Do you have fever? Are you sneezing and coughing? Did you just arrive from international travel recently? If you feel that you have the coronavirus, DON’T go straight to the testing centers yet. Follow this Question and Answer to guide you:
What’s the first thing to do if you think you have the COVID-19 virus?
Take the Manitoba COVID-19 Screening Tool. This is a self-assessment that will help you know what to do depending on the symptoms you are experiencing. Follow the advice on the page.
If you can’t use the Screening Tool, call Health Links Info Sante: 204-788-8200 or toll free 1-888-315-9257.
What information should you give the health care provider immediately? What important questions should you ask?
The most important information to give your health care provider:
- Travel history or if you have been living outside the country
- Symptoms of COVID-19 such as coughing, sneezing, fever, sore throat, and difficulty breathing
- If you were near a person who is COVID-19 positive or suspected to be positive. Or if you live/work in an area where there were cases of COVID-19.
Your doctor will ask more questions. They will decide whether you need testing.
Important questions for a patient to ask:
- Ask if you will need isolation and for how long.
- Ask when you need to return to see a health care provider, or if you need to see a health care provider if your symptoms change and where to go.
- Ask for resources or handouts on (depending on the result of your consultation):
- Information about self-isolation
- What are the next steps after you have been tested for COVID-19
- Information if you have a chronic condition
Should you self-medicate?
Ask your doctor first before taking any medicine. If you have been tested for COVID-19 and waiting for results, check with the doctor who has seen you. Ask the best course of treatment based on your other health conditions and medications that you might be on.
What should you do if after 14 days, you still have the symptoms?
It will depend on your health, exposure risk, and other conditions.
- If at ANY point you are sent home and your symptoms worsen, you should immediately return to be seen by a health care provider.
- If you develop symptoms and are concerned for COVID exposure, contact Health Links Info Sante to know what to do. You may get tested or continue in isolation.
As a preventive measure, should family members living in the same space self-isolate as well?
- If a family member is COVID positive, then YES. Everyone living in the same house has to self-isolate for 14 days even if they do not have symptoms of the virus and especially if they have come in contact with the COVID positive person.
- EVERYONE should be practicing social distancing measures. Which means not going out in groups, avoiding busy areas or attending large events/meetings.
Important things you could do to prevent the further spread of the virus (whether you have COVID-19 or not):
Avoid busy areas, large groups, social events with many people. You can still go outdoors, do regular shopping (try going in off hours, and maintaining a good distance between people ~1-2 m). Hospitals have a limited capacity. Controlling the spread of the virus by social distancing and staying at home will allow people who are likely to get very sick from it to get adequate care.
Get the latest information
Information is always changing because it is an actively evolving situation. It is everyone’s responsibility to stay up to date. It can be frustrating when recommendations are always changing but it is important to keep up with the news. Check Manitoban information online or call the health links center.
In relation to this, always check the source of information. There is a lot of misinformation spreading. Trust only reliable sources for accurate information such as:
Manitoba health authorities:
If you are experiencing symptoms of the virus you can call:
- Health Links/Info Sante: 204-788-8200 or toll free 1-888-315-9257
- Do not call 911, unless it is an emergency
Avoid going to the Emergency department to get screened, the screening locations in Manitoba are:
- Access Winnipeg (280 Booth Drive)
- Access Fort Gary (135 Plaza Drive)
- Mount Carmel Clinic (886 Main St.)
- Access Transcona (845 Regent Ave.)
Go to the screening site AFTER calling Health Links. There are also additional dedicated testing sites in Thompson, Flin Flon, The Pas, Brandon and Selkirk with more expected to open shortly (CBC Manitoba):
Thompson: Thompson Clinic in Thompson Plaza Mall at 50 Selkirk Ave.
Flin Flon: Channing Auditorium in the Flin Flon Community Hall, 2 North Ave.
The Pas: Guy Hall, 28 First St. W.
Brandon: Nurses’ Residence Gym in the Brandon Regional Health Centre at 150 McTavish Ave E.
Selkirk: 622 Superior Ave. (Drive-thru testing site)
Additional source: Manitoba.ca – COVID-19. Accessed March 16, 2020.
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