What to do if you suspect you might have COVID-19?

First of all, don't panic. Then read the advice below from the BC Centre for Disease Control

If you have symptoms such as fever, cough or difficulty breathing and have travelled outside of Canada or have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19, avoid contact with others.

See a health-care provider as soon as possible.

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If you are going to visit your health-care provider, call them ahead of time so they can arrange for you to be assessed safely. Wear a mask in order to protect others. If you are unsure about what to do or have concerns or questions, contact HealthLinkBC by phone at 811 at any time or speak with your health-care provider.

When seeing a health-care provider, please tell them:

• your symptoms;

• where you have been travelling or living;

• if you had direct contact with animals (for example, if you visited a live animal market);

• if you had close contact with a sick person, especially if they had a fever, cough or difficulty breathing.

RELATED: The facts on COVID-19

At this time, patients are asked to avoid going to the hospital emergency department for novel coronavirus testing.

If you feel that you might have COVID-19, call ahead to your primary-care provider's office or 811 to assess whether you need testing. Calling ahead to the clinic before you go ensures the clinic is prepared to test you and keeps the clinic’s staff and other visitors safe.

If you do not have a primary-care provider, call 811 for assessment. The nurses at 811 can give you more information regarding where you can go for assessment and testing — for example, an urgent primary-care centre or a walk-in clinic.

Nurses at 811 have been instructed to complete an exposure risk assessment of callers with compatible symptoms, such as cough or influenza-like symptoms. In some cases, the 811 nurses may suggest a caller go see a health-care provider for assessment and testing, and recommend that the caller call ahead to tell the clinicians that they are coming.

A health-care provider will let you know if you need testing and need to self-isolate. Depending on where you live in B.C. and the health-care services in your area, safe testing may be available at different health-care settings, including your doctor’s office, walk-in-clinic or urgent-care centre.

— this information is from the BC Centre for Disease Control

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