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COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

What is Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)?

Coronavirus 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.

What is the current situation in New Brunswick?

Up-to-date and accurate information can be found on the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health's website (Public Health).

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 Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health (New Brunswick) and the Public Health Agency of Canada (Canada).

How is COVID-19 spread?

COVID-19 is spread from an infected person to another person through:

  • Droplets, when an infected person coughs or sneezes;
  • Close contact, such as touching or shaking hands; and
  • 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?

The symptoms of COVID-19 can include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • 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 do I do if I have these symptoms?

Self isolate, call Tele-Care 811, and follow their instructions. Do NOT go to the Emergency Department.

What is the difference between "self isolate" and "self monitor"?

Self-isolation is required for those who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or who Public Health has identified as a close contact to someone diagnosed with COVID-19.

Those who have travelled outside the country will be asked to self monitor for 14 days. 

When and how to self monitor

You will need to self monitor if you may have been exposed to COVID-19. All international travellers must self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days after returning to Canada.

  • Monitor your health for fever, cough or difficulty breathing
  • Wash your hands often
  • If you become ill, avoid crowded public spaces and places where you cannot easily separate yourself from others.

If symptoms develop:

  • stay home
  • limit contact with others
  • contact Tele-Care 811 and follow their instructions.

When and how to self isolate

You will need to self isolate if you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or you might be at risk of developing COVID-19.

The biggest part of self-isolation is staying at home for 14 days and avoiding contact with other people to help stop the spread. 

If you are in self-isolation, you will also need to take the following measures:

Limit contact with others:

  • Stay at home and avoid contact with other people to help prevent the spread of disease.
  • Do not leave the house unless absolutely necessary, such as to seek medical care.
  • Do not go to school, work, other public areas or use public transportation (e.g., buses, taxis).
  • Arrange to have groceries and supplies dropped off at your door to minimize contact.
  • Stay in a separate room and use a separate bathroom from others in your home, if possible.
  • If you have to be in contact with others, keep at least 2 metres between yourself and the other person.
  • Avoid contact with individuals with chronic conditions, compromised immune systems and older adults.  
  • Avoid contact with pets if you live with other people that may also be touching the pet.

Keep your hands clean

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and dry with disposable paper towels or dry reusable towel, replacing it when it becomes wet.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Cough or sneeze into the bend of your arm or into a tissue. Dispose of the tissue immediately.

Avoid contaminating common items and surfaces

  • At least once daily, clean and disinfect surfaces that you touch often, like toilets, bedside tables, doorknobs, phones and television remotes.
  • Do not share personal items with others, such as toothbrushes, towels, bed linen, utensils or electronic devices.
  • Use regular household disinfectants or diluted bleach (1-part bleach and 9-parts water) to disinfect.
  • Place contaminated items that cannot be cleaned in a lined container, secure the contents and dispose of them with other household waste.
  • Put the lid of the toilet down before flushing.

Care for yourself

  • Monitor your symptoms daily
  • Record your temperature daily
  • If you develop symptoms or your symptoms get worse immediately contact Tele-Care 811 or Public Health.

Visit the Public Health Agency of Canada's Coronavirus (COVID-19) website for more information on how to self isolate and the supplies to have at home when self-isolating.

Together, New Brunswickers can help keep their communities safe by following the guidelines set in place by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and stated on its website (Public Health).

Can I still visit patients in a Horizon facility?

NO. NO VISITORS ALLOWED.

 Except ONE healthy visitor in the following areas:

  • Palliative Care
  • Intensive Care, Critical Care and Neonatal Intensive Care
  • Obstetrics and Pediatrics           
  • Discharge (ONE healthy individual allowed to pick up discharged patients.)

For Emergency Departments:

  • ONE support person ONLY for patients requiring assistance.
  • Only ONE person per pediatric patient is allowed. (Parent or caregiver only.)

For Outpatient Departments:

  • ONE support person ONLY for patients requiring assistance.
  • We reserve the right to further restrict visitation as the COVID-19 situation evolves.

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 think you may have COVID-19, self isolate, 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.

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 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?

If you are healthy, the use of a mask is not recommended for preventing the spread of COVID-19.

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, your health care provider may recommend you wear a mask while you are seeking or waiting for care.

  • In this instance, masks are an appropriate part of infection prevention and control measures.
  • The mask acts as a barrier and helps stop the tiny droplets from spreading you when you cough or sneeze.

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

Currently, there is no vaccine for COVID-19, and it can take many years to develop one.

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 willmail copiesof 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 the aforementioned sources.