Self-Isolating & Travel
Please note that as things change rapidly, Q&As and guidelines will be updated. Review this website often to ensure you have the most up to date information or consult your leader if you have concerns or identify discrepancies.
- When should I self-isolate?
- There’s a lot of confusing information out there about when you should self-isolate and when you should go to work, and it’s changing on a pretty regular basis.
Here’s what we know for now:
- If you have COVID-19 like symptoms, you are to self-isolate for 10 days.
- If you have tested positive for COVID-19, Public Health will interview you and determine your period of self-isolation.
- If you’ve been exposed to COVID-19 - whether in the workplace, the community or at home - and you are asymptomatic (have no symptoms), you can go work, wearing a mask at all times throughout the facility and self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days. If you develop symptoms during the 14 days, you are to self-isolate for 10 days.
As soon as we have some definition about returning to work if symptoms resolve prior to the 10 days, we will publish it.
- Information for travellers
The BC Government is recommending against all non-essential travel outside of Canada, including to the United States. Anyone who chooses to travel outside of Canada will be asked to stay away from work or school for 14 days upon their return. If any symptoms arise, connect with your primary care provider, local public health office or call 8-1-1.
British Columbians should monitor their health while they are travelling and after they return. If you have any symptoms at all of a cold or influenza, even if they're mild, stay away from others. If you have been to areas, particularly where we know there has been transmission of COVID-19, then call your health care provider, call 8-1-1, call public health. Always tell health care providers about recent travel if you become ill after returning to Canada.
- Do staff returning from travel need to self-isolate or can they return to work?
Non-essential staff returning from travel
Employees who are determined by their leaders to be non-essential for the provision of safe patient care should self-isolate at home and should not attend work for 14 days after their return to Canada. If it is not feasible for such employees to work from home, they will be placed on a paid general leave of absence for the duration of their self-isolation.
Essential staff returning from travel
Employees who return from travel outside Canada and who are essential to the delivery of patient care and required to return to the workplace must take additional precautions to reduce the risk of transmission to their patients, colleagues and the public. Essential employees coming to work must be asymptomatic and must take the following precautions:
- Self-monitor daily for signs and symptoms of illness;
- Wear a surgical mask at all times and in all areas of your workplace;
- Follow infection prevention and control protocols including diligent hand hygiene and the use of personal protective equipment when delivering patient care;
- Reduce close contact with other health care workers and avoid shared spaces where possible;
- Avoid close contact with others when travelling to and from work and between shifts; and
- Self-isolate at home on days when not required at your workplace.
- How do we determine which staff are essential?
As communicated in previous bulletins, essential workers are people who provide services that are considered critical to preserving life, health, public safety and basic societal functioning; and who have been determined by their leadership, on an individual basis, to be critical to delivering these essential services.
The designation of an essential employee is specific to this crisis and the unique circumstances at each site. These assessments will be done individually and revisited regularly to ensure the designation is still applicable.
If you need to reach PHC’s Infection Prevention and Control Team (IPAC), please call local 69357. Do not contact individual IPAC team members.