This information was last updated on June 3, 2020 and will continue to be updated as new information becomes available. 

What is COVID-19?

A novel coronavirus, called SARS-COV-2, has been declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization. COVID-19 is the illness caused by the SARS-COV-2 virus. It is transmitted via liquid droplets when a person coughs or sneezes. The virus can enter through these droplets through the eyes, nose or throat if you are in close contact. It can be spread by touch if a person has used their hands to cover their mouth or nose when they cough. 

For the most up to date information please refer to the BC Centre for Disease Control website.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Symptoms can range from mild to severe. The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to other respiratory illnesses including the flu and common cold. They include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sore throat and painful swallowing
  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Loss of sense of smell
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite

If you are coming onsite only to participate in research and are experiencing any of the above symptoms or have been in close contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days, or have travelled within the last 14 days, please contact the study team to reschedule your appointment. 

If you are coming to the BC Children's Hospital for your child's healthcare visit, please review the information that pertains to all clinic visitors available at the BC Children's Hospital website

What is being done at the BC Children's Hospital and BC Women's Hospital? 

In keeping with the Provincial Health Officer's recommendations for physical distancing, we are limiting the number of visitors entering our buildings. BC Children's Hospital is currently limiting access to the hospital for patients, families and visitors to facilitate active screening of all visitors. Access is limited to the Emergency Department (Entrance 55) and the main Teck Acute Care Centre entrance (Entrance 53). Please see this campus map for the locations of these entrances. 

Our Clinical Research Evaluation Unit (Entrance 20), BioBehavioural Testing Unit (Entrance 77) and MRI Research Facility (Entrance 99) are also open, but limiting the number of daily visitors. We have closed most of our waiting rooms and are asking you to connect directly with the study team to clarify the procedures upon arrival to the Facility. In some instances, you may be asked to wait outside temporarily until we can bring you and your child directly into the facility without coming in contact with other participants. In addition, we are staggering appointment times to limit the number of visitors arriving at exactly the same time. 

At this time, we are also limiting participants to bring with them only one caregiver. Caregivers are also being asked to not bring siblings along for visits wherever possible.  

Research study teams are screening all participants (and caregivers) for symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or known contact with a COVID-19 positive individual within the last 14 days prior to their arrival onsite. 

Hand cleaning stations are available at entrances and all participants (and caregivers) must clean their hands when entering. Cleaning of all frequently touched services, such as doors and elevator buttons, has been increased. Routine cleaning of exam rooms between participant visits will be conducted as per usual protocols as well. 

Hospital parking fees have been suspended until further notice, but in light of this parking has been extremely challenging and families are warned to allow extra time to find parking. 

How can I protect myself or my child while participating in research? 

The most important thing you can do to prevent COVID-19 and other illnesses is to clean your hands regularly and avoid touching your face. Clean your hands often with alcohol-based hand sanitizer or soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after touching shared surfaces or objects (e.g., door handles, elevator buttons, and toys) and before eating.

For advice on whether you or your child should wear a mask, please visit the BC Centre for Disease Control's "Masks" page. In some instances, the study team may request that you or your child wear a mask. If this is the case, one will be provided to you by the research team. In other cases, it may not be necessary for you or your child to wear a mask — however, if you would like to wear a mask you can request one from a member of the study team and it will be provided for you.

Study team members will ALWAYS be wearing a mask and eye protection when a 2 metre distance cannot be maintained, as is our current policy.