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Feb 11, 2020

Coronavirus Information

The Coronavirus is a respiratory infection which has most affected Hubei Province, China. There have been confirmed cases of the virus in British Columbia, and elsewhere in Canada.

If you are concerned or curious about the Coronavirus, here are some facts provided by Dr. Shannon Waters, Medical Health Officer with Island Health, and links to sites with more information.

For the latest information on coronavirus, including the number of confirmed cases, visit You can also follow the BC Centre for Disease Control on Twitter (@CDCofBC) for ongoing updates.

How is the virus spread? Who is contagious?

  • Coronavirus can be spread through larger liquid droplets created when a person coughs or sneezes without covering their mouth or nose. The virus is not known to be airborne, meaning that another person must be in close contact with somebody who has the virus to be able to inhale those droplets
  • The virus can be spread by touch if a person has used their hands to cover their mouth or nose when they cough. If a person has touched something that has droplets on it with coronavirus in it, they can prevent the virus from getting into their body by washing their hands before touching their face, eyes, nose or mouth. Coronavirus is not something that comes in through the skin.
  • Only people who are experiencing symptoms may transmit an illness, it is not related to race or ethnicity.
  • Face masks are beneficial for people experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness, such as a cough, so they do not spread any respiratory diseases. Masks are not recommended for well people.  If someone chooses to use a face mask, it doesn't mean they are sick and it isn't a safety issue  
  • The most important thing you can do to prevent getting coronavirus is to wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your face.

What do I do if I start to show symptoms?

  • People experiencing the coronavirus symptoms, such as fever and cough, and who have travelled to the affected area or have contact with someone who travelled to an affected area, should call 8-1-1 or phone their primary care provider. Travel history and symptoms should be provided before attending an appointment
  • People with any symptoms of respiratory illness may be asked to wear a mask to protect visitors and other patients in health care settings, while they are waiting for or receiving treatment

For more information:

It is important to check trusted sources for information on coronavirus.  Up-to-date information can be found on these key sites:

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