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COVID-19 Update for Kootenay-Columbia

Know the Facts About Coronavirus (COVID-19)

By taking appropriate actions now we give ourselves the best chance of being able to manage the impacts of the virus on Canadians. Please take the appropriate precautions and always follow the advice of public health officials as you make decisions for yourself and your loved ones during the coming weeks.

Contact Information

For immediate assistance regarding COVID-19 and any questions you may have please contact:

Phone: 1-833-784-4397


Non-clinical questions about COVID-19:

Text 604-630-0300 or call: 1-888-COVID-19


General Information

COVID-19 is an illness caused by a coronavirus. Human coronaviruses are common and are typically associated with mild illnesses, similar to the common cold. Symptoms of human coronaviruses may be very mild or more serious such as a fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Symptoms may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to the virus. Coronaviruses are most commonly spread from an infected person through:

  • Respiratory droplets when you cough or sneeze.
  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands.
  • Touching something with the virus on it, then touching your eyes, nose or mouth before washing your hands.

These viruses are not known to spread through ventilation systems or through water. The best way to prevent the spread of infections is to:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, especially with unwashed hands;
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick;
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick;
  • When coughing or sneezing:
  • Cover you mouth and nose with your arm or tissues to reduce the spread of germs.
  • Immediately dispose of any tissues you have used into the garbage as soon as possible and wash your hands afterwards.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, such as toys, electronic devices and doorknobs.
  • Stay home if you are sick to avoid spreading illness to others.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19—fever, cough, or difficult breathing:

  • Stay home to avoid spreading it to others.
  • If you live with others, stay in a separate room or keep a two-meter distance.
  • Call ahead before you visit a health care professional or call you local public health authority.
  • Tell them your symptoms and follow their instructions.
  • If you need immediate medical attention, call 911 and tell them your symptoms.


How to Isolate at Home When You Have COVID-19

Isolation means staying at home when you are sick with COVID-19 and avoiding contact with other people to help prevent the spread of disease to others in your home and your community. If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, it is expected that you take the following measures.

Limit contact with others

  • Do not leave home unless absolutely necessary, such as to seek medical care.
  • Do not go to school, work, other public areas or use public transportation (e.g. buses, taxis).
  • Stay in a separate room and use a separate bathroom from others in your home, if possible.
  • If you have to be in contact with others, keep at least 2 meters between yourself and the other person.
  • Keep interactions brief and wear a mask.
  • Avoid contact with individuals with chronic conditions, compromised immune systems and older adults.
  • Avoid contact with pets if you live with other people that may also be touching the pet.

 Care for yourself

  • Monitor your symptoms as directed by your healthcare provider or Public Health Authority.
  • If your symptoms get worse, immediately contact your healthcare provider or Public Health Authority and follow their instructions.

Get some rest, eat a balanced diet, and stay in touch with others through communication devices.


Frequently Asked Questions regarding COVID-19

Where can I get the most up to date information on the coronavirus (COVID-19)? 

How do I prevent and prepare for COVID-19?

What should I do if I think I have symptoms or think I may have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19?



Travel Advisory: Effective March 21, 2020 – The Border between the USA and Canada will be temporarily closed to non-essential travel. This does not affect trade. Supply chains between Canada and the US are still running

An official global travel advisory is in effect: Canadians should avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada, including to the United States. Canadian citizens currently traveling outside of Canada should return as soon as possible. Canadians who are travelling outside of Canada in need of emergency consular assistance can contact Global Affairs Canada’s 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa at 1 613-996-8885 or email

Air Travel Into Canada

Effective March 18, 2020 Canada will deny entry to those who aren’t Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or U.S. citizens. Exceptions made for diplomats, air crews, and immediate family members of Canadian citizens. Anyone displaying COVID-19 symptoms will not be able to board a flight into Canada. Non-domestic flights will be restricted to four international airports located in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal. To learn more, visit:

Returning Canadians

Anyone arriving in British Columbia from outside of Canada will be asked to self-isolate and monitor for symptoms for 14 days upon their arrival.

Should I be cancelling my travel plans because of COVID-19?

An official global travel advisory is in effect: British Columbians and Canadians should avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada, including to the United States.

I am currently outside of Canada. Should I be returning home to Canada earlier than planned?

Either me or my family member is outside of Canada and is affected by travel bans. What should we do?

Canadians travelling outside of Canada in need of emergency consular assistance can contact Global Affairs Canada’s 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa at +1 613 996 8885 or email



The federal government will be working with manufacturers to scale up or change production at their facilities for needed supplies to fight COVID-19.

Public Works and Government Services Canada has expanded and expedited the procurement process through a call to action to Canadian suppliers for COVID-19 products and services: 

Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan: Support for Canadians and Businesses

The Government of Canada has announced an $82 Billion financial Aid Package to assist Canadians. Measures include:

  • $27 billion in direct support for workers and businesses
  • $55 billion for liquidity through tax deferrals
  • Creating Emergency Care Benefit – For the ill, quarantined, self-isolation, or caring for a family member, this will be for 14 weeks for those who don’t qualify for EI
  • COVID-19 Emergency Support Benefit – For those who don’t qualify for EI or are self-employed and have to close down
  • Wage Subsidies for small businesses – Covers 10% of employee salaries for 3 months
  • Temporary boost of CCB
  • GST cheques for low-income
  • Interest-free moratorium on Canada Student Loans for six months
  • A temporary boost in funding for shelters – for the homeless or people in domestic violence situations and have no where to self-isolate safely
  • The creation of an Indigenous Communities Support Fund
  • Increased assistance for businesses through EDC
  • An increase to Farm Credit Canada to help farmers
  • Creation of “The Canada Account” for vulnerable industries
  • Banks to provide flexibility on mortgages and other loans
  • Those owing tax will have until August 2020 to pay
  • Temporary reduction in minimum RRIF withdrawals
  • Insured Mortgage Protection program re-instated temporarily
  • Investment in orphaned well remediation to be announced in the coming days

Effective immediately, BDC will provide new relief measures for entrepreneurs:

  • Working capital loans of up to $2 million with flexible terms and payment postponements for up to 6 months for qualifying businesses;
  • Postponement of payments for up to six months, free of charge, for existing BDC clients with total BDC loan commitment of $1 million or less
  • Reduced rates on new eligible loans

I have a small business. What has the Prime Minister said about how this will impact me?


Income Tax Filing Deadline Extended

The Government of Canada will be extending the deadline for individuals to file their taxes to June 1st, 2020, and the payment due date is now August 31st, 2020. This means that no interests and no penalties will be added if payment is received by August 31st.

Canada’s Six Biggest Banks Take Decisive Action To Help Customers Impacted by COVID-19. Effective immediately, Bank of Montreal, CIBC, National Bank of Canada, RBC Royal Bank, Scotiabank and TD Bank have made a commitment to work with personal and small business banking customers on a case-by-case basis to provide flexible solutions to help them manage through challenges due to COVID-19. This support will include up to a six-month payment deferral for mortgages, and the opportunity for relief on other credit products. Individual Canadians or business owners facing hardship are encouraged to contact their bank directly to discuss options that could be available to them.



Employment Insurance Update re: COVID-19. The federal government has established a phone line dedicated to inquiries regarding EI claims related to COVID-19. Questions related to EI and COVID-19 can be directed to this line for assistance and information:


This is a dedicated line for those looking to apply for EI benefits because:

1) You have had to self-isolate and cannot work

2) You are an employee or employer looking to apply for financial support through the EI Work-sharing program, or;

3) You have been laid off due to COVID-19.

Click here for more details:

If I have to stay home from work, will I get EI payments?


British Columbia

B.C has declared a state of emergency. For updates on the current situation visit:


COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool

This online self-assessment tool, developed with the BC Ministry of Health, will help determine if you or someone in your family needs further assessment or testing for COVID-19. You can complete this assessment for yourself, or on behalf of someone else, if they are unable to do so.

B.C. COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool:

Information about testing and isolation:



B.C. has suspended K-12 classes. Teachers and schools will be developing plans for continuing instruction, outside of the classro0m. More information will be added as it becomes available. Information for post-secondary institutions can be found on this page. Students, faculty and staff should consult their institution’s website for specific information. 


Canadian Blood Services

Canadian Blood Services is asking all donors to book and keep their appointments to prevent shortages