Frequently asked questions for BC Women’s patients about novel coronavirus COVID-19.
April 3, 2020
A novel coronavirus, now known as COVID-19, has been declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization. Updates to this page will be made as the situation develops, and this information is currently up-to-date as of April 3, 2020. For the latest info, please visit the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) website:
bchildrens.ca for info specific to children and COVID-19
In keeping with the provincial health officer’s advice to encourage social distancing, we are decreasing the number of people on-site at any one time and, as a result, we have rescheduled non-urgent appointments, tests and procedures, as of Monday, March 16, 2020.
Please call the clinic you have the appointment with and share information about your symptoms (including any new fever, respiratory symptoms, new rash, vomiting or diarrhea) and recent travel history. A physician or nurse will assess the urgency of the appointment and provide guidance.
We are currently limiting patient, family and visitor access to the hospital to facilitate active screening. Access is limited to the Urgent Care Centre (Entrance 97) and the main Teck Acute Care Centre entrance (Entrance 53). Please see the campus wayfinding map
for the locations of these entrances.
A hand cleaning station is available at each of these hospital entrances and everyone must clean their hands when entering the hospital.
To keep our patients, families and staff safe and in keeping with the provincial health officer’s recommendations for physical distancing, we are limiting the number of visitors entering our buildings. Until further notice, these are the visitor restrictions at BC Women’s:
Maternity In-Patient: ONE adult caregiver/support person, plus 1 registered doula if you have one.
Urgent Care Centre: ONE adult caregiver/support person
Neonatal Program (NICU): TWO adult caregivers/support people
Outpatient Clinics: ONE adult caregiver/support person
Hospital parking fees around the province have been suspended as of April 1, 2020 until further notice, for patients, visitors and staff. In addition, the City of Vancouver has removed many parking restrictions throughout the city, freeing up parking space in our hospital neighbourhoods.
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, especially after touching shared surfaces or objects (e.g., door handles, elevator buttons, and toys) and before eating.
British Columbians can reach service representatives seven days a week, from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., by calling 1-888-COVID19 (1-888-268-4319) or text 604-630-0300. Information is available in more than 110 languages. Anyone who is concerned they may have been exposed to, or are experiencing symptoms of the coronavirus should contact their primary care provider, local public health office, or call 8-1-1 for HealthLinkBC. 8-1-1 has translation service available in more than 130 languages.
Take the BC COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment: https://covid19.thrive.health/
If you are feeling very unwell, call your care provider, 811 or visit your closest urgent care centre.
We know that with other viruses like influenza, pregnant women can get sicker than non-pregnant women. Our teams are watching closely for this with COVID-19, but so far no studies have shown this.
You and your support person will be in isolation and care will be based on your symptoms at the time. Anticipate continuous electronic fetal monitoring during labour to assess your baby’s wellbeing. Our aim will be to keep you and baby together if at all possible after birth. Skin-to-skin contact, delayed cord clamping and breastfeeding are considered safe at this time. If you need to go to the operating room further measures may be taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Practice good hand hygiene when caring for your baby, and wear a mask if breastfeeding. Your baby will be tested for COVID-19. Ask your primary care provider for details specific for your situation.
Families are reporting challenges purchasing infant formula in some stores. Formula companies have confirmed that formula is available and store supplies can be restocked.
- If you are required to self-isolate due to suspected COVID19 infection, ask a friend or family member to purchase infant formula for the duration of your isolation period (14 days).
- Purchase ONLY the amount of formula you require for the isolation period; purchasing more than required may lead to shortages for others.
- If you are having difficulty finding infant formula in stores, please contact formula companies directly; they may be able to identify which stores have formula available.
BC Women's and BC Children's hospitals are unable to provide infant formula for community use.
The Government of BC and the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) put together this informative list of frequently asked questions, including what symptoms to look for with the illness:
Information to help people with chronic conditions, including potential precautions, can be found here:
BCCDC Physician Epidemiologist Dr. Eleni Galanis has this helpful video on how to protect yourself and your family:
For the latest COVID-19 updates, follow: