/COVID-19?

    Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses found mostly in animals. In humans, they can cause diseases ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). The disease caused by this new coronavirus has been named COVID-19. While many of the characteristics of COVID-19 are still unknown, mild to severe illness has been reported for confirmed cases.

    Source – BC Centre for Disease Control

  • How is COVID-19 spread?

    Coronavirus is spread from an infected person through:

    • Droplets spread when a person coughs or sneezes
    • It can be spread by touch if a person has used their hands to cover their mouth or nose when they cough or sneeze.
    • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands.

    Source – BC Centre for Disease Control

  • What are the symptoms of COVID-19? 

    The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to other respiratory illnesses including the flu and common cold. They include:

    • Fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath and sore throat.
    • Other symptoms may include: Painful swallowing, stuffy or runny nose, loss of sense of smell, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, loss of appetite.

    Symptoms can range from mild to severe. Sometimes people with COVID-19 have mild illness, but their symptoms may suddenly worsen in a few days. People infected with COVID-19 may also experience gastrointestinal symptoms like diarrhea, nausea and vomiting a few days after the onset of the above symptoms. If you only have gastrointestinal symptoms you may not have COVID-19.

    If you have any of these symptoms or are feeling unwell, however mild, please self isolate and use the BC self-assessment tool to assess your symptoms and for what to do next. Please also visit our Self isolation and Testing for COVID-19 pages for guidance on what to do next.  

    Source – BC Centre for Disease Control

  • Can you get sick from people who don't have symptoms?

    The primary driver of the global pandemic of COVID-19 has been individuals with visible symptoms (such as fever, cough, and difficulty breathing). 

    There are recent studies showing that the virus can be transmitted from infected people before they recognize their symptoms (pre-symptomatic transmission) or by those who never develop symptoms (asymptomatic transmission). We do not know how much of a role pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic transmission play in driving this epidemic at this time, but it can occur when there is prolonged close physical contact with an infected person (such as spending a long period of time in the same room as them). Evidence of asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic transmission points to the importance that everyone follows the proven methods of preventing transmission, even when they are feeling well: these are physical distancing, hand hygiene, and respiratory etiquette. 

    Source – Public Health Agency of Canada

  • How is novel coronavirus treated?

    There is no specific treatment for disease caused by COVID-19. Many of the symptoms can be managed with home treatment such as drinking plenty of fluids, rest and using a humidifier or hot shower to ease a cough or sore throat. Most people recover from coronaviruses on their own. For people with more serious illness supportive care in or out of hospital may be needed.

  • I would like to donate medical supplies such as masks, face shields/goggles, hand sanitizer, and gloves. Where can I get more information?

    It is wonderful that many individuals and organizations want to donate to our health care system. Currently, BC is not experiencing any shortages of medical supplies; however, we are preparing to meet future needs and ensure that our staff and medical staff continue to have the supplies they need.

    If you are an individual or organization, the Provincial Health Services Authority has endorsed SafeCare BC to collect donations of medical supplies. Donations will be stored centrally, and from there will be distributed to hospitals, long-term care, home care, community health support, and assisted living facilities according to need. 

    Please visit SafeCare BC for a list of supplies that are currently needed. They are only accepting unopened and unused items. 

    If you are a vendor or manufacturer of clinical equipment such as ventilators, you can contact the Provincial Health Services Authority Supply Chain. You can find more information on the Provincial Health Services Authority Supply Chain web page.

  • I am a vendor or manufacturer of clinical equipment such as ventilators. Where can I get more information? 

    If you are a vendor or manufacturer of clinical equipment such as ventilators, you can contact the Provincial Health Services Authority Supply Chain. You can find more information on the Provincial Health Services Authority Supply Chain web page.

Prevention

  • What is physical distancing?

    Physical distancing is a way that we can slow the spread of COVID-19 by limiting close contact with others. Even when we are not sick, we should still keep two metres (six feet) from one another when we are outside our homes. Two metres is the approximate length of a queen-sized bed.

    There are many ways to practice physical distancing: 

    Limit activities outside your home

    • Use virtual options to connect with others
    • If you are out in public, try to keep 2 metres between yourself and others.
    • Keep your hands at your sides when possible
    • Stay home when you are sick
    • Cough into your elbow or sleeve
    • Avoid social activities in large gatherings

    Many recreational facilities and the programs they offer have now been closed in BC.

    Source – BC Centre for Disease Control

  • What is self-isolation? Who needs to self-isolate?

    Self-isolation is done by people who have confirmed COVID-19 or are likely to have it. It means separating yourself from others, including staying at home, to avoiding situations where you could infect other people. The goal of self-isolation is to lower the chance of spreading the virus.

    We are currently asking the following groups to self-isolate:

    1. anyone with new onset symptoms, however mild (Cough, fever, sore throat, difficulty breathing, muscle aches, fatigue, sore throat, headache, loss of appetite, chills, runny nose, and loss of sense of smell or taste).
    2. people diagnosed with COVID-19,
    3. returning travellers, and
    4. close contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases (who have been instructed by Public Health)

    If you are a returning traveller from outside of Canada or a close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case, please self-isolate for 14 days even if you do not have symptoms. Please note, if you are a returning traveller, you are required to self-isolate for 14 days under the Federal Quarantine Act.

    This is because 14 days is the time it can take for COVID-19 to go from initially infecting you to making you feel sick. This is called the incubation period. There is a chance that you can spread germs in the incubation period, and so people who do not have symptoms but are at higher risk of having been exposed to the illness are asked to self-isolate in addition to those who are showing symptoms.

    Please complete this online self-assessment tool to determine whether you should self-isolate. 

    Please visit our pages on Self isolation and Testing for COVID-19 for information on how long and how to self-isolate, whether you need testing, and specific guidance. 

     
  • I have symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g. cough, shortness of breath, fever) and I'm self-isolating at home. What do I do if I feel worse or am not getting better?

    If you do develop or have symptoms of COVID-19, however mild, please self-isolate and refer to the BC self-assessment tool to assess your symptoms and for further steps. Please also visit our pages on Self isolation and Testing for COVID-19 for information on how long and how to self-isolate, whether you need testing, and specific guidance. 

    Monitoring your symptoms daily at home while you are in self-isolation for COVID-19 is important, in particular be sure you are doing temperature checks.

    Most people who self-isolate at home will recover on their own. If your symptoms worsen, or if you do not improve after 5 or 6 days, call 8-1-1, your family doctor or Urgent and Primary Care Centre, so they can determine if you need to be assessed again.

    If, at any time, you are feeling unwell and are worried this might be an emergency due to severe difficulty breathing or chest pain, call 9-1-1 — emergency departments are available to those who need them.

  • Should I wear a mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19?

    Medical masks (such as surgical & procedural masks, N95 respirators) should be reserved for our health care workers.

    Non-medical masks have not been shown to protect the wearer from getting COVID-19. However, it can be an additional measure you take to protect others in the community from contacting your droplets, similar to using a tissue or sleeve to cover your own cough. In public settings where physical distancing is difficult, (e.g., grocery shopping, in close settings such as public transit), wearing a non-medical mask is one way to protect those around you.

     Keep in mind that wearing a non-medical mask is not a replacement for proven measures of physical distancing, self-isolating when sick, and frequent hand washing. Please see the Q & A’s below on “Do non-medical masks work?” and “How do I use a non-medical mask safely?” for more information.

    Masks should be used by:

    • Sick people to prevent transmission to other people. A mask acts as a barrier to stop a person's droplets from spreading to others when they cough or sneeze.
    • Health-care workers and first responders. These groups wear surgical masks, eye protection, gowns, and gloves in order to protect themselves and other patients. During health-care procedures in which aerosol sprays may be generated (for example, when giving certain inhaled medications), health-care workers wear specialized masks.

    Please visit the BC Centre for Disease web page on Masks for more information. 

  • Do non-medical (e.g. homemade or cloth) masks work?

    Non-medical masks have not been proven to protect the person wearing the mask from COVID-19 infection. However, it can protect other people around you by acting as a barrier that covers your mouth and nose, preventing your droplets from reaching them or landing on surfaces they come into contact with. Using a non-medical mask is similar to covering your cough with tissues or your sleeve.  

    Any mask, no matter how efficient at filtration or how good the seal, will have minimal effect if it is not used together with other preventive measures, such as frequent hand washing, physical distancing, staying home as much as possible, and self-isolating when you are sick. Wearing a non-medical mask is not an alternative to these proven preventative measures but is an additional measure you can take to protect those around you. 

    There is a potential risk of infection to yourself and others with incorrect mask use, placement and when putting it on or taking it off. If you choose to wear a non-medical mask, it needs to be used safely. Please see the Q&A “How do I use a non-medical mask safely” below for instructions. 

     
  • How do I use a non-medical mask safely?

    Non-medical masks or face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

    Masks can become contaminated on the outside or when touched by hands. There is a potential risk of infecting yourself or others with incorrect mask use, placement and when putting it on or taking it off. If you are using a mask to protect others, your droplets can accumulate on the inside of the mask and become a source of infection to others. If you are ill, a mask should NOT be a replacement for self-isolation but should be used when you cannot avoid being in the same space as other people. 

    If you choose to use a non-medical mask or face covering for any reason:

    • Wash your hands immediately before putting it on and immediately after taking it off (in addition to practising good hand hygiene while wearing it)
    • It should fit well (non-gaping)
    • Do NOT share it with others
    • Avoid touching the mask when using it. Avoid moving the mask around or adjusting it often
    • Do not touch your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands, even when you are wearing a non-medical mask. This is one way you can get infected. 

    If a cloth mask or covering gets damp or soiled:

    • Put it directly into the washing machine or a bag that can be emptied into the washing machine and then disposed of
    • It can be laundered with other items using a hot cycle, and then dried thoroughly

    If a non-medical mask that cannot be washed gets damp, soiled, or crumpled:

    • It should be discarded and replaced. 
    • Dispose of it in a lined garbage bin. Do not discard it where other people can come into contact with it, such as shopping carts or on the ground.

    Masks alone will not prevent the spread of COVID-19. You must consistently and strictly adhere to frequent hand washing and physical distancing. Stay home as much as possible when you are healthy and self-isolate when you are sick.

    Visit Canada.ca/coronavirus for more information on how to safely put a mask on or taking it off, how to wash cloth masks, or safely dispose of other non-medical masks (such as dust masks).

    Source – Public Health Agency of Canada

     
  • What can I do to protect myself and my friends or family?

    The most important things you can do to prevent infection is to practice physical distancing, wash your hands regularly, and avoid touching your face. To help reduce your risk of infection:

    • Practice physical distancing by staying at least 2 metres away from others outside of your home. More information on physical distancing can be found under “What is physical distancing?”
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Using soap and water is the single most effective and preferred way of reducing the spread of infection.
    • If a sink is not available, alcohol-based hand rubs (ABHR) can be used to clean your hands as long as they are not visibly soiled. If they are visibly soiled, use a wipe and then ABHR to effectively clean them.
    • Do not touch your face, eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
    • Do not share food, drinks, utensils, etc.

    If you are sick

    • Self-isolate by staying home and avoiding close contact with others in your home if possible. Please visit our pages on Self isolation and Testing for COVID-19 for guidance on what to do next.

    A non-medical facemask is an additional measure you can take to protect others around you from your droplets. It should not replace physical distancing, hand hygiene, or any of the other steps listed above. You can find additional information on masks under “Should I wear a mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19?” 

    Sources – BC Centre for Disease Control and Public Health Agency of Canada

  • How long do I need to self-isolate for?

    If you are a returned traveler from outside of Canada OR close contact of a confirmed case and do not develop symptoms, you do not require a test, but self-isolate and self-monitor for 14 days. Self-isolation can end 14 days after the last contact with someone with COVID-19 or 14 days from the day you return to Canada if you have not developed symptoms. For returning travelers, you are required to self-isolate for 14 days under the Federal Quarantine Act.

    If you develop symptoms during these 14 days, please get tested at a COVID-19 testing center (visit our testing information page for where and how to get tested). Thank you for getting tested as testing provides valuable public health information to help inform our public health responses.

    • If you test positive for COVID-19, you will be contacted by Public Health with further instructions. You will continue to self-isolate for a minimum of 10 days after the start of symptoms AND until fever is gone without the use of anti-fever medications AND until symptoms resolve (with exceptions of isolated cough) whichever takes the longest.
    • If you test negative for COVID-19 and have symptoms, you still need to self-isolate for a minimum of 10 days from the start of symptoms AND for 14 days after your last contact with a COVID-19 case or 14 days from the day you arrived back to Canada, whichever is longest.

    If you develop symptoms and are not a returning traveler OR close contact of a confirmed case, self-isolate and get tested at a COVID-19 testing center.

    • If you test positive for COVID-19 you will be contacted by Public Health with further instructions. You will self-isolate for at least 10 days starting from when your symptoms began AND until fever is gone without the use of anti-fever medications AND until symptoms resolve (with exceptions of isolated cough). For example, if after 10 days you still have fever or fatigue or runny nose, continue to self-isolate until your symptoms go away. After symptoms resolve return to regular physical distancing. Coughing may continue for several weeks, so a cough alone does not mean you need to continue to self-isolate for longer.
    • If you tested positive for COVID-19 and were hospitalized you will receive instructions in hospital and by Public Health.
    • If you test negative for COVID-19, continue to self-isolate until your symptoms resolve. Coughing may continue for several weeks, so a cough alone does not mean you need to continue to self-isolate for longer.

    Visit our testing information page for when, where, and how to get tested.

  • Can COVID-19 be transmitted sexually?

    COVID-19 has not been found to be transmitted sexually. However, it can spread when droplets of saliva or mucous containing the virus touches your mouth, nose, or eyes, and so any close physical contact is favourable for transmission. Touching any surface, body part, or object that droplets have come in contact with and then touching your face can also result in transmission. These droplets are also created when someone coughs or sneezes, and can even reach you when you are within 2 metres of an infected person. 

    To reduce the spread of COVID-19, stay home and avoid sex and physical contact with others if you are sick, avoid sex and physical contact with others who are sick or self-isolating, and avoid encounters within 2 metres of people outside of your household.

  • Is it still safe to drink tap water? What do I do if I am concerned about my drinking water? 

    Water users, connected to a permitted water system that is operating in compliance with the Drinking Water Protection Regulation, can continue to use their tap water for drinking and washing as usual. 

    The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that the “The presence of the COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking water supplies and based on current evidence the risk to water supplies is low.” Additionally, according to the U.S. Centre for Disease Control, the COVID-19 virus is mainly thought to spread between people who are in close contact with one another.

    You do not need to boil your water, provided your drinking water system is not already on a Boil Water Notice. Boiling your water is not required as a precaution against the COVID-19 virus.

    If you have a complaint or concern about the safety of your drinking water, first contact your water supplier. In many cases, it will be possible to resolve the issue at this point. If your discussion with the water supplier has not addressed your concern, please contact the Fraser Health drinking water program.

    You do not need to buy bottled water or store drinking water. There are no indications that the COVID-19 virus is in the drinking water supply or will affect the normal supply of water. Other than your regular stock of emergency water, there is no need to purchase or use bottled water to reduce your risk of exposure to the COVID-19 virus unless directed by your water supplier.

What to do if you are sick?

  • I am feeling ill with cough and flu-like symptoms. What should I do?

    If you feel unwell, it may be the case that you have a common cold or flu, rather than COVID-19. Regardless, if you have cough and flu-like symptoms, however mild, please self-isolate and get tested. Please also use the BC self-assessment tool to help determine if you need further assessment by a physician, nurse practitioner or a local collection (testing) centre.

    Find your local collection centre for testing by the following links. You can also call 8-1-1 to find the nearest centre.

    While self-isolating, monitor yourself daily for fever, cough and worsening symptoms and check your temperature each day (if possible). The BC self-assessment tool will help you assess your symptoms.

    • Visit our Self isolation page for information on how long and how to self-isolate.
    • If you have worsening symptoms at any time OR you are not feeling better 5 or 6 days after you initially started feeling unwell, call 8-1-1, your family doctor, or an Urgent and Primary Care Centre.
    • If at any time you are feeling very unwell and are worried this might be an emergency (e.g. severe difficulty breathing or chest pain), call 9-1-1.
  • Where can I find more information about self-isolation?

    Please visit our page on Self isolation for more information on how to self-isolate and specific guidance. 

  • Where can I find information about testing, such as whether I need testing and how it is done?

    Please visit our pages on Testing for COVID-19 for information about whether you need testing, how it is done, and where to get results. You can also visit the BCCDC testing page and the BC self assessment tool for information on testing.

  • If a family member or I are ill, how do I clean and disinfect my home?

    Clean and disinfect common areas once a day. Each day, clean places and surfaces in the room(s) that you are staying in. Regular cleaning products are fine for this. For areas that are touched often, you can disinfect them (kill germs) by mixing 1/50 solution of bleach and water (e.g. approximately 20 ml bleach per litre of water or 2 1/2 ounces per gallon). This can be used for counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and bedside tables. It is especially important to use bleach to disinfect if you are sharing any common areas (such as a bathroom) with others or if others will be entering the room(s) where you are staying.

    Source – BC Centre for Disease Control

Travel

  • Are travellers screened for symptoms of COVID-19?

    International travelers are screened at all borders – land, sea and air. Please visit the Government of Canada website for the latest travel information

    As of March 28th 2020, Transport Canada requires flight and inter-city rail operators to conduct a health check of travelers (both domestic and international) before they board and are to refuse passengers presenting with COVID-19 symptoms (such as fever and cough). Please visit the Transport Canada Order News Release for more information. 

  • I am a returning traveller, what do I need to do?

    It is legally required* for anyone arriving in B.C. from outside of Canada to self-isolate for 14 days upon their arrival, whether or not they have symptoms of COVID-19.

    • All returning travelers must complete a self-isolation plan before or upon arrival to BC. More information on the self-isolation plan is available here: Self-Isolation on Return to BC.
    • Upon arrival, you must use private transportation (such as your own vehicle) to go directly to your place of self-isolation
    • You must wear a non-medical mask or face covering while traveling to your place of self-isolation
    • If you do not have a self-isolation plan or do not have adequate supports to self-isolate, you will be directed to provincial accommodation where you can safely complete your 14-day self-isolation
    • *On March 25, an order was made under the Federal Quarantine Act, making it legally required for anyone arriving from outside of Canada to self-isolate and monitor for symptoms for 14 days upon their arrival.

    If at any point you develop respiratory symptoms, continue to self-isolate and use the BC self-assessment tool for guidance on testing. You can find information on when to get tested and how long and how to self-isolate on our Self isolation and Testing for COVID-19 pages.

  • If I am in a hotel and get sick, do I need to tell the people at the hotel that I may have COVID-19?

    Yes. If you get sick when you are travelling and are staying in a hotel, let the hotel staff know so they can help you. 

    If you have just arrived in Canada it is legally required for you to have completed a self-isolation plan, and self-isolate. If you develop symptoms you should also get tested for COVID-19. Please see our Self isolation and Testing for COVID-19 pages for more information. 

    If you are travelling in another country, it should be for essential travel only. Follow the instructions of your local authorities.

    Most major tourist hotels have in-house doctors who can provide medical care. Hotels can also arrange appointments with local physicians. If you have travel insurance, contact the local number you may have been given or the assistance centre in Canada and ask for a referral.

    If you need urgent care, the best option is often the nearest hospital. If you are in Canada, call to let first responders and healthcare providers know that you are sick and self-isolating. In some countries, ambulances may not be common. Use whatever form of transportation you have to get to a hospital

Novel coronavirus in BC

  • Which businesses are open?

    The following are examples of businesses that are open provided they follow enhanced protocols and develop their WorkSafeBC COVID-19 Safety Plan.

    • All essential services will remain open as before
    • Arts and cultural facilities such as museums and libraries
    • Community-based health care settings including in-person counselling, dentistry, physical therapy
    • Fitness facilities
    • Offices
    • Personal service establishments including barbershops, hair and nail salons, spas, tattoo shops
    • Real estate showings
    • Restaurants, cafes, and pubs for dining-in as well as take-out
    • Retail and vendors of non-food items including clothing stores
    • BC Parks campgrounds for daytime-use
    • Hotels and resorts; however, events hosted there are still limited to fewer than 50 people
    • Some movie theatres and entertainment venues

    On June 1, 2020, many BC Parks campgrounds and backcountry camping opened for overnight use and reservations.

    • Not all parks and campgrounds are open
    • Check the BC Parks website before you go

    The following businesses will remain closed at this time:

    • Any business that would be open for the purposes of hosting large gatherings such as concerts, conferences

    For more information, see the BC Restart Plan.

    When entering business premises, maintain physical distancing of two metres away from others, avoid touching your face, and cough and sneeze into your elbow. You may also want to avoid unnecessary touching of store items.

     
  • How do I report a business that is not following public health orders?

    People can report businesses that are not following the Provincial Health Officer’s orders to their local Bylaw Enforcement Office. This includes businesses that are not abiding by physical distancing guidelines or their COVID-19 Safety Plan

    The Bylaw Enforcement Office will contact Fraser Health if the complaint involves a business under our regulation. 

    Concerns about private workplaces can be directed to WorkSafeBC.

  • Shouldn’t people who have travelled to areas known to have novel coronavirus be excluded from public places? (e.g., to work, school, child care)?

    As of March 25th 2020, it is legally-required under the Federal Quarantine Act that all people returning from travel outside of Canada are to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival from their destination. 

  • How do you ensure that people who are told to self-isolate, actually self-isolate? What if they were to go out in public, like to a local grocery store, would I be at risk?

    It is our expectation that people who are required to self-isolate will do so. Compliance is very important to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Measures are also being taken at the federal, provincial, and local levels to ensure that people who are told to self-isolate actually do so. 

    A number of groups are being asked to self-isolate:

    1. Anyone returning from outside of Canada
    2. Anyone with new respiratory symptoms
    3. Those with known exposure to an individual with COVID-19 
    4. Those who have tested positive for COVID-19

    The third and fourth groups are monitored by Public Health. If these two groups do not self-isolate, Public Health can use legal powers under the Public Health Act to ensure that self-isolation occurs. Furthermore, all returning travelers are now legally-required to self-isolate under the Federal Quarantine Act and have a self-isolation plan.

    The spread of novel coronavirus occurs with sustained close contact with an affected individual, for example, sitting in a car on a long trip, or living in the same household. Grocery stores – which are open and where people tend to walk around – are less likely places to allow for virus spread. However, you should still distance yourself 2 metres apart from others, wash your hands frequently, cough and sneeze into your elbow, and avoid touching your face to protect yourself and others from infection.

    Source – BC Centre for Disease Control

  • I know someone who I think should be self-isolating but isn’t. What should I do? 

    We are not asking the general public to report individuals who are not self-isolating. We are expecting that people who are required to self-isolate will do so, as compliance is very important to reduce the spread of COVID-19. 

    People who have tested positive for COVID-19 or have known exposure to an individual with COVID-19 are monitored by Public Health and they will follow up with these individuals to ensure that self-isolation occurs. 

    If the person you are concerned about is unwell, call 811, a family doctor, or an Urgent and Primary Care Centre and they will provide advice about helping the person get assistance. Call 911 if the person is in distress (having shortness of breath or chest pain). If the person you are calling about appears mostly well, do not engage or interact with that person, maintain physical distancing of at least 2 metres, and perform hand hygiene as soon as possible. 

  • Is it safe to go out in public (e.g. shopping, work, use public transit, etc.)? 

    It continues to be encouraged to stay home as much as possible. If you do leave your home to go shopping, take public transit or go to work, use common sense approaches to prevent infection and transmission:

    • Wash your hands often and avoid touching your face with unwashed hands
    • Try to use public transit or go to stores at off peak times
    • Do not go shopping, take public transit or go to work if you are sick
    • If you have to cough or sneeze, make sure you sneeze or cough into a tissue or your elbow and then wash your hands.
    • If you are older or have health conditions, consider asking your family, friends and neighbors to help you get the supplies you need. 
  • I recently received something in the mail that I ordered. Could I catch the virus from it?

    No. There is no evidence to suggest that mailed items can transmit the virus.

  • Should events and mass gatherings be cancelled?

    All mass gatherings over 50 people are currently prohibited. This includes indoor and outdoor sporting events, restaurants, conferences, meetings, religious gatherings and other similar events. As of March 26th 2020, Minister Farnworth has enabled compliance and enforcement officials to provide assistance for compliance and enforcement of the Provincial Health Officer’s orders regarding gatherings. Please view the Provincial Health Officer orders here for updates.

    The mass gathering order does not include worksites or businesses such as grocery stores or malls when the environment allows for distance between people – unless there is an event being held at these locations. It does not include food banks and homeless shelters/gatherings. 

    For gatherings under 50 people, the final decision regarding postponement or cancellation of mass gatherings is ultimately the responsibility of the organizer.  For these gatherings, ensure that there is adequate room for people to practice physical distancing of 2 metres and still be able to move around the space.  Ensure that participants wash their hands often with soap and water, cover their mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, stay home if they are sick or become sick, and avoid others who seem unwell.

  • Is it safe to go to the ER when there are cases of COVID-19 in BC? 

    Yes, but save our ERs for emergencies. 

    If you think you might have COVID-19, the ER is NOT the place to come. Instead, use the self-assessment tool and then call your family doctor or 8-1-1 for further advice if needed. Call 1-888-COVID or text 604-630-0300 if you have general questions about COVID-19. Most people with mild symptoms do not require a test and should proactively self-isolate instead. 

    Call 9-1-1 or visit your nearing emergency room for critical or life-threatening conditions. For non life-threatening urgent care needs, visit an Urgent and Primary Care Centre. Find a location at fraserhealth.ca/urgentcare

    If you need to go to an emergency department, please be aware that all patients with respiratory symptoms will be asked to put on a mask and wash their hands. We are also restricting visitors to essential visits only at all of our sites through controlled access points.

School, daycare and workplaces

  • Should my school or workplace take special precautions to protect against COVID-19?

    Workplaces and other organizations need to produce a WorkSafeBC COVID-19 Safety Plan and display it on-site. The COVID-19 safety plan should include measures to support physical distancing, increased routine cleaning practices, regular handwashing (such as providing soap, paper towels, and hand sanitizer) and respiratory etiquette. 

    Schools (K-12) are gradually opening for the remainder of the Spring 2020 school year for optional attendance and are expected to follow special precautions to protect against COVID-19. Keep in contact with your school district for updates.

  • I don’t feel safe at my workplace with regards to COVID-19. Who should I contact?

    For workplace-related concerns in the context of COVID-19, please contact WorkSafeBC.

    You can find more COVID-19 information and resources on their website

  • A student at my child's school/daycare just came back from travel outside of Canada, what should I do? And what should the school do?

    We understand that parents are concerned about the rapidly evolving novel coronavirus situation, and that information continuously changes; however, we urge individuals to resist making assumptions about the risk of students or staff based on their travel history.

    Schools can remind their students or staff that all people returning from travel outside of Canada that they must self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival. As of March 25th 2020, this is mandatory under the Federal Quarantine act. 

  • An employee just came back from an affected area and is returning to work, as an employer what should I do?

    At this time, all people returning from travel outside of Canada must self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival. As of March 25th 2020, this is mandatory under the Federal Quarantine act. Employers can instruct workers to follow this legal requirement. 

    If they develop respiratory symptoms in that time, they are asked to self-isolate for an additional period of 10 days after the onset of symptoms, whenever they occur.

    We are asking employers to excuse staff for sick leave without requiring a doctor’s note, if their employees are ill or required to self-isolate.

    As an employer, you can actively encourage all employees to practice respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene at your worksite, implement measures to support physical distancing, increase routine cleaning practices, and advise employees to stay home when they are sick.

    WorkSafeBC has further information for employers and workers on their website.

Mental health and substance use

Social supports

  • How do I access income support?

    The provincial government is putting in place the BC Emergency Benefit for Workers. Details on financial support that the BC government is providing can be found on the BC government site.

    The federal government is putting in place income supports such as the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. Certain groups may be able to access additional support, such as the Canada Child Benefit and the Special Goods and Services Tax credit payment. More information can be found on the Government of Canada website.

  • How do I access rental support?

    BC Housing is introducing a temporary rental supplement, stopping evictions for non-payment of rent, and freezing rent increases. Information can be found at the BC Housing website.

  • I am on income assistance/disability assistance/comforts allowance/senior’s supplement. Is there any support for me? 

    If you are not receiving Federal employment insurance or the new Canada Emergency Response Benefit, and are receiving assistance from one of the above categories, the provincial government is automatically adding $300 on your cheques issued April, May, and June. Information is available on the BC government website.

Our response

  • What is being done in Fraser Health to protect residents from novel coronavirus?

    In addition to keeping you informed via this Q&A, Fraser Health has organizational structures, plans and processes in place to address and monitor emerging issues like this one. We are working in partnership with the BC Ministry of Health and the BC Centre for Disease Control

    The critical steps to ensure the safety of Fraser Health residents include: early identification of cases, prompt isolation, testing and monitoring. Each of these steps are currently being taken and will continue as part of the novel coronavirus response.

  • What are the new visitor guidelines for Fraser Health? 

    Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are restricting visitors to ESSENTIAL VISITS ONLY at all of our sites through controlled access points.

    Restricting visitors minimizes the risk of the introduction of COVID-19 into our facilities. Essential visits include visits for compassionate care (such as end of life or critical illness).

    Please do not visit if you are sick.

  • Do I have to pay for parking at any Fraser Health sites right now if I am an essential visitor?

    No. We have temporarily suspended paid parking. Please note that the temporary suspension of paid parking means will not pay for parking if you are an essential visitor to the site. All other parking restrictions are in place such us reserved spaces and spaces for accessibility.