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COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

What is Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)?

C oronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) virus not previously identified in people. COVID-19 was first identified in Wuhan in China in December 2019. Click here to view our video to learn more.

What is the current situation in New Brunswick?

Up-to-date and accurate information can be found on the Government of New Brunswick's Coronavirus (COVID-19) website.

How many cases have been diagnosed in New Brunswick? In Canada?

Globally the situation is evolving rapidly and many countries around the world have cases. In New Brunswick, Public Health is closely monitoring the spread of COVID-19. 

For up-to-date numbers of confirmed cases visit the  Government of New Brunswick, the provincial dashboard's site, and the  Public Health Agency of Canada (Canada).

How is COVID-19 spread?

COVID-19 is spread:

  • Through droplets, when an infected person coughs or sneezes near you;
  • Through close contact with an infected person, such as touching or shaking hands; and
  • By touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before cleaning your hands.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

  • Fever above 38 degrees Celsius
  • A new cough, or worsening chronic cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Headache
  • A new onset of fatigue
  • A new onset of muscle pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of sense of taste
  • Loss of sense of smell
  • In children, purple markings on the fingers and toes
  • Difficulty breathing

Symptoms may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to COVID-19. Most cases have reported mild symptoms.

However, there is a risk of severe illness that may result in respiratory failure, kidney failure, or even death.

What is the process to get a COVID-19 test if I do have symptoms?

You can register for a test online by clicking ' Get Tested' on the GNB Coronavirus website or you can call Tele-Care 811 to get an appointment.

What's the difference between self-isolation and self-monitoring related to Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

You self-monitor when you:

  • Have no symptoms
  • Have had a possible exposure to COVID-19 in the last 14 days

Click here for a poster on self-monitoring, which you can download and post on social media to share with your family and friends.

You self-isolate when you:

  • Have no symptoms
  • Have travelled outside of New Brunswick or have had close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19

Click here for information on self-isolating, which you can share with your family and friends.

Consult the Government of New Brunswick's Travel Requirements available here.

How do you self-monitor?

Monitor yourself for 14 days for one or more symptoms of COVID-19.

Go about your day but, remember to follow provincial guidelines related to the State of Emergency.

If you need to go in public, wear a mask and maintain a two metre (six foot) distance between yourself and others.

If you develop symptoms, isolate yourself from others (including your household) immediately.

If you are displaying mild or moderate symptoms of COVID-19, complete the self-assessment by visiting or call Tele-Care 811. They may refer you to one of the Community Assessment Centres for testing.

How do you self-isolate?

Stay home and monitor your symptoms, even if mild, for 14 days.

Avoid contact with others (including your household) to prevent the spread of disease in your home.

Here are some helpful items to have on hand during self-isolation:

  • One-time use masks
  • Disposable gloves (do not re-use)
  • Paper towel and tissues
  • Waste basket with disposable, plastic liner
  • Thermometer
  • Medication to reduce fever (ibuprofen or acetaminophen)
  • Alcohol-based sanitizer

Arrange to have groceries delivered

Keep other members of your household safe and healthy by cleaning and disinfecting surfaces that you touch often, such as toilets, bedside tables, doorknobs, phones and television remotes.

Click  here for a poster on self-isolating, which you can download and post on social media to share with your family and friends.

Can I still visit patients in a Horizon facility?

Visitor guidelines are in place at Horizon facilities. Please  click here to learn more.

Can I wear my community face mask or cloth facial covering into a room to visit a patient who is under Isolation Precautions?

No. You will be provided a new face mask during the screening process and asked to put on this face mask before entering. Patients under isolation precautions require individuals entering the patient room to wear a medical grade face mask and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Before you visit a patient under isolation precautions, you must STOP and request assistance from a health care worker on the patient care unit before entering the patient's room. The health care worker will assist and provide you with the appropriate type of PPE required to keep you and the patient safe. This will include instruction of how to wear and remove the PPE.

How is COVID-19 diagnosed?

There is a nasopharyngeal swab and a throat swab that are done to diagnose COVID-19.

In New Brunswick, screening testing is done by the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre in Moncton and confirmatory testing is done by the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg.

Should I go to an Emergency Department if I think I have COVID-19?

If you are displaying mild or moderate symptoms of COVID-19, complete the self-assessment by visiting or call Tele-Care 811 and follow their instructions. Do NOT go to the Emergency Department.

Patients should only go to an Emergency Department (ED) if it's an emergency.

What if I have travelled internationally?

Upon return to Canada:

You will be asked if you have a cough, difficulty breathing or fever. If you have any of these symptoms, you will be given instructions on the next steps you are required to take. If you do not have any of these symptoms, you will be asked to do the following:

  • Self-isolate for 14 days after your return to Canada.

Self-isolate means:

1. Stay home and keep your distance from others.

2. Do not have visitors, especially older adults, or those with medical conditions who are at a higher risk of developing serious illness.

  • Monitor your health for fever, cough or difficulty breathing.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with your arm when coughing or sneezing.

Click  here for a poster on self-isolating, which you can download and post on social media to share with your family and friends.

How can I prevent the spread of COVID-19?

The most important thing you can do to prevent infection is toclean your handsregularly and avoid touching your face.

  • Clean your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Soap and water is the single most effective way of reducing the spread of infection;
  • If access to a sink is unavailable, an alcohol-based hand rub will clean your hands as long as they are not visibly soiled;
  • Do not touch your face, eyes, nose or mouth with unclean hands;
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a disposable tissue or use the crease of your elbow when you cough or sneeze;
  • Regularly clean and disinfect frequently used surfaces; and
  • Do not share food, drinks or utensils.

Should I wear a mask?

Based on the latest research, masks are now an effective way to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. That is why masks are mandatory in public indoor spaces in New Brunswick.

Non-medical masks or facial coverings can protect those around you when physical distancing is not possible because:

  • It covers your mouth and nose to prevent your respiratory droplets from contaminating others or landing on surfaces.
  • It reduces the chance that others come into contact with your respiratory droplets (similar to how covering your cough with tissues or your sleeve can reduce that chance).

Is there a vaccine to protect myself and my loved ones from contracting COVID-19?

Currently, there is no vaccine for COVID-19. Click here to read more about the Government of Canada's involvement in global efforts to develop vaccines that are safe and effective.

If I am diagnosed with COVID-19, how will I be treated?

There is no specific treatment for COVID-19. Many symptoms can be managed with home treatment such as drinking plenty of fluids, rest, using a humidifier or having a hot shower to relieve a cough.

Most people recover from COVID-19 on their own. For people with more serious illness, hospitalization may be required.

Why does Horizon continue to accept cash at its parking stations and cafeterias?

Horizon has acted on the advice of its Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) experts on this matter.

Our parking lot attendants and cafeteria staff are equipped with hand sanitizer (alcohol-based hand rub) and clean their hands between every transaction.

How do I get a copy of my personal health records when visitor restrictions are in place?

The Health Records department is closed to visitors. As we work to limit the number of people entering Horizon facilities during the COVID-19 outbreak, remember, there are alternate ways to receive personal health record information.

If you require access to your health records, do not visit in-person.

Instead you can submit a Patient Access Release Form electronically. Download it by clicking  here and  email or fax the authorization form back to the area where the inquired information from the medical appointment occurred.

If you experience issues accessing the form on our website, please  call or  email the appropriate area, and a form will be sent to you.

Our Health Information Management team will mail copies of the records to patients requesting information, which will save people from making a trip to the hospital. Please note, health records will not be sent by email.

What if I need to contact my health care provider for a medical note to apply for Employment Insurance (EI)?

People claiming EI sickness benefits due to quarantine do not need to provide a medical certificate. For more information,  visit Employment and Social Development Canada.

Where can I find reliable information?

There is misinformation and speculation surfacing online, which is a common reaction in situations like this.

Please rely on only credible sources for information from

Misinformation can create unnecessary panic for both our patients and staff, which ties up our resources. Please help us share reliable information from these sites.

For updates on health care services in your area, visit Horizon's Community News Channel, sign up for our e-newsletter, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.