A message from Dr. Shannon McDonald, FNHA Chief Medical Officer
With the easing of public health restrictions related to COVID-19 in BC, many people who were working from home during the height of the pandemic are now going back to the office or other jobs in public settings.
If you've missed seeing your co-workers, a return to personal interactions is likely good for your mental health! However, we do need to keep in mind that the COVID-19 pandemic isn't yet over, and continue following public health recommendations to ensure a safe work environment.
Vaccinations have significantly reduced the number of severe cases in BC and across the world, but even with vaccines we do not have complete immunity from getting COVID-19, or from spreading it to others.
So, if you're not feeling well – even if you only have mild symptoms – please stay home!
You may feel anxious about calling in sick, or feel obligated to go in to work because you don't want to feel like you're letting anybody down, and pressing on when it's tough is something you're likely used to doing. However, the most responsible thing to do if you're not feeling well is to stay home. This is the safest way to ensure we prevent spread of COVID-19.
If you've tested positive for COVID-19, stay home for at least five days and until your symptoms, including fever, have passed. You can still transmit the virus even if you no longer feel sick, so those at high risk of getting COVID-19 (Indigenous persons who are 55+ or have an underlying medical condition that would increase the risk of severe illness) should stay home for at least a few additional days, particularly if more than two months have passed since their last booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
If you've tested negative for COVID-19, know that it's still not a “green light" to go to work or socialize. If you're experiencing symptoms such that you felt the need to use a COVID-19 test kit, you may have another transmissible illness, such as the common cold.
If you haven't already, get your second booster shot! Vaccines reduce your chances of transmitting COVID-19 and even if you do get sick you are more likely to avoid serious illness requiring hospitalization.
COVID-19 Testing and Vaccines