For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, visit the BC CDC’s website.
You can also access non-medical information (such as information about travel or physical distancing) by calling 1-888-COVID19 (1-888-268-4319); available 7:30 am-8 pm, 7 days a week.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Most people with COVID-19 will have symptoms similar to a common cold and will be able to manage their symptoms at home. Symptoms of COVID-19 can appear within fourteen days after being exposed. The symptoms of COVID-19 can be very similar to symptoms of the flu or a cold and include:
- Dry cough
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Loss of smell
From the BC CDC:
Symptoms can range from mild to severe. Sometimes people with COVID-19 have a mild illness, but their symptoms may suddenly worsen in a few days. People infected with COVID-19 may also experience gastrointestinal symptoms like diarrhea, nausea and vomiting a few days after the onset of the above symptoms. If you only have gastrointestinal symptoms you may not have COVID-19.
What should I do if I have symptoms or think I might have COVID-19?
If you are experiencing symptoms, you should contact 8-1-1 or your healthcare provider. It is important to not immediately go to the emergency, a health clinic or your doctor's office, as this may tax the health care system that is adjusting to increased demand. Further, you can spread the virus if you do have COVID-19.
You can also use the BC COVID-19 Self Assessment Tool. “This self-assessment tool, developed with the BC Ministry of Health, will help determine whether you may need further assessment for COVID-19 testing by a healthcare provider or at a local collection centre.” – Government of British Columbia
If symptoms are severe, such as shortness of breath, please contact 9-1-1.
If you have developed symptoms of COVID-19, you must self-isolate for 10-14 days after your symptoms start, and avoid contact with others.
How does COVID-19 spread?
COVID-19 is spread from an infected person through the droplets expelled when a person sneezes or coughs. It can also be spread by touching an object with the virus on it – which is why it is essential to maintain physical distancing, avoid touching your face, and practice thorough hand-hygiene.
What should I be doing to stop the spread of COVID-19?
The most important practices to stop the risk of spreading COVID-19, and to keep yourself and others safe, are:
- Practice physical distancing
- Use proper handwashing techniques
- Avoid touching your face, mouth, eyes and nose with your hands
- Use hand sanitizer if you’re not able to wash your hands with soap and water
- Stay home when you’re feeling unwell
Should I be wearing a mask?
The federal government has recommended that homemade masks be worn when going out in public and you are unable to maintain the social distancing of 2 meters (6 feet) away from other people. Examples are public transit, shopping, and in stores. At this period in time, it is believed that the homemade mask does help in preventing the spread of the virus and in protecting others.
You should always wash or sanitize your hands before and after putting on or taking off a mask. Wash your mask after each use in regular laundry detergent or dish soap.
Which mask should I be wearing?
The N-95 mask and the surgical masks (blue and yellow paper masks) are only to be used by medical personnel who have direct patient contact. For everyone else, we are encouraged to use homemade or non-medical masks.
Non-medical face masks or face coverings should:
- allow for easy breathing
- fit securely to the head with ties or ear loops
- maintain their shape after washing and drying
- be changed as soon as possible if damp or dirty
- be comfortable and not require frequent adjustment
- be made of at least 2 layers of tightly-woven material fabric (such as cotton or linen)
- be large enough to completely and comfortably cover the nose and mouth without gaping
There are many examples of how to make homemade masks on YouTube.
How can I take care of my mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic?
As well as impacting our physical health, the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic can also influence our mental health and wellness. Feelings of anxiety, depression, or hopelessness may be heightened during this time.
Continue to cultivate connections with those you love through phone calls, video chats, messages, or even letters. Check-in with our Elders and see if there are ways you can offer support.
If possible, spend time in nature. Enjoy the sunshine and the feel of being outside, while also being mindful of practicing physical distancing.
Please see information from the Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division, on staying mentally well during this time period in regards to COVID-19: https://www.heretohelp.bc.ca/infosheet/covid-19-and-anxiety.
Engage in activities at home that bring you joy. Whether that is reading, playing music, beading, practicing yoga, or spending time with your pets.
Foster hope. Look for those that are helping, read stories of people coming together.
Remember, Métis are rooted in resilience. We will move through this time together.
For more information, please visit our Health & Wellness section.
What supports are available from the provincial and federal governments?
For more information on supports, visit our Provincial & Federal Support section.
What is MNBC doing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic?
For more information on how MNBC is responding to COVID-19, visit our MNBC Response section.