Canadian Medical Association
Q&A

Are health professionals following the same post-travel guidelines as the public for COVID-19?

Yes. Upon return to Canada, the Canadian Public Health Agency requires physicians to self-isolate for 14 days. For physicians who serve communities on both sides of the Canada-US border, or in cases of physician shortages, some exceptions can be made provided the physician is asymptomatic. To find out if your community is in an exceptional situation, please contact your local public health unit.

I have a regular check-up with my family physician/specialist/dentist—should I keep it during the pandemic?

While social-distancing measures are in place, it is advisable that you speak with your health professional to see what options are available. Some may be able to provide a telehealth appointment; others may ask to postpone.

I think I have symptoms of COVID-19—should I go to my doctor’s office? The hospital?

Before seeking medical assistance from your physician, a clinic or an emergency room department, please call ahead. Some jurisdictions have set up dedicated Covid-19 testing facilities or drive through testing options. You should check with your local public health unit to see what may be available where you live.

I, or someone I live with is at increased risk for COVID-19—what should we do?

Essentially, you want to limit your/their possible exposure to COVID-19 as much as possible. This means following social distancing and hygiene guidelines. Depending on the underlying medical issue, a physician may also recommend other measures—it is best to speak directly with them.

How can I get tested?

Until commercial testing kits are available there is a limited supply of tests available. Tests are being prioritized for certain types of cases— travelers who have symptoms; those with severe respiratory illness, regardless of whether they've travelled; people in long-term care facilities with influenza-like illness; and hospital-related illness, including health-care workers who are sick.