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Ask BCCDC

Use the form below to suggest a question about COVID-19 for our team for an answer.
Last updated: January 10, 2022
Use the form below to suggest a question about COVID-19 for our team to answer. Our team reviews suggested questions weekly for common themes and answers frequently asked questions. You will not receive a direct response to your question. 

We highly recommend reviewing the previously answered questions below before submitting a question. 

Check back weekly for new answers. Answers will also be shared through our social media channels. Follow @CDCofBC on Twitter and phsa.bc on Instagram.

Questions by topic
Please do not submit any personal information through this form. If you have a health concern or a question that is specific to you, please consult with your health care provider or call 8-1-1.

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About COVID-19

An outbreak is declared when a certain number of people who share a common space are diagnosed with COVID-19 within a 14-day period. 

In some places, it only takes a single person getting COVID-19 for an outbreak to be declared. This is true for places where people are more likely to get very sick OR there are people at high risk of passing it on to people who might get very sick, such as in long-term care facilities. Usually a Medical Health Officer will declare an outbreak so that specific actions can be taken to prevent further spread of the disease.

A COVID-19 outbreak is generally considered over when 28 days (two full incubation periods) have passed from the last date a person was exposed to the virus, and no new COVID-19 cases have been diagnosed. A Medical Health Officer may increase or decrease the length of time needed to declare an outbreak over.

‎The risk of spreading COVID-19 in enclosed air spaces is due to poor ventilation, rather than air conditioners. If the space is adequately ventilated with fresh air, the air conditioning becomes less of a risk factor. 


All mechanical heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems should be checked to ensure they are working properly. Use of portable air conditioners in unventilated spaces with doors and windows closed should be avoided.


When using air conditioners and fans in ventilated spaces, air should be moved from higher places to lower places whenever possible instead of having strong airflow at breathing height. For more information, visit WorkSafeBC’s FAQ:

https://www.worksafebc.com/en/resources/about-us/covid-19/general-ventilation-and-air-circulation-covid-19-faq?lang=en

You will need to self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days after being exposed to COVID-19. You do not need to self-isolate unless you have symptoms- follow any instructions that Public Health contact tracers give you. Learn more about self-isolation.


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You must self-isolate until the test results come back if you have symptoms. Even if the test result is negative you should stay home until you feel better.

Yes, vaccinated people are still able to transmit COVID-19, but the vaccine helps reduce transmission by limiting the length of time they are infectious.

You can get infected with COVID-19 more than once. Getting vaccinated with all recommended doses of a vaccine is the best way to protect yourself from a serious case of COVID-19. Register today to get vaccinated.


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Many people can manage their symptoms at home with rest and fluids. People who are hospitalized will receive additional treatments. Learn more.


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You will need to self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days after being exposed to COVID-19. You do not need to self-isolate unless you have symptoms- follow any instructions that Public Health contact tracers give you.


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If you have new or worsening symptoms, stay home until you feel better. Reschedule your vaccine appointment when you are recovered.

Some people reported changes to their menstrual cycle following vaccination and studies are ongoing. Many factors can impact the menstrual cycle including a COVID-19 infection. Other vaccines have not impacted the menstrual cycle. Learn more.

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If you have COVID-19

This information will help you feed your baby safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.


  • Wash your hands before and after holding your baby, breastfeeding/preparing infant formula and feeding your baby
  • Wear a mask while you have symptoms (e.g., cough, sore throat, fever, sneezing).  Masks are not recommended for children under two years old. For more information see our Masks page.
  • Clean and disinfect high touch surfaces often
  • Wash and disinfect all infant feeding supplies carefully after each use. Learn more here.
  • Stay connected with support persons while practicing physical distancing and avoid others who are unwell
  • Limit the number of people who feed your baby
Information for families who are breastfeeding and provide expressed breast milk

Currently, health experts have not found COVID-19 in human milk. If you are breastfeeding or feeding your child expressed milk, continue to do so as often as possible. 

You can find more information on how to safely breastfeed your baby and/or young child during COVID-19 here

Information for families who use infant formula

For families who have made an informed decision to use infant formula, continue to safely prepare and store infant formula as described on the product label.

You can find more information on how to safely feed your baby during COVID-19 if you are using or thinking about using infant formula here

Reach out to local health care providers for any urgent concerns, or call 8-1-1 to speak with a nurse or dietitian at HealthLinkBC.


There are some specific treatments available for COVID-19. Information about specific medications, drugs and vaccines can be found on the Treatments page.

Many of the symptoms can be managed with home treatment such as drinking plenty of fluids, rest and using a humidifier or hot shower to ease a cough or sore throat. Most people recover from coronaviruses on their own. For people with more serious illness supportive care in or out of hospital may be needed.

For more information on what you can do if you have symptoms, see:

Most people with COVID-19 recover within two weeks. Some people with more severe symptoms can take longer to feel better.


The Post COVID-19 Interdisciplinary Clinical Care Network provides resources specific to COVID-19 recovery and symptom management.


PHSA's Post COVID-19 Interdisciplinary Clinical Care Network aims to support the best possible outcomes for people who have experienced serious cases of COVID-19. Learn more about their work and find clinics where you can access care


Health professionals can also access post COVID-19 care resources.

You should still get all recommended doses of a COVID-19 vaccine even if you have had COVID-19. It's safe to get vaccinated once you have recovered and have completed your isolation period.

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Vaccines

While all layers of protection are important, vaccination is the best thing you can do to protect yourself and others around you. Unvaccinated people are at 12 times the risk of infection, and 34 times the risk of hospitalization with COVID-19 compared to a vaccinated person of the same age.


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There is a very strict process for vaccine testing and approval to ensure they are safe for children, read about the steps here.


Yes! COVID-19 vaccine can be given at the same time as most other vaccines including the flu vaccine. You do not need to delay vaccination. It's important to protect yourself against respiratory viruses in flu season. Learn more.

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Yes, people who have had COVID-19 should be fully immunized with COVID-19 vaccines. You should wait until you have recovered to get immunized.‎ Learn more.


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BC tracks vaccine reactions, aka adverse events following immunization, through the immunization surveillance system.


Health care providers report reactions and public health investigates them.


Learn more about vaccine safety and effectiveness.

 

Public health experts in B.C. agree that people who are planning to get pregnant can safely receive the vaccine.

There are currently no known serious risks such as an increased risk of miscarriage.
Learn more about COVID-19 vaccination and pregnancy

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Yes! You need all recommended doses to get the most effective and long-term protection. Most side effects are not serious and should go away on their own. You can apply an ice pack to painful areas or take medications to ease discomfort. If you had serious side effects, talk to your health care provider before receiving your 2nd dose.


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Over 2 million Canadians have received a combination of COVID-19 vaccines since early June. Since then, the rate of reported adverse events has continued to trend down.
Multiple trials of vaccine mixing from Germany, the UK and Spain show effectiveness and safety.


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Both vaccines use comparable mRNA technology.

Both vaccines are similarly effective
Both vaccines are safe.


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In Canada the most common side effects reported for Moderna and Pfizer are redness, swelling or itchiness at the injection site, and headache. Serious side effects were reported by less than 0.01% of Moderna or Pfizer recipients.


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The COVID-19 vaccines introduce instructions on a single protein from the virus that causes COVID-19. Once your body learns to create that protein, it produces an immune response that will recognize and fight future infections. 

 

If eligible, you will receive a third dose invitation through the Get Vaccinated system by text, email, or phone call.

Learn more about third doses and eligibility.

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You can find a list of conditions that are considered clinically vulnerable in relation to COVID-19 and see if you qualify.

Nearly everyone can safely be vaccinated for COVID-19 regardless of a medical condition. If you have an allergy to an ingredient of one type of COVID-19 vaccine, you are still able to receive the other type. 

Speak with your care provider if you have questions.


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Social Interactions and Travel

Yes, if you are comfortable. People who aren't vaccinated are at a higher risk of a severe case of COVID-19. The safest way to gather with others is to use layers of protection- be vaccinated, open windows, wash hands.

If you test positive while away, follow any local public health guidelines for self-isolation. Everyone over five years of age must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result to re-enter Canada.


Learn more about requirements and restrictions for international travel.


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It is important that everyone protects those who are not yet able to get vaccinated by following the layers of protection- get vaccinated, wear masks inside with others, stay outside or open windows.

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If you are an international or out-of-province student, you will have the opportunity to get vaccinated or complete your vaccination series in BC at no cost. Learn more: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/covid-19-vaccine/students

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Masks are mandatory again in all indoor public places, so if your club meets indoors, wear a mask. Enjoy your activity, and remember to use the layers of protection to reduce your risk of getting and spreading COVID-19 (physical distancing, cleaning your hands, opening windows, and getting vaccinated!).

Visit the Government of Canada website for information about:
  • who can travel to Canada 
  • testing and quarantine/ self-isolation requirements
  • completing the ArriveCAN application
  • exemptions for fully vaccinated travellers.

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