The province of British Columbia has launched a new app to help residents navigate questions they may have surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and provide them with the latest information.
The app features the provincial government’s self-assessment tool, which can aid people in making informed decisions about whether they may need further assessment or testing for COVID-19.
To download the app, visit the App Store or Google Play. It has also been made available here as a website.
This tool is useful, as B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has stated that not everyone who has COVID-19 needs testing.
Who qualifies for COVID-19 testing?
People with respiratory symptoms who are:
- Hospitalized, or likely to be hospitalized
- Health Care Workers
- Residents of long term care facilities
- Part of an investigation of a cluster or outbreak
Who does not need to be tested for COVID-19?
- People without symptoms
- Patients with mild respiratory symptoms that can be managed at home, including returning travellers with an onset of illness within 14 days of return to Canada
The Ministry of Health requires anyone who has symptoms – including a fever, cough, sneezing, sore throat, or difficulty breathing – to self-isolate for 14 days.
To protect yourself while out in public, wash your hands frequently and maintain a distance of one to two metres from others.
Currently there are 472 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in B.C. including 39 on Vancouver Island.
The federal government recently announced an $82 billion assistance package for Canadians and businesses struggling financially during the global pandemic.
Earlier this week, B.C. joined Alberta and Ontario in declaring a public health emergency in order to curb the spread of COVID-19.
On Wednesday, B.C. Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth declared a provincial state of emergency to support the health ministry’s public health emergency.
The provincial government also announced the indefinite suspension of all in-person classes at K-12 schools in B.C.
Canada has tightened its borders and is denying entry to people who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents in Canada.
U.S. citizens are no longer an exception to this rule, and non-essential travel between U.S. and Canada will be temporarily banned by March 21st. Moreover international flights have now been restricted to international airports in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and Calgary.
The BCCDC has set up a 2019 novel coronavirus telephone information line at 1-833-784-4397 for those who have further questions about this disease.
Anyone concerned that they may have been exposed to, or are experiencing symptoms of the novel coronavirus, should contact their primary care provider, local public health office, or call 8-1-1.
The Province has also created the 1-888-COVID-19 line to connect British Columbians needing non-medical information about the coronavirus pandemic.
As of the time of publication, the total number of COVID-19 patients worldwide has risen to 375,438.
Nearly 16,500 people have died from the illness and 101,584 have made a full recovery.