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First Responders

Here you will find information for emergency services such as police, fire and paramedics.

To protect those most vulnerable, and to make sure that our health system is able to care for those who become severely ill, we are asking people to self-monitor their health and to apply a low threshold when feeling unwell to stay home until they are better. These common sense practices help prevent infection and transmission:

  • Hand washing
  • Sneeze or cough into your sleeve
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Practice social distancing.

Measures your department can take

  • Cleaning: Consider increasing routine cleaning practices – if you are cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces once a day, move to twice a day using the products you already use.
  • Space: Consider the density of your department and provide additional space for the public and staff members to interact; for example, consider how line ups or seating could be expanded so that people are able to put some distance – 1 to 2 metres – between one another.
  • Hand hygiene: Ensure your washrooms remain stocked with soap and consider offering hand sanitizer at entrances.
  • Staff who feel unwell: Support your staff to stay home if they are sick.

Infection prevention and control for paramedics (BC Emergency Health Services)

Self-isolation precautions and exposure to COVID-19

  • In the course of your daily duties, you may come across patients and citizens who are experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms. It is important to continue using appropriate personal protective equipment in line with established best practices.
  • If a patient tests positive for COVID-19, public health will follow up with contacts of that individual – this includes household contacts, first responders, and others that may have been in close proximity while they were experiencing symptoms.
  • Public health will advise these contacts, including first responders, to self-isolate for a period of 14 days.
  • This process means that you do not need to self-isolate if you assist an individual who is experiencing symptoms, unless you are directed to by public health, or unless you begin to exhibit symptoms.
  • Your department members do not have to self-isolate or cease operations if you think you or another member have been exposed.
  • As COVID-19 begins to spread in our communities, members may be advised to monitor daily for symptoms.
  • The most important thing you can do to protect others is stay home if you become sick.


Testing is available for all who need it, but not everyone requires a test. If you develop symptoms, use the BC COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool


SOURCE: First Responders ( )
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