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Status Updates

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COVID-19 updates from The Public Health Agency of Canada

COVID-19 updates from The Public Health Agency of Canada     Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Outbreak update Outbreak update Symptoms and treatment Prevention and risks Being

On Prevention

What is COVID-19?

What is Covid-19?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause respiratory infections. These can range from the common cold to more serious diseases. COVID-19 is a new disease that has not been previously identified in humans. It was first reported in December 2019 in Wuhan City in China..


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
On Prevention

Prevention and Risk

Human coronaviruses cause infections of the nose, throat and lungs. They are most commonly spread from an infected person through:

  • respiratory droplets generated when you cough or sneeze
  • close, prolonged personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  •  touching something with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands

Canadians should continue to think ahead about the actions that they can take to stay healthy and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Canada, including:

  • being prepared in case you or a family member become ill
  • following the latest travel advice from federal and provincial public health leaders:
    • avoiding all non-essential travel, including cruise ships
    • self-isolating, and monitoring for symptoms (cough, fever or difficulty breathing) for 14 days if you have travelled outside of Canada
  • reducing contact with others by following the guidance for self monitoring, self-isolating, or isolating
  • practicing social distancing and proper hygiene
  • wearing masks, if necessary

Social distancing is proven to be one of the most effective ways to reduce the spread of illness during an outbreak. This means making changes in your everyday routines to minimize close contact with others, including:

  • avoiding crowded places and non-essential gatherings
  • avoiding common greetings, such as handshakes
  • limiting contact with people at higher risk like older adults and those in poor health
  • keeping a distance of at least 2 arms-length (approximately 2 metres) from others

Proper hygiene can help reduce the risk of infection or spreading infection to others:

  • wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the washroom and when preparing food
    • use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available
  • when coughing or sneezing:
    • cough or sneeze into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand 
    • dispose of any tissues you have used as soon as possible in a lined waste basket and wash your hands
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
  • clean the following high-touch surfaces frequently with regular household cleaners or diluted bleach (1 part
    bleach to 9 parts water):
    •  toys
    • toilets
    • phones
    • electronics
    • door handles
    • bedside tables
    • television remotes

If you are a healthy individual, the use of a mask is not recommended for preventing the spread of COVID-19. Wearing a mask when you are not ill may give a false sense of security. There is a potential risk of infection with improper mask use and disposal. They also need to be changed frequently.

However, your health care provider may recommend you wear a mask if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 while you are seeking or waiting for care. In this instance, masks are an appropriate part of infection prevention and control measures. The mask acts as a barrier and helps stop the tiny droplets from spreading you when you cough or sneeze.

COVID-19 is a serious health threat, and the situation is evolving daily. The risk will vary between and within communities, but given the increasing number of cases in Canada, the risk to Canadians is considered high.  This does not mean that all Canadians will get the disease. It means that there is already a significant impact on our health care system. If we do not flatten the epidemic curve now, the increase of COVID-19 cases could impact health care resources available to Canadians.
The risk for COVID-19 may be increased for certain settings such as:

  • cruise ships
  • crowded areas (such as public transit and shopping centres)
  • gatherings (spiritual and cultural settings, theatres, sports arenas, festivals and conferences)

There is an increased risk of more severe outcomes for Canadians:

  • aged 65 and over
  • with compromised immune systems
  • with underlying medical conditions

People that fall into these categories should reconsider attending gatherings. This includes large gatherings and
even smaller events in crowded or enclosed settings. If you have symptoms (cough, fever or difficulty breathing), do not attend a mass gathering, event or places where people gather. You could put someone whose health is vulnerable at risk.

  • Travellers
    The risk for getting COVID-19 may be increased for travellers. Canadians are advised to avoid all non-essential travel. If you must travel, check the latest travel advice before you leave. We will continue to adapt our risk assessment based on the latest data available.
  • Pregnant women
    Throughout pregnancy, women experience changes in their bodies that may increase the risk of some illnesses, including viral respiratory infections, such as the flu. At this time, there is insufficient evidence to suggest that
    pregnant women are at a greater risk for more serious outcomes related to COVID-19. It is always important for pregnant women to protect themselves from illnesses and take the appropriate steps to avoid and prevent infection. Proper hygiene can help reduce the risk of getting an infection or spreading infection to others.
    If you are pregnant and concerned about COVID-19, speak to your health care provider.
    Products shipped from outside of Canada Coronaviruses generally do not survive on surfaces after being contaminated. The risk of spread from products shipped over a period of days or weeks at room temperature is very low. There is no known risk of coronaviruses entering Canada on parcels or packages.
  • Food
    There is currently no evidence to suggest that food is a likely source or route of transmission of the virus. Scientists and food safety authorities across the world are closely monitoring the spread of COVID-19. 
  • Animals in Canada There is currently no evidence to suggest that this virus is circulating in animals in Canada. It is possible that some types of animals can be infected with COVID-19 but there is no evidence that pets or
    other animals can spread the virus. There are still many unknowns about COVID-19 and this is an area that remains to be studied and understood.
    If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and have a pet or other animal:
    • avoid close contact with them
      • do not snuggle or kiss them, or let them lick you, sit on your lap, or sleep in your bed
    • practice good cough etiquette
      • avoid coughing and sneezing on your animals
    • have another member of your household care for your animals
      • if this is not possible, always wash your hands before touching or feeding them
    • limit your animal’s contact with other people and animals
      • this may mean keeping them indoors

To date, there have not been any reports of livestock being infected by COVID-19 anywhere. However, livestock producers should follow normal biosecurity measures as always. This includes limiting visitors or workers who may have travelled to, or been in contact with, someone from an affected area.
Animals in or from other countries Although the current spread and growth of the COVID-19 outbreak is primarily associated with spread from
person to person, experts agree that the virus likely originated from bats and may have passed through an intermediary animal source (currently unknown) in China before being transmitted to humans. Although travel is not recommended, if you must travel, you should avoid contact with animals, including wild
meat and wet (live animal) markets.

There is no any approved product to prevent, treat or cure COVID-19. Selling unauthorized health products or making false or misleading claims to prevent, treat or cure COVID-19 is illegal in Canada.

On Solution

Symptoms And Treatment

1. Symptoms of COVID-19

Those who are infected with COVID-19 may have little to no symptoms. You may not know you have symptoms of COVID-19 because they are similar to a cold or flu. Symptoms may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to COVID-19. This is the longest known incubation period for this disease. We are currently investigating if the virus can be transmitted to others if someone is not showing symptoms. While experts believe that it is possible, it is considered less common. Symptoms have included:

  • cough
  • fever
  • difficulty breathing
  • pneumonia in both lungs

In severe cases, infection can lead to death. 

Do you think you might have COVID-19? Use the following self-assessment tool to find out what to do.

2. If you become ill

If you are showing symptoms of COVID-19, reduce your contact with others:

  • isolate yourself at home for 14 days to avoid spreading it to others
    • if you live with others, stay in a separate room or keep a 2-metre distance
  • visit a health care professional or call your local public health authority
    • call ahead to tell them your symptoms and follow their instructions

If you become sick while travelling back to Canada:

  • inform the flight attendant or a Canadian border services officer
  • advise a Canada border services agent on arrival in Canada if you believe you were exposed to someone who was sick with COVID-19, even if you do not have symptoms 
    • this is required under the Quarantine Act
    • the Canada border services agent will provide instructions for you to follow

3. Diagnosing coronavirus

Coronavirus infections are diagnosed by a health care provider based on symptoms and are confirmed through laboratory tests.

4. Treating coronavirus

Most people with mild coronavirus illness will recover on their own.  If you are concerned about your symptoms, you should self-monitor and consult your health care provider. They may recommend steps you can take to relieve symptoms. Vaccine At this time, there is no vaccine for COVID-19 or any natural health products that are authorized to treat or protect against COVID-19.  If you have received a flu vaccine, it will not protect against coronaviruses.

3. Diagnosing coronavirus

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some cause illness in people and others cause illness in animals. Human coronaviruses are common and are typically associated with mild illnesses, similar to the common cold. COVID-19 is a new disease that has not been previously identified in humans. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people, and more rarely, these can then spread from person to person through close contact.

On Action

MNC Response

On Action

Governing Member Response

***CRISIS SUPPORT, please call the Métis Crisis Line 1-833-METIS-BC (1-833-638-4722) if you are in crisis. This line is manned 24hr a day and 7 days a week. In collaboration with KUU-US Crisis Services, the Métis Crisis Line is a place where you can talk, trust and feel safe!

****811 HEALTHLINE – COVID-19 Self Assessment (Medical, Mental Health, Healthy Eating Information)

***AVOID BEING SCAMMED – There are so many scams circulating online, by phone and even door to door targeting our most vulnerable during these challenging times. Never give your personal information or banking information to anyone. Scam Information https://antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/features-vedette/2020/covid-19-eng.htm

***SUPPORTING MENTAL HEALTH DURING COVID-19 – Information.pdfMétis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) is providing COVID-19 Education Funding Grant of $500 to Métis families.https://mailchi.mp/mnbc/mnbc-covid-19-education-funding-grant

***Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) is providing COVID-19 Education Funding Grant of $500 to Métis families.https://mailchi.mp/mnbc/mnbc-covid-19-education-funding-grant

Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) is providing COVID-19 Emergency Rental Supplemental Fund of $250 per month for up to three months (May, June, and July 2020) to Métis Nation renters who are directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. https://mailchi.mp/mnbc/corrected-link-mnbc-covid-19-emergency-rental-supplemental-fund

MNBC President Monthly E-News (April)
MNBC President Monthly E-News (March)

All MNA events and community gatherings are postponed until further notice. Due to recommendations from Alberta Health Services and other health professionals, we are doing our best to limit the spread of COVID-19. Unfortunately this means, delaying all community events until it is safe to gather together again. Please check back to this page and keep an eye on our social media for updates.
For more information on COVID-19 in Alberta, visit www.alberta.ca/covid19

Written plan (PDF)
Interim COVID support plan poster
Citizens, Families, and Seniors Direct Support Program
Emergency Child Wellness Benefit Program
Emergency Rent Supplement Program

MN-S developed strategies to help Saskatchewan Métis businesses weather the COVID-19 storm here and provide Saskatchewan COVID-19 Resource List.

The Gabriel Dumont Institute (GDI) is providing Emergency Bursary for Saskatchewan Métis students experiencing hardships and loss of income as a result of the #COVID19 pandemic. https://gdins.org/covid-19/covid-19-bursary/
Press release
Written plan

If you have COVID-19 related concerns, need help accessing supports, or have questions regarding the Métis Nation of Ontario’s response to the pandemic, please contact us at: 

Website: http://www.metisnation.org

Toll Free: 1-800-263-4889

Email: covidhelp@metisnation.org

On Benefits

Canada's Economic Response

The Government of Canada is taking immediate, significant and decisive action to support Canadians and businesses facing hardship as a result of the global COVID-19 outbreak. For latest update please visit:


On Prepared

Being Prepared

The World Health Organization (WHO) has assessed COVID-19 as a pandemic. The assessment by the WHO is not unexpected. 

In Canada, our health system is prepared for this situation. Since the outset, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), along with public health authorities at all levels of government across the country, have been working together to ensure that our preparedness and response measures are appropriate and adaptable, based on the latest science. 

COVID-19 is a serious health threat, and the situation is evolving daily. The risk will vary between and within communities, but given the increasing number of cases in Canada, the risk to Canadians is considered high. 

This does not mean that all Canadians will get the disease. It means that there is already a significant impact on our health care system. If we do not flatten the epidemic curve now, the increase of COVID- 19 cases could impact health care resources available to Canadians. There is an increased risk of more severe outcomes for Canadians:

  • aged 65 and over
  • with compromised immune systems
  • with underlying medical conditions

Our public health efforts will continue to focus on containment to delay the onset of community spread by rapidly identifying cases, meticulously finding close contacts and using tried and true public health measures such as isolation and social distancing. 

In the event of community transmission, these actions will continue as long as feasible to interrupt chains of transmission in the community and to delay and reduce an outbreak where possible. In order to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19, everyone has a role to play. It takes more than governments and action from the health sector to protect the health and safety of Canadians. Each of us can help our country be prepared in the event of an emergency by understanding how coronavirus spreads and how to prevent illness.

Canadians should continue to think ahead about the actions that they can take to stay healthy and prevent the spread of any illness, especially respiratory infections. Now and always during cold and flu season, stay home if you are sick. Encourage those you know are
sick to stay home until they no longer have symptoms. Since respiratory viruses, such as the one that causes COVID-19, are spread through contact, change how you greet one another. Instead of a handshake, a kiss or a hug, a friendly wave or elbow bump is less likely to expose you to respiratory viruses.
Practise frequent hygiene, which includes proper hand washing and coughing and sneezing etiquette. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, such as toys and door handles. These are the most important ways that you can protect yourself and your family from respiratory illness, including COVID-19.

Social distancing measures are a way to minimize COVID-19 transmission in the community. This means minimizing close contact with others during the peak of an outbreak. In addition to staying home when ill, we should plan for actions we can take if we need to reduce the spread of infection in places where we gather. Some of the social distancing measures need extensive preparation, especially where large crowds are concerned. Community planners should prepare for:

  •  interruptions in social supports
  • reduction in public services like transit and access to community centres
  • financial consequences from the reduction of services or cancelled events

Planners, administrators and employers must work together to put into effect community-based measures that will protect:

  •  groups
  • employees
  • the general population

School and daycare measures can range from simple (like increasing distancing between desks) to more extensive (like closures). Widespread school closures as a control measure tend to have a high economic and social cost. This is because school closures impact the many families that have one or both parents working outside of the home.
Public health measures for schools and daycare are intended to provide a safer school environment by encouraging: 

  • personal protective measures
  • communication to teachers and parents
  • regularly cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces and objects like door handles, toilets and toys 

The following measures are alternatives to school or day care closures. 

  • Restrict access to common areas.
  • Divide classes into smaller groups.
  • Cancel or postpone after-school events.
  • Increase desk distance between students.
  • Be flexible with attendance policies for students and staff.
    • Students and staff who show symptoms of COVID-19 should stay at home.
  • Separate children on school busses by 2 metres where possible.
  • Cancel classes that bring students together from multiple classrooms.
  • Stagger the school schedule (lunch breaks and recess) to limit the number of students and children in attendance at one time.

Employers and employees have a role to play in reducing the spread of infection.
Further information on preparing workplaces for COVID-19 (PDF) is available from the World Health Organization.

On Advice

Travel Advice

Federal and provincial public health leaders have recommended that all travellers from outside of Canada self-isolate for 14 days. These efforts will contribute to slow the introduction and spread of COVID-19 in Canada.

Upon return to Canada:

You will be asked if you have a cough, difficulty breathing or fever. If you have any of these symptoms, you will be given instructions on the next steps you are required to take. If you do not have any of these symptoms, you will be asked to do the following:

  • Self-isolate for 14 days after your return to Canada. Some provinces and territories may have specific recommendations for certain groups such as health care workers. Self-isolate means:
    • stay home and keep your distance from others
    • do not have visitors, especially older adults, or those with medical conditions who are at a higher risk of developing serious illness
  • Monitor your health for cough, fever or difficulty breathing.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with your arm when coughing or sneezing.

If you develop a cough, fever or difficulty breathing within 14 days:

  • Continue to isolate yourself from others
  • Immediately call a health care professional or public health authority and:
    • describe your symptoms and travel history
    • follow their instructions carefully


The continued global movement of goods and people and the ongoing delivery of essential services will be important for Canada’s response to COVID-19.

Consequently, an exemption to the request to self-isolate for 14 days should be provided to workers who are essential to the movement of goods and people. For example, this exemption would apply to:

  • healthy workers in the trade and transportation sector who are important for the movement of goods and people across the border, such as truck drivers and crew on any plane, train or marine vessel crossing the border
  • healthy people who have to cross the border to go to work, including health care providers and critical infrastructure workers

Workers in these sectors should:

  • practise social distancing (maintain a distance of 2 metres from others)
  • closely self-monitor
  • self-isolate should they exhibit any symptoms

It is recommended that employers in these sectors conduct active daily monitoring of their staff for COVID-19 symptoms (checking for cough, fever or shortness of breath).

Be aware that local public health authorities at the workers’ point of destination in Canada may have specific requirements. For example, for those working in the health care sector and others who are likely to come into close contact with high-risk groups for COVID-19.

To limit the spread of COVID-19, the Government of Canada advises that you avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice.

Many countries have put in place travel or border restrictions and other measures such as movement restrictions and quarantines.

Airlines have cancelled flights. New restrictions may be imposed with little warning. Your travel plans may be severely disrupted and you may be forced to remain outside of Canada longer than expected.

If you have plans to travel, contact your airline or tour operator to determine options for cancelling or postponing your trip.

Canadians who are outside of Canada should find out what commercial options are still available to return to Canada and should consider returning to Canada earlier than planned if these options are becoming more limited.

Making the choice to stay at home and to not travel outside of Canada is the best way to protect yourself, your family and the most vulnerable groups in our communities from the spread of COVID-19.

Although it is not advised, if you are still considering travel outside of Canada, you should do the following:

  • check the Pandemic COVID-19 travel health notice before travelling
  • know the health risks for your destination
  • understand the risks of your safety and security abroad
  • ensure that you have sufficient finances and necessities, including medication, in case your travels are disrupted

It is important to remember that if you travel abroad, you could be subject to the measures of other countries. Your one-week trip may become much longer. You may also have reduced access to quality health care.

If you must travel

If you must travel, take precautions against respiratory illnesses, and seek medical attention if you become sick.

During your trip:

  • Avoid spending time in large crowds or crowded areas.
  • Avoid contact with sick people, especially if they have a cough, fever or difficulty breathing.
  • Be aware of the local situation and follow local public health advice.

All travellers are reminded to follow these health precautions:

Wash your hands:

  • Wash your hands often with soap under warm running water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available. It’s a good idea to always keep some with you when you travel.

Practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette:

  • Cover your mouth and nose with your arm to reduce the spread of germs.
  • If you use a tissue, dispose of it as soon as possible and wash your hands afterwards.

Monitor your health:

If you become sick when you are travelling, avoid contact with others except to see a health care professional.

If you feel sick during your flight to Canada or upon arrival, inform the flight attendant or a Canadian border services officer.

If you do not have symptoms but believe you were exposed to someone who was sick with COVID-19, report this information to a Canada border services agent on arrival in Canada. This is required under the Quarantine Act. The Canada border services agent will provide instructions for you to follow.

We have put messaging on arrivals screens at international airports that will help guide travellers to inform a border services officer if they are experiencing flu-like symptoms.

In addition, information on what symptoms to identify and how to contact local health authorities will be provided to arriving travellers.

The Government of Canada is advising that you avoid all travel on cruise ships due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, until further notice.

Cruise passengers include travellers from around the world who may be arriving from areas with known or unknown spread of COVID-19. The virus can spread quickly on board cruises due to the close contact between passengers. Older people and people with a weakened immune system or underlying medical condition are at a higher risk of developing severe disease.

Recent cruise ship outbreaks of COVID-19 indicate that a large number of individuals onboard can become infected. While the majority of affected passengers may experience mild symptoms, there have been a significant number of cases requiring hospitalization and critical care, and some deaths have been reported.

As the COVID-19 situation evolves, many countries outside of Canada are implementing policies and restrictions in order to contain the global outbreak. These restrictions may impact a cruise traveller’s:

  • itinerary
  • ability to disembark
  • access to health care

While abroad, if an outbreak of COVID-19 occurs on your cruise ship:

  • you could be subject to quarantine procedures, on-board ship or in a foreign country
  • the range of consular services available to those on cruise ships, in particular in situations of quarantine, may be significantly restricted by local authorities
  • upon return to Canada, you will be required to remain in mandatory isolation for 14 days at a location determined by the Chief Public Health Officer as per the terms of any applicable emergency orders

Although it is not advised, Canadians who choose to voyage on a cruise ship should also be aware that they may not be offered the opportunity to return to Canada on a government-organized repatriation flight, or could be responsible for the costs of repatriation travel.


The Government of Canada advises that you avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada.

However, essential travel may need to occur and travellers should expect increased health screening measures at points of entry for international destinations, including airports and land borders. Local authorities may impose control measures suddenly, including movement restrictions such as quarantines.

Some governments have implemented special entry and exit restrictions for their territory. Before travelling, verify with the foreign diplomatic mission of your destination to see if its authorities have implemented any specific restrictions related to this situation. These include entry requirements, border closures and flight suspensions.

To ensure you are aware of the latest developments on this evolving situation, we recommend:

  • monitoring the news
  • reading all travel advice and advisories for your destination

If you are in an affected destination, we recommend:

  • following the instructions of local authorities
  • signing up to our Registration of Canadians Abroad service to receive important updates

Sign up with the Registration of Canadians Abroad service to stay connected with the Government of Canada in case of an emergency abroad or an emergency at home.