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Coronavirus in Canada: how to get tested, what the symptoms are, where to get help

A province-by-province breakdown of advice, requirements and who to call if you think you might have it, along with information on who is most vulnerable

NOTE: This post was originally published on March 12, and is being updated frequently with the most recent information from official federal and provincial sources. Because events are changing quickly, we are drawing not only from government websites but also Twitter feeds, press conferences and other sources. Last update was Wednesday, March 18, at 12 p.m.

As the coronavirus known as COVID-19 spreads in Canada, the sheer volume of information and misinformation about it can make it difficult to know exactly what is going on, and what to if you think you or someone near you could have the virus.

So Maclean’s has compiled information about the current situation in Canada, symptoms of COVID-19, who is most vulnerable to the virus, as well as self-isolation and notification details for each province and territory. We combed through the official coronavirus webpages of the federal, provincial and territorial governments, as well as of the World Health Organization (WHO), which published a preliminary report on the outbreak in China. Sources are noted throughout.

As each province and territory has its own health terminology—Telehealth Ontario vs. Health Link 811 in Alberta, for example—much of the wording is taken directly from their sites to avoid confusion.

An important note: this information is frequently revised and updated by authorities. This post, too, is being updated regularly, but we urge readers to click on the links, especially the official sites, for the latest.

Also, wash your hands with soap. Often.

Symptoms may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to the virus while the average is 5-6 days after infection (PHAC and WHO)

According to a World Health Organization report from the end of February on COVID-19 in China, symptoms in confirmed cases included:

Fever (88%)
Dry cough (68%)
Fatigue (38%)
Sputum production (33%)
Shortness of breath (19%)
Muscle or joint pain (15%)
Sore throat (14%)
Headache (14%)
Chills (11%)
The WHO report on COVID-19 in China found that:

80% of patients experienced mild to moderate effects (fever, cough, maybe pneumonia—but not needing supplemental oxygen)
14% suffered severe symptoms (requiring supplemental oxygen, including via a ventilator)
1% were critical (respiratory failure, septic shock and/or organ dysfunction/failure)
Who is most vulnerable?
As of March 11, the Public Health Agency of Canada assessed the public health risk as LOW for the general population. But there is increased risk of more severe outcomes for those:

Aged 65 and over
With compromised immune systems
With underlying medical conditions or chronic diseases including:
heart, renal or chronic lung disease (Ont.)
Those warnings follow the findings of that February WHO report on COVID-19 in China. According to the research team, the age difference among those affected was stark: 21.9 per cent of those over 80 years died, while just 2.4 per cent of all reported cases were children aged 18 and under (only 0.2 percent of those became critically ill).

As well, while 1.4 percent of COVID-19 patients with no other underlying conditions died, those with other conditions experienced much higher death rates:

cardiovascular disease (13.2%)
diabetes (8.4%)
hypertension (8.4%)
chronic respiratory disease (8%)
cancer (7.6%)
In more severe cases, public health authorities believe infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death (Sask). Yet, unlike the nature of influenza, pregnant women do not appear to be at a higher risk for the severe form of COVID-19, according to the WHO report.

If you are concerned that you may have been exposed to COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms
Contact a care provider in your area to get tested (province-by-province contact information below). Staff in some jurisdictions, especially large cities, may direct you to special assessment centres set up for COVID-19 testing. There are some basic caveats to observe, though, before and after you get tested, as the B.C. site explains:

If it becomes harder to breathe, you can’t drink anything or feel much worse than when you got tested, seek immediate medical care at an urgent-care clinic or emergency department. If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be a life-threatening emergency. Call 911 or the local emergency number immediately.
Call ahead before you get medical care. If leaving your home for care, call ahead and tell the clinic you are coming in and that you just had a COVID-19 test. By calling ahead, you help the clinic, hospital, lab, urgent care or doctor’s office prepare for your visit and stop the spread of germs. Remind each health care provider that is taking care of you that you are waiting for COVID-19 test results.
The health-care professionals will need to know: a) your symptoms b) where you have been travelling or living c) if you had direct contact with animals, for example, if you visited a live animal market d) if you had close contact with a sick person, especially if they had a fever, cough or difficulty breathing.

How have Canadians exposed to COVID-19 been affected?
As of March 18 at 9:30 a.m., there were 569 cases so far in Canada: B.C. (186), Alberta (97), Saskatchewan (2), Manitoba (8), Ontario (189), Quebec (74), New Brunswick (2), Nova Scotia (1), Prince Edward Island (1) and repatriated travellers (9), per the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC):

8 people have died of COVID-19
12% of ill individuals were hospitalized
32% were 60 years old or over
74% were travellers and 11% were close contacts of those travellers
(The above statistics are based on detailed data of 211 cases)

Federal government

Getting advice: The Public Health Agency of Canada has an information line about COVID-19 at 1-833-784-4397. It has interpretation services available in multiple languages.


Dr. Theresa Tam, the chief public health officer of Canada. recommends:

Postpone or cancel all non-essential travel outside of Canada.
practice social distancing
avoid large events and crowded spaces with more than 50 people
keep a distance of two arms-length from others
if you must go out, avoid peak hours
if needed or possible, work from home.
The Government of Canada is advising travellers arriving in Canada from any international destination, via airport or land port of entry, to self-isolate for 14 days after your return.

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, all travellers returning to Canada from Hubei province of China, Iran or Italy are advised to:

Self-isolate: stay at home and avoid close contact with others, including those in their home, for a total of 14 days from the date they left Hubei province or Iran
Contact the local public health unit within 24 hours of arriving in Canada
Contact your provincial/territorial/local health authorities if you experience symptoms of COVID-19
Advice from provincial and territorial governments, and where to get information
Specific information regarding self-isolation and reporting varies by province, so here are the breakdowns, using the wording from their own websites. Please note that new information is causing their risk assessments to be re-evaluated.

British Columbia

Getting help: a) The province has created a dedicated phone service to provide British Columbians non-medical information about COVID-19. This includes the latest information on travel recommendations and social distancing, as well as access to support and resources from the provincial and federal governments. British Columbians can reach service representatives seven days a week, from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., by calling 1 888 COVID19. Information is available in more than 110 languages. b) contact your primary care provider, local public health office, or call 811 anytime to talk to a nurse at HealthLinkBC.


On Tuesday, March 17, the provincial health officer declared a public health emergency.

The B.C. government is suspending K-12 learning in all classrooms. A decision on when and how to return will be made in partnership with school districts and independent schools.
BC Ferries will allow customers to remain in their vehicles on the enclosed car deck.
Effective immediately, businesses with liquor primary licences, such as bars, pubs and nightclubs, must close as they are unable to adequately meet the requirements of social distancing.
Restaurants and cafes that cannot maintain social distancing of one to two metres between patrons will need to move to take-out and delivery models.
B.C. is prohibiting all public gatherings of more than 50 people. This includes indoor and outdoor sporting events, conferences, meetings, religious gatherings and other similar events.
The government is restricting visitors in long-term care to essential visits only. Essential visits include compassionate visits for end-of-life care and visits that support care plans for residents based on resident and family needs. For example: families who routinely visit to provide assistance with feeding or mobility.
Also, on the recommendation of the provincial health officer, the province has ordered all casinos to close until further notice to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
Authorities 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.
If you start having symptoms of COVID-19, you need to begin self-isolation:

Isolate yourself from others as quickly as possible
Call your health care professional or contact HealthLinkBC (8-1-1)
Describe your symptoms and travel history. They will provide advice on what you should do.
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On March 17, Alberta declared a public health emergency.

Mass gatherings are limited to no more than 50 attendees. This is inclusive of places of worship, funerals and weddings, where Albertans must ensure appropriate social distancing and other sanitization practices.
Grocery stores, shopping centres, health care facilities, airports and other essential services are not included.
Any other organized gatherings of more than 50 people must be cancelled immediately.
All Albertans are prohibited from attending public recreational facilities and private entertainment facilities, including casinos, racing entertainment centres, and bingo halls.
They should also not attend any recreational facilities, gyms, arenas, science centres, museums, art galleries and community centres, fitness centres and swimming pools.
This prohibition also extends to attending bars and nightclubs, where minors are prohibited by law.
Sit-down restaurants, cafés, coffee shops, food courts and other food-serving facilities, including those with a minors-allowed liquor license, are limited to 50 per cent capacity to a maximum of 50 people.
At this time, not-for-profit community kitchens, soup kitchens and religious kitchens are exempt, but sanitization practices are expected to be in place and support will be in place for this practice.
Food services in work camps are also exempt, but in addition to appropriate sanitization practices, arrangements should be made to provide for workers if they are self-isolated.
Alberta Health Services is postponing all scheduled and elective surgeries. Urgent and emergency surgery, as well as oncology and scheduled caesarean procedures will continue.
To prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including COVID-19, among seniors and other vulnerable groups:

Only essential visits to any continuing care or long-term care facilities in Alberta are recommended.
Changes to the Employment Standards Code will allow employees to take 14 days of paid, job-protected leave if they are:

required to self-isolate
sick or caring for a loved one with COVID-19
To be eligible, employees:

will not be required to have a medical note
do not need to have worked for an employer for 90 days
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Getting help: If you have symptoms and recently traveled outside Canada or were exposed to someone who has COVID-19, stay home and call HealthLine 811 (204-788-8200 or 1-888-315-9257) for instructions.


All classes in Saskatchewan pre K-12 schools will be suspended indefinitely, effective March 20, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. For the period of March 16 to March 19, pre K-12 classes will wind down.
No public events of more than 250 people take place. This does not include school, university, religious gatherings, work, or grocery shopping.
No events of more than 50 people with speakers or attendees who have travelled internationally in the last 14 days take place.
The Chief Medical Health Officer orders that visitors to long-term care homes, hospitals, personal care homes and group homes are restricted to essential visitors only. Essential visitors means immediate family visiting for compassionate reasons.
SaskGaming will suspend operations and temporarily close Casinos Regina and Moose Jaw until further notice upon advice of public health officials on the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Royal Saskatchewan Museum is closed.
Call HealthLine 811 if you develop respiratory or flu-like symptoms.
The Government of Saskatchewan introduced amendments to The Saskatchewan Employment Act ensuring employees have access to job-protected leaves during a public health emergency.

“We want to thank workers across Saskatchewan for everything they do,” Labour Relations and Workplace Safety Minister Don Morgan said. “No one should lose their job for continuing to prioritize health and safety during this public health emergency.”

The proposed amendments to the Act are:

to remove the requirement of 13 consecutive weeks of employment with the employer prior to accessing sick leave;
to remove the provision requiring a doctor’s note or certificate; and
introduction of a new unpaid public health emergency leave that can be accessed:
when the World Health Organization has determined that there is a public health emergency and the province’s chief medical health officer has also issued an order that measures be taken to reduce the spread of a disease; or
the province’s chief medical health officer has independently issued an order that measures be taken provincially to reduce the spread of a disease where it is believed there is sufficient risk of harm to citizens of the province. The orders would also be made public to ensure everyone is aware of the direction.
The amendments to the Act would come into force retroactive to March 6, 2020.



Public health officials have advised suspending classes in Manitoba kindergarten to Grade 12 schools effective March 23 to April 10. This is being done to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Manitoba.

Licensed child-care centres will suspend services from the end-of-day on March 20 until April 10, based on advice from public health officials.

Public health officials are recommending the immediate suspension of visitors in long-term care facilities across Manitoba. Exceptions for compassionate reasons or end of life will be made on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of individual facility managers.

It is recommended that adult day programs and similar programming located within long-term care or personal care facilities be immediately suspended.

All other adult day programs may continue, provided they comply with the recommendations of social distancing, appropriate screening and do not exceed the recommended restriction on social gatherings of more than 50 people.

Certain individuals should NOT visit acute care or long-term care facilities. This includes those who have:
• returned from international travel in the last 14 days;
• been instructed to self-isolate for 14 days; or
• have cold or flu-like symptoms, such as a cough, fever, runny nose, sore throat, weakness or headache.

Effective immediately, only one visitor per patient at a time is allowed in acute care facilities, such as hospitals, across Manitoba. This does not apply to parents of children in hospital. Also, exceptions will be made at a manager’s discretion for special circumstances, such as visitors who require an escort or those going to see a patient nearing the end of their life.

Manitoba’s adult and youth correctional facilities continue to allow visitors, with restrictions in place to protect the health and safety of people in custody as well as staff. Visits from family members will continue to be allowed but with no contact. Visits with legal counsel will continue with no changes. All centres have suspended all visits from volunteers and community agencies until further notice.

Manitoba patients are advised their surgery may be postponed if their surgeon has determined their procedure can be safely delayed for three months or longer without any significant effects on their health.

Public health officials continue to recommend social distancing measures for all Manitobans including:
• cancelling or postponing any large-scale events (events with more than 250 attendees);
• minimizing prolonged (more than 10 minutes), close (less than two metres) contact between individuals in public;
• avoiding greetings that involve touching such as handshakes;
• disinfecting frequently used surfaces;
• following public health advice related to self-monitoring and self-isolation if you have travelled or have been exposed to someone ill with the virus; and
• avoiding all non-essential travel, as well as crowded places and events.


Getting help: contact Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 or your local public health unit


The Government of Ontario has declared an emergency under s 7.0.1 (1) the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act

As a result of this declaration and its associated orders, the following establishments are legally required to close immediately:

All facilities providing indoor recreational programs;
All public libraries;
All private schools as defined in the Education Act;
All licensed child-care centres;
All bars and restaurants, except to the extent that such facilities provide takeout food and delivery;
All theatres including those offering live performances of music, dance, and other art forms, as well as cinemas that show movies; and
Concert venues.
Further, all organized public events of over fifty people are also prohibited, including parades and events and communal services within places of worship.

These orders were approved by the Lieutenant Governor in Council and will remain in place until March 31, 2020, at which point they will be reassessed and considered for extension, unless this order is terminated earlier.

The Minister of Education has issued a Ministerial Order to close all publicly funded schools in Ontario for two weeks following March break, in response to the emergence in Ontario of COVID-19. This means Ontario schools have been ordered to remain closed from March 14 through to April 5, 2020.

Travellers who have returned from Hubei province in China or from Iran should:

contact their local public health unit within 24 hours of arriving in Canada
contact Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 or their local public health unit if they experience symptoms of the 2019 novel coronavirus
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Getting help: contact Info?Santé 811 (A new COVID-19 phone line has been established at 877-644-4545 to deal with calls relating to the coronavirus.)


On March 13, Quebec declared a health emergency.

All daycare services (childcare centres, as well as subsidized, non-subsidized, family and non-regulated daycare centres) and institutions (elementary and secondary schools, vocational training and adult education centres, private schools, CEGEPs, colleges and universities) will be closed from Monday, March 16, through Friday, March 27. However, measures have been implemented to continue to offer emergency daycare services for children of health care and essential services personnel;
Non-essential visits are prohibited to hospitals, residential and long-term care centres, intermediate resources, family-type resources for the elderly and vulnerable adults and private seniors’ homes throughout Québec’s territory
A 14-day isolation is mandatory for all public employees, including health workers, teachers and daycare workers, returning from travel outside the country, including the United States.
There is a ban on all indoor gatherings of more than 250 people for a period of 30 days starting on March 12.
The government recommends cancelling all travel that is not essential.
The Gouvernement du Québec is ordering until March 30, 2020 the closing of the following businesses and public spaces:

performance spaces;
swimming pools, spas, saunas and water parks;
recreational sites such as ski resorts, amusement parks, trampoline centres, and so on;
cinemas and arcades;
training centres and dance, spinning, zumba and yoga centres;
indoor soccer centres;
bars et discotheques;
restaurants that offer buffets;
sugar shacks;
all other facilities with similar vocations.
The Gouvernement du Québec is asking owners to limit the number of customers to 50% of the rooms’ capacity, that is, one table in two. However, buffet-style restaurants and sugar shacks must close temporarily.
Take-out orders, deliveries and drive-through services are permitted.

The government has asked Revenu Québec to apply flexibility measures for individuals and businesses in Québec during income tax filing season.

The deadline for producing and filing income tax return is postponed to June 1, 2020.
For individuals and individuals in business, the deadline for applying balances due related to income tax returns for the 2019 taxation year is postponed to July 31, 2020.
For those who must pay tax instalments, the payment of the June 15, 2020 tax instalment is suspended until July 31, 2020. The date and terms of payment of this amount will be announced shortly. Individuals will have a reasonable period of time to pay the amount due.
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New Brunswick

Getting help: contact Tele-Care 811 (If they require an in-person assessment, a referral will be provided to the Community Assessment Centre in their area. Note: those centres are not walk-in clinics.)


Schools are closed for two weeks, effective Monday, March 16.

Early learning and child-care facilities, including those located in schools, are not being closed. The directive continues to be that all individuals who have travelled internationally on or after March 9 still applies. Those travellers are to avoid early learning and child-care centres for a period of 14 days.

The following businesses and public spaces be closed effective tomorrow, Tuesday, March 17, until further notice:

performance spaces;
swimming pools, spas, saunas and water parks;
recreational sites such as ski resorts, amusement parks, trampoline centres, etc.;
cinemas and arcades;
training centres and dance, spinning, zumba and yoga centres;
indoor soccer centres;
bars and discotheques;
restaurants that offer buffets;
sugar bush operations open to the public.
Public Health is also asking restaurant owners to limit the number of customers to 50 per cent of the capacity of their dining areas. Take-out orders, deliveries and drive-through services are permitted.
The Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health recommends that any non-essential gathering of 150 or more people be cancelled or postponed until officials are able to better determine the risk to the population.

The Department of Health has authorized physicians to see their patients “virtually” for routine services such as prescription renewals and providing follow-up health advice. You can receive care and advice over the phone, or if available to you, via secure video chat software.

These provisions have also just been authorized for psychiatrists for the provision of mental health care services.

Visitation is restricted at nursing homes and hospitals.

In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in correctional institutions, the province has closed public access to these facilities effective immediately. The restriction includes all members of the public, including inmate family members, volunteers and legal representatives.

If you start having symptoms (headache, congestion, achiness, feeling unwell) or your symptoms get worse (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) isolate yourself from others as quickly as possible. Immediately call Tele-Care 811.

Nova Scotia

Getting help: call 811 for assessment (Nova Scotia Health Authority has established COVID-19 assessment centres. If you need in-person assessment, 811 will refer you to a centre. Don’t go to a COVID-19 assessment centre unless 811 referred you)


Effectively immediately, there are to be no gatherings of more than 50 people.

Organizations and businesses are required to practise social distancing of two metres (6 feet). As of Thursday, March 19:

restaurants are restricted to take-out and delivery orders only. They can’t open for in-person dining.
all drinking establishments, winery and distillery tasting rooms and craft taprooms must close.
Private liquor stores can still operate. Craft breweries, wineries and distilleries can still sell their products from their storefronts.

Nova Scotia Health Authority is suspending some elective and non-urgent appointments and services.

IWK Health Centre is suspending all non-urgent appointments and services. Urgent and emergency appointments and services are continuing.

Prevention measures for Nova Scotians are in effect immediately under the authority of the Health Protection Act and include:

long-term care facilities closed to visitors effectively immediately
public schools closed for two weeks following March Break (weeks of March 23 and March 30) and then will be reassessed
regulated child care centres closed March 17 to April 3 and then will be reassessed
March break camps cancelled
casinos in Halifax and Sydney are closed as of 12 a.m. March 16 and bar owners can no longer operating VLTs
Public sector employees who travel outside of Canada, including the United States, will be required to self-isolate upon their return.

Prince Edward Island

Official site here

Getting help: Call 811. Islanders with questions about COVID-19 should call PEI’s toll-free information line at 1-800-958-6400. The information line is taking messages 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and Islanders who leave messages will receive a call back from the Chief Public Health Office. PEI businesses with questions should call 1-866-222-1751.


All bars, theatres (including movie theatres), and indoor play areas will close immediately. All in-room dining at restaurants will also close, but may continue to provide pick-up, delivery and drive-thru options if they choose.
All dental clinics and optometry appointments will be cancelled, except for emergency appointments, which will be handled case by case.
Funerals should be cancelled or rescheduled and wakes at funeral homes will be for family only, with no more than 20 people present. Online condolences and donations will be available.
Call ahead if you have a health-related appointment booked. If it is not considered essential, it may be rebooked.
The province has declared a state of public-health emergency to ensure the province is taking all appropriate actions to prepare and mitigate the impacts of COVID-19.

All library programs and events Island-wide have been cancelled in an effort to help limit the spread of COVID-19
Effective March 17, 2020, all public licensed child care centres will be closed until further notice and all public schools will be closed for two weeks following March Break (March 23 to April 3) and will be reassessed.
All public and private long-term care and community care facilities will be restricting visitors.
Additional measures include the immediate closure of Mark Arendz Provincial Ski Park at Brookvale, and all provincially run visitor information centres.
If you have not been travelling recently but are still concerned about coronavirus, please read the following questions carefully:

In the past 14 days, have you been in close contact with a confirmed case of novel coronavirus?
In the past 14 days, have you been in close contact with a person with fever or acute respiratory illness (new or worsening cough or difficulty breathing) who has been outside of Canada within 14 days prior to becoming ill?
If the answer is yes to either question, stay at home and call 811 for further assessment.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Getting help: follow-up with your health care provider or call the NL Healthline at 811


All schools are to be closed as of the end of day of March 16. As well, child-care facilities are being closed.
As of Saturday, all public service employees returning from out-of-province travel must self-isolate for 14 days.
There are restrictions on visiting long-term care facilities.
A list of government services that are suspended or continuing by appointment, phone and email, or as normal.

The following restrictions will be in place at regional health authority facilities during this COVID-19 pandemic.


Only urgent/emergent surgeries will take place.
Patients who are scheduled for elective surgeries tomorrow will be accommodated.
All other elective surgeries will be rebooked.
Affected individuals will be contacted by their regional health authority about their surgery.

Other Services

All cancer services will continue.
In-centre dialysis will continue.
Doorways, mobile crisis response teams, and ACT teams will continue.
Inpatient rehabilitation services will continue.
Urgent/emergent appointments at outpatient clinics will continue.
Appointments at outpatient clinics will be rebooked at a future date.
Only urgent/emergent diagnostic and therapeutic procedures will go ahead.

Only one designated visitor per resident is permitted in long-term care homes.
No visitors are permitted in any of the province’s hospitals with the following exceptions:
There are no restrictions on the number of visitors for patients at end-of-life.
Only one designated person per patient is permitted in obstetrics delivery rooms.
Parents can visit children who are inpatients.

Volunteering is temporarily suspended.

University and college student placements will continue.

The use of health care facilities for community groups is temporarily suspended.
If you are having symptoms or had exposure to someone with COVID-19: Contact 811 for further direction.


Getting help: phone 811 or your health provider


Individuals who have travelled outside of Yukon in the last 14 days, or who are feeling sick, are banned from visiting hospitals.

Long-term care facilities are closed to visitors and volunteers, unless family members are at the end of life or gravely ill regardless of travel.

These restrictions are accompanied by several others including the following:

Mass gatherings of more than 50 people are banned, including at houses of worship.
Parents or caregivers who are able to keep their children home from spring break day camps, or daycare, are requested to do so. Fewer children in camps or daycares will help to limit any spread.
People who can work from home are requested to do so. Employers are asked to look for ways to support employees to work from home where possible.
Persons who are returning from travel and have any cough or sensation of fever, even mild, should consider themselves infectious and be extra cautious with their self-isolation and distancing from those at highest risk of severe infection. In that case please self-isolate and call YCDC at 867-667-8323 or 1-800-661-1408 ext. 8323.

People returning from the specific province of Hubei in China (not other parts of China), Iran and Italy should:

self-isolate for 14 days after departing Hubei, Iran or Italy;
contact Yukon Communicable Disease Control (YCDC) at 667-8323 or 1-800-661-0408 (ext. 8323) for ongoing support or any questions or concerns.

Northwest Territories

Getting help: tell your health care provider if you have symptoms


Chief Public Health Officer is recommending that NWT residents avoid all non-essential travel outside of the Northwest Territories.
All 15 public libraries located within schools are closed as of March 16 and will remain closed for the duration of school closures (until April 14, 2020)
Effective Monday, March 16 2020, the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre will be closed to the public until further notice. Access to the NWT Archives will remain available by request.
All JK-12 classes have been cancelled until April 14, 2020. The Minister of Education, Culture, and Employment and the Chief Public Health Officer are meeting with education authorities to discuss all implications of this cancellation.
GNWT services to the public: Due to the current situation with COVID-19, any visitors who appear to have flu-like symptoms or have been in contact with someone with symptoms will be turned away and asked to call in instead.
A number of GNWT events may be postponed or cancelled. Please reach out to the regional office in your area to confirm whether the event you are interested in is proceeding.
GNWT employees who have travelled internationally are directed not to return to work until they have been symptom free for 14 days.
The government is advising all individuals, organizations, and businesses that they should cancel all mass gatherings which could include over 50 people.

Large retail or grocery stores are exempt from the 50 person-requirement. The guidance on hand-washing and physical distance still apply.

Additionally, if you are holding a gathering of less than 50 people, the following measures must be available to be considered safe:

The ability to keep two metres between people.
Adequate supply of hygiene material (i.e. paper towels, soap, hand sanitizer, running water, waste disposal).
The direction that anyone who is not feeling well must stay home.
Increased cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces used often.
Starting March 17:

Non-essential medical travel to Alberta and within the NWT will be ramped down over the coming days. Travel for essential care and services will continue on a case-by-case basis. We will be replacing as many appointments as possible with virtual appointments.
Travel of specialist physicians to specialist clinics delivered in communities across the Northwest Territories will be cancelled and replaced with virtual appointments where possible.
Non-urgent and non-emergent endoscopy procedures will be cancelled
All elders day programs delivered by the health and social services authorities will be cancelled
Oral health programs, normally delivered through schools, will be cancelled
Sick notes will no longer be issued. Employers need to support public health efforts by allowing staff who are sick to stay home or staff returning from travel to isolate based on advice from the Chief Public Health Officer of the Northwest Territories
Visitation to long-term care will be immediately cancelled.
Visitation to acute care sites will be limited to one person per visit.
We emphasize, please do not visit care sites unless required, if you need care and services and have flu-like symptoms, call ahead before presenting. Also note that primary care visits by family physicians to communities will continue.

GNWT services to the public: Due to the current situation with COVID-19, any visitors who appear to have flu-like symptoms or have been in contact with someone with symptoms will be turned away and asked to call in instead.
A number of GNWT events may be postponed or cancelled. Please reach out to the regional office in your area to confirm whether the event you are interested in is proceeding.
GNWT employees who have travelled internationally are directed not to return to work until they have been symptom free for 14 days.


Getting help: call your local health centre


Nunavut’s chief public health officer is recommending the temporary closure of all schools and daycares in Nunavut to limit any potential spread of COVID-19. These closures are effective starting Tuesday, March 17 for a three weeks.

If you become ill:

If you develop symptoms and have travelled to a region with known cases of COVID-19 occurring in the community or have been in contact with someone who has:

stay at home and avoid contact with others
follow up with your health care professional
If you develop fever, cough or difficulty breathing in the next 14 days, call your health care provider or local public health authority and advise them of possible contact with COVID-19.

If you are ill and must visit a health care professional, call ahead or tell them when you arrive that you have a respiratory illness and if you have travelled.

Please call before going to your health centre, if it is a non-emergency. You will be assessed by phone. For Iqaluit, for non-emergency situations, it’s the same thing—please call before going to the Qikiqtani General Hospital.
Government of Nunavut services continue but may be slower than usual because of reduced staff.
All non-urgent requests will be triaged daily. Immediate access to urgent and emergent health care services will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
For Iqaluit, for non-emergency situations, please call first before coming to Qikiqtani General Hospital.
For all communities, for non-emergency situations please call first before coming to the health centre. You will be assessed by phone.
Physicians will continue community visits.
Mental health supports are available.
Department of Human Resources