Coronavirus (COVID-19) We're here for you

A message from our Canadian medical director

As the COVID-19 outbreak evolves, our commitment to caring for our members has never been more important. In these unpredictable times, our providers are here for you, working tirelessly to assure that your questions are answered and needs are resolved. We appreciate your patience during this time.

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Hanif Jamal, MD CCFP FCFP B.Sc.

Canadian Medical Director

What you should know about COVID-19

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What is the coronavirus?

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a coronavirus that was first identified in China. It is contagious and includes symptoms like fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

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How does the virus spread?

The virus spreads from person to person through coughing and sneezing. It can also be spread through infected surfaces or objects. You may be at greater risk if you have recently lived in or travelled to regions where there are current outbreaks or if you come into contact with someone who has the virus.

Effective ways to protect yourself from the virus

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid heavily public areas and touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Stay at home if you begin to feel unwell, even with mild symptoms
  • Seek medical advice or care if you develop a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing
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We're here to support you

If you think you have coronavirus:

  1. Contact us. We will advise you on what to do next. See our frequently asked questions below for how we handle COVID-19 evaluations.
  2. Call ahead before going in person to any doctor’s office.
  3. Don’t go to your local emergency room for COVID-19 testing. The ER is only for those who need the most critical care.
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FAQs

Social distancing is intentionally increasing the physical space between people to avoid spreading illness. Staying at least six feet away from other people lessens your chances of catching COVID-19. COVID-19 is spread by droplets from coughs and sneezes. Being greater than six feet away from a person with symptoms and washing your hands frequently greatly reduces the risk of spread. This is why events are being cancelled, people are being asked to work from home or avoid public/crowded areas, and why sick people may be asked to wear a mask.

When new, contagious outbreaks like COVID-19 occur, practices like social distancing have become one of the simplest and most effective measures communities can take to avoid exposure as well as spreading the virus.

COVID-19's incubation period could last up to 14 days, which means you could be carrying the virus to others and not be aware of symptoms until later.

The more we practice social distancing (i.e., working from home, remaining six feet apart from people in any public setting, and avoiding heavily public areas or events), the more likely we are to avoid the spread and shorten the period of time we must be out of our normal routine.

Another significant reason social distancing should be exercised is for those who have weakened or compromised immunities. People with diabetes, cancer, respiratory issues, and other specific diseases or disorders can't afford to get COVID-19.

How can Teladoc and Best Doctors help during an outbreak? Getting care and guidance from the comfort of your own home can put your mind at ease and help you avoid heavily public areas such as doctors’ offices and the ER, which can carry many germs.

When you call Teladoc, a Canadian-licensed physician will discuss your symptoms, recent contact with anyone who may have been infected with the virus, recent travel, and if you are in a high-risk occupation like a healthcare worker. You don’t have to leave the comfort of your home and risk exposure because our doctors can evaluate your risk, and make a medical assessment. If we identify another type of illness or infection, we can provide treatment or symptom relief so you can feel better.

The Best Doctors clinical team will answer questions, evaluate your risk, and advise you on next steps.

Please note: Services may vary based on your plan so please check with your administrator to see whether you have access to Best Doctors and/or Teladoc.

If you have a fever or feel feverish, have cold-like symptoms or flu-like symptoms, or feel run-down, you should contact Teladoc. If you simply have questions about your exposure to someone with COVID that you feel requires medical attention, the Best Doctors clinical team will answer questions, evaluate your risk and advise you on next steps.

If you are experiencing shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, then you should call your local doctor’s office to request an in-person visit. Shortness of breath–having trouble breathing–is a more severe symptom that requires an in-person evaluation.

Please note: Services may vary based on your plan so please check with your administrator to see whether you have access to Best Doctors and/or Teladoc.

This is a rapidly evolving situation and the risk assessment is changing daily. The latest updates are available on the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) website.

Please note: Services may vary based on your plan so please check with your administrator to see whether you have access to Best Doctors and/or Teladoc.