Triage and Assessment

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 discrepencies. 

COVID-19 Patient Identification and Assessment


  • fever (temp > 38° Celsius)
  • Respiratory symptoms (new or worsening cough, sore throat, or sneezing) 
  • difficulty breathing / shortness of breath


  • Give patient and accompanying person(s) a mask to wear and ask to perform hand hygiene
  • Place patient in a private room or area with at least 2 meters separation AND implement Droplet & Contact Precautions
  • Put on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): gown, gloves, procedure mask and eye protection (visor, face shield, or goggles)
  • Perform hand hygiene before, during, and after patient care
  • If performing aerosol generating medical procedures (AGMPs), wear a fit-tested N95 respirator, gown, gloves, and eye protection. Perform in a negative pressure room (whenever possible), or a single room if former not available
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces touched by patient and accompanying person(s) with Accel INTERVention wipes


Assess if patient meets testing criteria:

  • Hospitalized or likely to be hospitalized, including pregnant women in third trimester
  • Residents of long-term care facilities
  • Healthcare worker
  • Part of an investigation of a cluster or outbreak1 


COLLECT SPECIMENS/TEST (if indicated by assessment)

  • Outpatient, LTC or HCW: collect a nasopharyngeal swab (NP) in UTM media or bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL).
  • Admitted or critically ill: collect a NP and a lower respiratory specimen (sputum/tracheal aspirate/BAL). 


Patient requires admission
• Notify Infection Prevention and Control and Medical Microbiologist On-Call
• Recommend consultation with Infectious Diseases
- Consider consultation with critical care if patient hypoxic or deterioration deemed likely 

Patient symptomatic but not eligible for testing
• Provide patient handout. Chinese and Punjabi translations available. Do not contact Public Health.
• Self-isolation for 14 days and call 811 for further information

This page last updated Oct 2, 2020 11:03am PDT