Wello’s mission is to keep you and your family safe, healthy and informed.
As a virtual medical service, Wello is at your side 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, by phone or video to answer all your medical questions or provide care. In addition, and to help you navigate the complexities of the evolving COVID-19 situation, our clinical experts have developed a number of resources, information and tips on how to take protective measures against COVID-19 and how you can help support your family.
Important note: Always follow updates from reliable sources such as the COVID-19 page on the Government of Canada website. This information is updated daily as the epidemic evolves.
COVID-19 is the name of a disease caused by a new coronavirus that was first reported in Wuhan, China, on 31 December 2019. There are now thousands of cases in various countries and regions of the world. The public health risk is continually reassessed as new information becomes available.
Human coronaviruses most commonly spread from an infected person to others through:
- the air by coughing and sneezing
- close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
- touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands
- and rarely, fecal contamination
Here’s what you can do to protect yourself:
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Proper handwashing with soap and water is one of the best ways to protect yourself and others. Hand sanitizer is a good backup.
- Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
- Cough or sneeze into a tissue, throw it away and wash your hands immediately.
- Handshakes, high-five and hugs are on hold. Replace the usual greetings with elbows or hand signals to limit physical contact.
Useful contacts and links
Health guidelines and self-assessment by province :
- British Columbia: call 8-1-1 or visit the Centre for Disease Control website
- Alberta: call 8-1-1 or visit the Alberta Public Health Services website
- Saskatchewan: call 8-1-1 or visit the Saskatchewan Public Health Services website
- Manitoba: call 204-788-8200 or visit Manitoba Health Public Services website
- Ontario: call 1-866-797-0000 or visit the Ontario Public Health Unit website
- Quebec: call 418-644-4545 or visit the Quebec Public Health Services website
- Newfoundland and Labrador: call 8-1-1 or visit the Newfoundland and Labrador Public Health Services website
- Nova Scotia: call 8-1-1 or visit the Nova Scotia Public Health Services website
- New Brunswick: Call 8-1-1 or visit the New Brunswick Health Unit website
- Prince Edward Island: call 8-1-1 or visit the Prince Edward Island Public Health Services website.
Frequently Asked Questions
Practicing physical distancing helps to minimize close contact with other people and is the most effective ways to reduce the spread of illness during a pandemic. If you have to go out, avoid crowds and always practice physical distancing (social distancing) by maintaining at least 2 metres between you and others at all times and avoid common greetings like handshakes. Also, limit contact with people at higher risk like older adults and those in poor health.
Wearing a non-medical mask has not been proven to protect the person wearing it, but it does protect those around you. By covering your nose and mouth, respiratory droplets that may contain viruses that are prevented from contaminating other people or surfaces. Additionally, it may stop you from touching your nose and mouth. If you do wear a non-medical mask, it is important to use it properly:
- Ensure the mask fits properly and does not gape at the sides
- It is important to wash hands immediately before putting on the mask and immediately after taking it off.
- Once masks become damp from breathing, it is important to change the mask as a damp mask may trap virus particles and then put the mask wearer at greater risk.
- Consider all masks contaminated with the virus once they are on – so avoid moving it or adjusting it once in place – and if you do so, then immediately wash hands.
- When removing a mask, do so by removing from the ties or elastics from the back of your head to avoid touching the front of the mask which is more likely to be contaminated.
- It is important to carefully handle and dispose of used masks – if a disposable mask, then into a garbage bag upon removal – if a cloth mask, then into a separate plastic bag until it can be washed.
- Re-usable cloth masks can be washed in a regular wash cycle of a washing machine and dried in a hot dryer.
Hand hygiene and not touching your face remains very important in all circumstances as the virus can be transmitted through handling contaminated surfaces and then touching your nose, mouth or eyes.
At this time, there is no evidence that pregnant women are at greater risk of experiencing more serious consequences from COVID-19 or that the fetus may be negatively affected by COVID-19. However, it is recommended that social distancing guidelines and physical distance be followed. If you are pregnant and concerned about COVID-19, talk to a Wello Nurse Practitioner.
Cleaners can play a role in limiting the transfer of microorganisms. Health Canada recommends using a cleaner or diluted bleach to clean surfaces that are subject to heavy stress or use. These surfaces are :
- remote controls
- bedside cabinets
- door knobs
- electronic products
For more information about how to clean surfaces, download the Health Canada Cleaning Guidelines here.
There is currently no evidence to suggest that food is a likely source or route of transmission of the virus and there have been no reported cases of transmission of COVID-19 through food. There is no known risk of coronaviruses on parcels or packages. However, familiarizing yourself with the safe selection, handling and preparation of food will help protect yourself and others at risk. It is recommended that you follow the food safety recommendations here.
There are still many questions and uncertainties related to COVID-19 and pets. If possible, reschedule veterinary appointments that are not urgent or necessary and as a precautionary measure, follow the same recommendations for animals as they would around other people in these circumstances (avoid contact if you are sick, wash your hands regularly and limit contact with other animals that do not live in your home).
First, use an official self-assessment tool as mentioned in the section above. If symptoms are confirmed, stay home and isolate yourself for at least 14 days. At the same time, call your province’s support number (Health Link, above). If you are concerned about your symptoms, you will need to practice self-monitoring and contact your health care provider. Your health care provider can recommend measures to relieve your symptoms. Our Wello Nurse Practitioners can also help: login to book an appointment.
There is a difference between quarantine (self-isolation) and isolation. These measures have been taken to protect the health and safety of Canadians. You must quarantine yourself for 14 days if you have no symptoms and one of the situations applies to you:
- you are returning from a trip outside Canada (self-isolation is mandatory)
- you have been in close contact with a person with or potentially affected by COVID-19
- you have been informed by a public health authority that you have been potentially exposed to the virus.
You should isolate yourself, if :
- you’re awaiting a diagnosis of COVID-19
- you have symptoms of COVID-19 (even mild!)
- you have been in contact with a confirmed (or potentially confirmed) case of COVID-19
- you have been informed by a public health authority that you may have been exposed to the virus
- you have just returned from a trip outside of Canada and are showing symptoms (required).
The chances of transmission of the virus by the deliveryman are low, but it is strongly recommended that basic precautions be taken to help minimize the risk and provide peace of mind. For example:
- Keep at least 2 meters away from the delivery person (ask to leave the package at your door)
- Wash your hands before and after handling the package
Health Canada has issued an Official Travel Warning: Avoid non-essential travel outside Canada until further notice. It is important that upon return from any destination abroad, you should monitor your health for fever, cough and breathing difficulties for 14 days after returning to Canada. If you develop these symptoms, it is important to isolate yourself as soon as possible within the household and call public health authorities.
Canada Economic Response Plan
The Government of Canada is taking immediate, significant and decisive action to support Canadians facing hardship as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic. For more information about the Canada Economic Response Plan, find out if you are eligible and apply, visit the Government of Canada website.
Uncertainty, isolation and social distancing are an unusual reality and can affect us all differently both physically and psychologically. In such a context, some of us may experience stress, anxiety and depression. While these are normal during a pandemic, it is important to understand and cope with them for better mental health. Here are some tips to help manage our feelings:
- regulate your exposure to media (social and traditional): it is important to stay up to date and have accurate information about the evolution of the pandemic, but limit your exposure to a reliable source of information so as not to contribute to overexposure to information that may exacerbate feelings of stress and anxiety.
- sleep: take some time off to recharge yourself; try mediation or relaxation exercises to take your mind off things and fall asleep more quickly.
- maintain physical activity and leisure time: while respecting existing restrictions (social distancing and isolation), do simple and new exercises such as climbing the stairs in your home, doing a yoga session in your living room, learning a new language or cooking.
- keep in touch with your family, friends, neighbours and other people: call your family, friends, neighbours and keep in touch on a regular basis to compensate for this lack of socialization.
- enjoy your time at home: reorganize your wardrobe, repaint a room; make your plans that you have always put off until tomorrow.
Free books to download:
- The Mindfulness Prescription – Dr. Phil Bluestein
- What to say when you talk to yourself – Shad Helmstedder
Presentations and courses :
- Strategies for dealing with anxiety and isolation
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Skills Training and Worksheets
- Free University of Calgary Mindfulness course online
If you are in crisis, call 911 or find a distress centre in your area by clicking here.
Whether we live in a house or in a smaller space, we are all forced to adopt a more sedentary lifestyle. Some recommendations to adapt your diet and fitness during confinement:
- it is important to listen to your body, rather than counting calories or avoiding certain foods; instead, replace cravings with healthy snacks.
- accept the effects of containment on the way we eat
- if you are working from home, best practices to focus on work
- learn to listen to yourself.
More nutrition resources:
More fitness resources: