Frequently asked questions for care providers on COVID-19

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Frequently asked questions

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A: COVID-19 is believed to be spread via respiratory droplets (similar to influenza, MERS, and SARS) or contact (e.g. contaminated hands to mucous membranes).

A: Patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough or shortness of breath. For more information visit PHAC:

A: The incubation period is believed to be between two to 14 days.

See the following links for more information: US CDC: PHAC:

A: The period of communicability for COVID-19 is not currently known and likely diminishes once symptoms subside.

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A: People who have any symptoms of COVID-19 AND who meet any of the following criteria should be considered as being at higher risk for having COVID-19 infection:

  • Those with history of travel to areas with COVID-19 or history of exposure to symptomatic travelers from areas with confirmed COVID-19;
  • Those who had close contact (individuals who provided care for, is a family member of, or who had similar physical contact) with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19;
  • Those who visited a hospital or healthcare facility known to have treated confirmed COVID-19 cases.

A: Using the screening criteria above, if you think your patient has COVID-19, have the patient wear a procedure mask immediately. Place the patient in a separate room with contact and droplet precautions. Perform hand hygiene and contact your medical health officer.

A: Lab testing via nasopharyngeal (NP) swab is available for diagnosis to confirm a suspected diagnosis of COVID-19. At this point in time, the medical health officer will facilitate testing of all high risk patients as described above.

A: At this time there are no specific treatments recommended for COVID-19 infections. Supportive and symptomatic care are important particularly for those with severe symptoms of COVID-19.

A: There is no vaccine available at this point in time.

A: Healthcare providers interacting with a suspect case of COVID-19 should use contact and droplet precautions in addition to routine precautions including hand hygiene for self-protection. Airborne precautions should be added to this during aerosol-generating medical procedures (AGMP). This specifically means:

  • Patients should be given a procedure mask as soon as possible and placed in a private room as soon as possible.
  • Use of routine precautions for all patients at all times.
  • Healthcare providers should don contact and droplet personal protective equipment (i.e. gloves, gown, procedure mask and eye protection. Personal eye glasses are not sufficient eye protection.)
  • N95 masks should be worn when performing aerosol-generating medical procedures (note: doing an NP swab is not an AGMP) in addition to the gloves, gown and eye protection.