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COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak: BCCNP response

Jan 31, 2020

Updated Feb. 3, 5, 6, 11, 13 and 14, 2020

BCCNP is closely monitoring the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus), to provide support to nurses, employers and provincial leadership. The college is participating in regular teleconferences with the Ministry of Health, the Office of the Provincial Health Officer and other stakeholder agencies to ensure we have the most current information. We will keep in close contact with nurses as the situation develops.

Partner agencies

The BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) is the point agency for B.C.—they have posted a notice that includes information for health care providers, stating in part that health providers should ask patients presenting with respiratory illness about recent travel. To facilitate early detection and containment, clinicians should notify their local medical health officer as soon as possible about patients presenting with:

  • Fever and acute respiratory illness, with or without pneumonia
  • Recent travel to Hubei Province (includes Wuhan City), China within 14 days prior to symptom onset
  • Another potential relevant exposure, such as close contact with someone who was ill and had recently travelled to Hubei Province (includes Wuhan City), China.

BCCDC is providing regular updates and information on the situation and detection and containment measures to health care providers including medical health officers, infectious disease specialists, medical microbiologists, emergency department physicians, public health nurses, infection control practitioners, airport authorities and others.

The Provincial Health Officer and the Minister of Health on Feb. 14 posted a joint statement, announcing a new case of COVID-19 in B.C. beyond the four already identified: "A female in her 30s is presumed positive, based on local testing. Samples have been sent to the National Microbiology Laboratory (NML) in Winnipeg for final confirmation. She lives in the Interior Health region and recently returned from China." They continue to assure British Columbians that the risk of the virus spreading in B.C. remains low, saying, "The most important measures to prevent all respiratory illnesses including this novel coronavirus remain cleaning your hands regularly, avoiding touching your face, coughing or sneezing into your elbow sleeve, disposing of tissues appropriately and staying home and away from others if you become sick."

BCCNP standards and support

Nurses should continue to follow their agency's standard infection control precautions. They may also wish to refer to the following standards:

Nurses are also encouraged to contact BCCNP Regulatory Practice Consultation with questions or concerns. Consultation is available by: