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 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. 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.

Need to know

  • What are the new regional public health orders?

    New Provincial Health Officer Orders on province-wide restrictions were announced on November 19. These restrictions cover social gatherings and events; restaurants and bars; athletic activities; mask requirements; travel advisory and enforcement and are in effect until December 7, 2020.

    Learn more here: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/covid-19-provincial-support

  • 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

  • What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

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

    The most common symptoms of COVID-19 include:

    • Fever (see below)
    • Chills
    • Cough or worsening of chronic cough
    • Shortness of breath
    • Sore throat
    • Runny nose
    • Loss of sense of smell or taste
    • Headache
    • Fatigue
    • Diarrhea
    • Loss of appetite
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Muscle aches

    While less common, symptoms can also include:

    • Stuffy nose
    • Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
    • Dizziness, confusion
    • Abdominal pain
    • Skin rashes or discoloration of fingers or toes.

    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 get tested.
    Source – BC Centre for Disease Control

  • How is COVID-19 spread?

    COVID-19 is spread by liquid droplets when a person coughs, sneezes, sings, or sometimes, when a person talks. If you are in close contact with an infected person, the virus can enter the body if droplets get into the eyes, nose or throat.

    COVID-19 can also spread by touch. If droplets are left on objects and surfaces after an infected person sneezes, coughs on, or touches them, other people may become infected by touching these objects or surfaces, and then touching their eyes, nose or mouth.

    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

  • Where can I get tested?

    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.

    Testing is available for those who have COVID-19 symptoms and those who have been sent for testing by a doctor or Public Health. Booking an appointment requires completing a COVID-19 test booking form.

  • 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.

Prevention

  • Is there a vaccine for COVID-19?

    Right now, there are no vaccines to prevent COVID-19. However, researchers are working hard to develop a vaccine.

    Source – BC Centre for Disease Control

  • How is COVID-19 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.

  • Will this year’s flu vaccine protect me from COVID-19?

    No, influenza vaccines protect against the virus that causes influenza. The influenza vaccine does not protect against other viruses or bacteria that cause common colds, stomach flu, or COVID-19. 

    Source – BC Centre for Disease Control

  • Should I wear a mask (medical or non-medical) to prevent the transmission of COVID-19?

    Masks should be used in combination with proven COVID-19 safety measures such as physical distancing, handwashing and staying home when sick.  Effectiveness of a mask can vary depending on the kind of mask used and whether the person is wearing it properly. This is why people should consider masks as an added layer of protection.

    Homemade masks should fit well and have at least three layers to make sure that droplets don't pass through the fabric.  

    Do not put a face mask or any covering including visors and eye protection on infants under two years of age.

    Medical masks (such as surgical and procedural masks, N95 respirators) should be reserved for our health care workers or visitors and patients within health care facilities.

    Source - BC Centre for Disease Control web page on Masks

     

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

    Non-medical masks or face coverings should not be placed on young children under the age of 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 practicing 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 and family?

    The most important things you can do to prevent infection is to stay home if you are sick, practice physical distancing (wear a mask if you are unable to physically distance) 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, or wear a mask when you are unable to stay apart.
    • 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.
    • Seek testing if you have symptoms, even mild ones.

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

  • 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.

  • 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

Symptoms

  • I have symptoms of COVID-19. What should I do?

    If you do develop or have symptoms of COVID-19, however mild, please self isolate and seek testing.

    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 Fraser Health's Virtual Health team at [enter #], 8-1-1, your family doctor or Urgent and Primary Care Centre, so they can determine if you need to be assessed again.

    Testing is available for those who have COVID-19 symptoms and those who have been sent for testing by a doctor or Public Health. Booking an appointment requires completing a COVID-19 test booking form.

    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.

    Can I go to the emergency department to get tested?

    Please avoid going to the emergency department for COVID-19 testing. Examples of reasons to go to an emergency department include if you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, as these may be signs of a life-threatening emergency. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.

    If you think you might have COVID-19, use the BC COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool. The tool will help determine if you need further assessment for yourself, or on behalf of someone else, if they are unable to.

    Testing is available for those who have COVID-19 symptoms and those who have been sent for testing by a doctor or Public Health. Booking an appointment requires completing a COVID-19 test booking form.

    Source – BC Centre for Disease Control

  • 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:

    • 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)
    • People diagnosed with COVID-19
    • Returning travellers
    • 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.

  • How do you ensure that people are self-isolating when told to do so?

    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:

    • Anyone returning from outside of Canada
    • Anyone with new respiratory symptoms
    • Those with known exposure to an individual with COVID-19 
    • 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 should be self-isolating but isn’t, what is my risk?

    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.

  • Can I go to the emergency department to get tested?

    Please avoid going to the emergency department for COVID-19 testing. Examples of reasons to go to an emergency department include if you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, as these may be signs of a life-threatening emergency. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.

    If you think you might have COVID-19, use the BC COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool. The tool will help determine if you need further assessment for yourself, or on behalf of someone else, if they are unable to.

    Source – BC Centre for Disease Control

Schools

  • Should I send my child to school?

    Returning to school is a personal choice and ultimately the decision of a child's parent or guardian. Plans for a safe return to school have been made based on the recommendation from the Provincial Health Officer and other public health experts. Students in B.C. returned to in-class learning in September 2020.

    B.C.'s back to school plan is built on three core principles to keep everyone safe:

    1. New health and safety measures
    2. Increased funding to keep schools safe and clean
    3. Learning groups to help reduce transmission

    By implementing health and safety measures to create safe environments and reduce the spread of COVID-19, schools can continue to be a place that encourages academic learning and fosters child and youth development.

    Safety measures include students and staff staying home when they are sick, increased cleaning at school, regular handwashing and/or hand sanitizing, wearing masks in common spaces, keeping a safe distance from others when possible, and keeping students in classrooms and learning groups.

    Visit BC's Back to School Plan for more information.

    Visit Fraser Health's back to school COVID-19 video questions and answers

  • Where can I find information about COVID-19 school exposures?

    If your child’s school has been notified of an exposure, no action is required unless you are directly contacted by Public Health or are otherwise directed by school officials.

    Public Health will contact you directly in case of any school exposure involving your child.

    Visit our school exposures webpage to view notification information on possible exposures within schools in the Fraser Health region.

Businesses

  • 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.

  • What do employers and workers need to know about COVID-19?

    Visit our doing business safely page for information and resources to help COVID-19 proof your business. 

    Visit WorkSafeBC for additional guidance and current health and safety information for employers and workers.

    Source – BC Centre for Disease Control

  • 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

  • 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.

  • Can events or mass gatherings be held right now?

    The gathering of people in close contact with one another can promote the transmission of COVID-19 and increase the number of people who develop COVID-19 and become seriously ill. 

    At this time, event organizers are ordered to limit all public gatherings larger than 50 people. This includes indoor and outdoor sporting events, conferences, meetings, religious gatherings, drive-ins or other similar events.

    Up to fifty patrons may attend an event in a place if conditions that are outlined in the Order of the Provincial Health Officer are met. For these gatherings, ensure there is an organizer of the event, 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.

    Liquor service must stop at 10:00 pm, and the event must conclude and patrons vacate the premises by 11:00 pm.

    There must be no liquor consumed on the premises by any person, including patrons, owners, operators, organizers or staff after 11:00 pm. 

    Even small gatherings can be risky right now. At this crucial time, we are asking people who reside in the Fraser Health region to take a pause and reconsider our social interactions outside of our households.

    Ensure your safe six are always the same six. As much as possible, socialize with people outside of your home such as public outdoor spaces like parks or licensed COVID safe businesses. 

    If you need to bring someone into your home, please ensure that they are part of your safe six, the same six - and that you are able to visit in a COVID safe way. 

    For parties, events, marking milestones and celebrations please have them at licensed businesses and restaurants. No parties in your private residence.

    organizer means the person responsible for organizing an event and the person who acts as host at an event

    Source – Order of the Provincial Health Officer

  • Can I host an event at a banquet hall? 

    1. The holding of an event in a banquet hall is prohibited.
    2. For certainty, this does not include the use of banquet halls for the purpose of holding municipal, provincial or federal elections, or health care related events such as immunization clinics, health authority COVID-19 testing centres or blood donation clinics. 

    “banquet hall” means a stand-alone premises built for the purpose of holding large social events, including banquets, generally involving many hundreds of people. It does not include the premises associated with a private club, hotel, house of worship, recreation centre, sports organization or other non- profit organization with a community, educational, historical, sports or similar purpose, or owned or operated or otherwise controlled by a government.

    “event” refers to anything which gathers people together whether on a one-time, regular or irregular basis, including a party, worship service, ceremony or celebration of any type, reception, wedding, funeral, celebration of life, musical, theatrical or dance entertainment or performance, live band performance, disc jockey performance, strip dancing, comedic act, art show, magic show, puppet show, fashion show, book signing, reading, recitation, display, movie, film, meeting, conference; lecture, talk, educational presentation (except in a school or post-secondary educational institution); auction, fund raising benefit, contest, quiz, game, rally, festival, presentation, demonstration, sporting or other physical activity, exhibition, market or fair, including a trade fair, agricultural fair, seasonal fair or episodic indoor event that has as its primary purpose the sale of merchandise or services e.g. Christmas craft markets, home shows, antique fairs and the like.

    Source – Order of the Provincial Health Officer

  • Are liquor primary establishments still open?

    No, owners and operators of liquor primaries operating as nightclubs must cease operation.

    Source – Order of the Provincial Health Officer

  • Have restrictions been placed on the hours of operation for food and liquor primary establishments?

    Unless a full meal service is provided, premises which are licenses to serve liquor must close by 11:00 pm and all patrons must vacate the premises. If a full meal service is provided, premises may stay open, but liquor must not be served until 9:00 am the following day.

    Source – Order of the Provincial Health Officer

  • At what time must liquor no longer be served to patrons?

    Liquor sales for onsite consumption must cease by 10:00 pm.

    Source – Order of the Provincial Health Officer

  • How late can owners, operators, and staff consume liquor on-site?

    Liquor must not be consumed on premises by owners, operators or staff after 11:00 pm.

    Source – Order of the Provincial Health Officer

Travel

  • Are travellers entering Canada screened for symptoms of COVID-19?

    International travellers 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 travellers (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 returning to B.C., what do I need to do before arriving?

    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 travellers 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 travelling 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.

  • What do I do if I get sick while outside of Canada?

    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.

  • How many people can be in a vacation accommodation that is located here in B.C.?

    The gathering of more than six guests in addition to the occupants in vacation accommodation or a private residence for the purposes of an event is prohibited.

    A guest may only attend an event in vacation accommodation or a private residence if there is space available inside to permit all individuals who do not reside together to maintain a distance of two metres from one another.

    “vacation accommodation” means a house, townhouse, cottage, cabin, apartment, condominium, mobile home, recreational vehicle, hotel suite, tent, yurt, houseboat or any other type of living accommodation and associated deck, garden or yard, when used for vacation purposes by the owner, tenant, guest or any other person.

    Source – Order of the Provincial Health Officer

  • A student at my child’s school/daycare just came back from travelling outside of Canada, what should I do? 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.

Local health area (LHA) COVID-19 data

  • Why are Fraser Health’s numbers so high?

    Fraser Health is the most populous region in B.C. serving more than 1.8 million people. Given this larger population, it is understandable that our region will have a larger number of cases.

  • Is there a higher risk of acquiring COVID-19 in the Fraser Health region? 

    Not necessarily. Cases are mapped based on where a person who has tested positive lives. This map represents the total number of cases since the pandemic began.

    They are not based on where the acquisition occurred and do not reflect current cases in a community.

  • How are cases mapped?

    Cases are mapped by location of residence, that is, the local health area in which an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 lives. 

  • Why do some communities show significantly higher numbers than others?

    There are a number of factors that may influence the cumulative number of cases in a community. Communities in which outbreaks and clusters have occurred will report higher numbers. It is understandable that communities with larger populations may have a larger number of cases. 

Our response

  • What is being done in Fraser Health to protect residents from COVID-19?

    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.

    For more information, visit our Visitor guidelines webpage.

  • 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 you 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.

Elective surgery information

  • How are elective surgeries being prioritized?

    Patients are being prioritized on clinical urgency as well as cases that were cancelled due to COVID-19 closures, and long waiting patients (exceeding 26 weeks).

  • Do 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.

  • Are there enough PPE, supplies, and drugs?

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

  • What measures are being 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.

  • Could the surgery renewal plan be impacted?

    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.

  • 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

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 website.

    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.

Contribute

  • 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.