What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don’t feel unwell. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.
How is COVID-19 spread?
People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets. This is why it is important to stay more than 1 meter (3 feet) away from a person who is sick.
Can COVID-19 be caught from a person who has no symptoms?
The main way the disease spreads is through respiratory droplets expelled by someone who is coughing. The risk of catching COVID-19 from someone with no symptoms at all is very low. However, many people with COVID-19 experience only mild symptoms. This is particularly true at the early stages of the disease. It is therefore possible to catch COVID-19 from someone who has, for example, just a mild cough and does not feel ill. WHO is assessing ongoing research on the period of transmission of COVID-19 and will continue to share updated findings.
What precautions should I take to prevent COVID-19?
You can reduce your chances of being infected or spreading COVID-19 by taking some simple precautions:
Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.
Keep up to date on the latest COVID-19 hotspots (cities or local areas where COVID-19 is spreading widely). If possible, avoid traveling to places – especially if you are an older person or have diabetes, heart or lung disease.
How long does the virus live on surfaces?
It is not certain how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on surfaces, but it seems to behave like other coronaviruses. Studies suggest that coronaviruses (including preliminary information on the COVID-19 virus) may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. This may vary under different conditions (e.g. type of surface, temperature or humidity of the environment). If you think a surface may be infected, clean it with a simple disinfectant to kill the virus. Clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth or nose.
Is there anything I should not do?
The following measures ARE NOT effective against COVID-2019 and can be harmful:
Wearing multiple mask
In any case, if you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing seek medical care early to reduce the risk of developing a more severe infection and be sure to share your recent travel history with your health care provider.
I’ve been laid off, what should I do?
If you are eligible for Employment Insurance, you should do that immediately. You can do so online by clicking here.
If you are not eligible for Employment Insurance, you may be eligible for the new Canada Emergency Response Benefit. This program is expected to be implemented in early April. For more information, click here.
The federal government has established a phone line dedicated to inquiries regarding EI claims related to COVID-19. Questions related to EI and COVID-19 should be directed to 1-833-381-2725 for assistance and information.
If I have recently travelled, or are returning from a trip, what should I do upon returning to Canada?
Self-isolate for 14 days after your return from travel outside of Canada.
Monitor your health for fever, cough or difficulty breathing.
Wash your hands often for 20 seconds and cover your mouth and nose with your arm when coughing or sneezing.
I heard that ibuprofen worsens COVID-19 symptoms, is this true?
There is no scientific evidence that ibuprofen worsens COVID-19 symptoms. For more information, click here.
I think I have COVID-19, what should I do?
Click here to find the Government of Saskatchewan’s COVID-19 self-assessment tool. It will assess your symptoms and give you further instructions.