Do you know: if your test comes back negative, but you still have symptoms suggestive of COVID-19, that you should still self isolate?
The information about COVID-19 is rapidly changing.
There is a lot of confusing information out there. We will try to answer your questions as best as we can. Keep checking this site, as we will try to update this with the most current information. Please review the sites below with the most accurate information:
1. Should I get tested?
The instructions for testing changes day by day. Currently, we are been asked to test everybody with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19. If you are not sure if you should be tested, then please do the BC COVID-19 Self Assessment Tool at bc.thrive.health or phone 811.
2. Do you do testing at your office?
IHA has decided that they will not provide family physicians with the swabs and testing kits to perform COVID testing in the office. We have been asked to redirect all patients who needs testing to the IHA COVID testing sites. To book your COVID swab it can be done by telephone (1-877-740-7747) or by online booking interiorhealthcovid.secureform.ca
The new testing location in Vernon is at the IHA Health Unit across from the 7-11 on Highway 6: Vernon Health Centre – 1440 – 14th Ave, Vernon
3. I feel sick. How do I know if I have a regular cold/flu or COVID-19?
In most cases we do not really know until you had a test. However, as explained above, most people will not get a test. The safest is to assume that you have COVID-19 and try to self isolate at home. This is the only way we can limit the spread of this disease.
Remember for most young and healthy people, you will likely not have severe disease symptoms and will likely never need any treatment. However, you can spread this to your family members or neighbours and make them very sick.
4. Is it not better that we all just get sick at once and get it over and done with?
No. One might think this is a good idea, however we have learned from the experiences in Italy and Spain, that we need to “flatten the curve”.This means that we have only a certain amount of medical treatment resources available (hospital beds etc) and if too many patients get sick at once, then we exceed our ability to treat these patients and will increase the amount of patients who die.
5. If I am sick, how do I know if I should be seen by you (primary healthcare provider)?
Most people do not need to be seen for this. If your symptoms are like a common cold, then assume that you have COVID-19, treat it like you will treat a common cold, but try to stay at home. If you have SEVERE difficulties breathing, then phone 911 (if you need an ambulance) or phone 811 (BC Nurses line) and they will give you instructions on where you need to go to be seen.
If you just feel very sick but do not have severe difficulties breathing and need our advice, then we will gladly try to help you. We prefer to do this via a virtual visit in order to avoid the spread of any virus. If, after talking to you via a virtual visit, we feel you need to come in for examination, then we will make arrangements for you to come in.
We are trying to keep extra spots open for patients who think they need to be seen with COVID-19 symptoms.
6. I am having respiratory symptoms (cough, runny nose, sore throat and/fever) and need to come into the office for an examination, but I am afraid I will make other people sick. What can I do to prevent this?
First phone us and warn us that you have respiratory symptoms. Our staff will talk with us and we will make some arrangements. When you arrive at the office, please phone us, but WAIT IN YOUR CAR. We do not want you to come wait in the waiting room. When we are ready for you to be seen, we will give you a mask, ask you to clean your hands and then place you in our Dedicated Respiratory Room.
We ask that you respect these instructions as this is the only way we can keep our other patients, staff and ourselves healthy.
8. How do I know if I should stay home?
We are asking ALL patients, whether you are sick or healthy, if possible, to please stay home and avoid any human-to-human contact (Social Distancing). This means, even if you are healthy, that you should try to avoid going to work, but try to work from home. Do not go visit your friends. Do not go shopping. You should limit your time outside of your house to the bare minimum.
All three of the following criteria needs to be met:
- At least 10 days should have passed since the start of your symptoms.
- You should have had no fever for at least 48 hours.
- Your symptoms should have resolved, except maybe for a mild dry cough which may remain for a while longer.
8. Should I wear a mask in public at all times?
You may consider to wear a non-medical mask in public. However, remember that masks does not prevent you from getting sick, but it rather prevents you from spreading any viruses. As it is possible that some people may carry the COVID-19 virus as may not know it, there certainly is some value for everybody to wear a mask in public