The information on this page is intended to be used for general information only, and should not replace consultation with healthcare professionals. Please speak with a qualified healthcare professional before making medical decisions.
For urgent medical advice, please contact your family doctor, or speak to a nurse at HealthLink BC by dialling 8-1-1. In the event of an emergency, call 9-1-1.
In response to the global outbreak of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Parkinson Society BC (PSBC) has been taking proactive measures to manage the potential for transmission. It is important that we all actively work to protect vulnerable populations, and as such, we have made the decision to close our office. Staff will be working remotely effective Monday, March 16, 2020 until further notice.
PSBC remains committed to serving the Parkinson's community as we monitor the situation. While many of us will be practicing social distancing and/or self-isolation, we encourage folks to continue to connect with one another by phone or email to lend a friendly ear of support. It is particularly important in preventing loneliness as in-person social interactions become more limited. PSBC will also be looking at ways to increase contact with our community by phone, particularly for those who are most vulnerable, during this time.
We will continue to offer our programs and services, with some amendments made to protect the health and safety of our staff and community. See a complete list of our coronavirus-related resources here. View the safety measures we have implemented at our office here.
This includes the following changes:
Our 1-800 info & referral line and all staff will be available to answer your queries. Calls will be directed to voicemail, with staff checking messages remotely, and returned on a priority basis. Please be sure to leave your name and phone number if you leave a message.
We have recommended that all support groups move their in-person meeting to either a teleconference or webinar format. Any modifications to meetings will be communicated on our support groups page.
If you are a support group facilitator looking for guidance, please contact Jean Blake, CEO, at email@example.com.
Until further notice, all counselling sessions will now be conducted by phone. If you had a session previously scheduled for in-person, your counsellor will have contacted you to make alternate arrangements.
We encourage individuals to access our resources digitally through our website here.
See a complete list of our coronavirus-related resources here.
We will have a limited number of resources available for mailing during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Public Health Agency of Canada has assessed the risk to Canadians to be high, given the number of cases across the country. There is an increased risk of more severe outcomes for Canadians:
- aged 65 and over
- with compromised immune systems
- with underlying medical conditions
Those at high risk of developing complications from COVID-19 should avoid attending gatherings, even small ones, in enclosed or crowded settings. There are also increased health risks for Canadian travellers abroad.
Some settings have also been found to increase your risk of catching the coronavirus. These include:
- closed spaces with poor ventilation
- busy or crowded spaces around large groups of people
- spaces that don't allow for a 2 metre distance between people
This is a rapidly evolving situation. Please visit the Public Health Agency of Canada's website for the most up to date information.
The virus is most commonly spread by an infected person through respiratory droplets when coughing or sneezing. It can be contracted through close, prolonged contact (such as touching or shaking hands with an infected person), or by touching your mouth, nose, or eyes with unwashed hands after contact with an infected surface. High-touch surfaces, such as tables and counters, phones, railings, doorknobs, money, bank cards, elevator buttons, light switches, faucets, are likely to become contaminated.
To protect yourself from COVID-19, the Government of Canada recommends you take the following precautions:
- Stay home if you are sick. Encourage those you know are sick to stay home until they no longer have symptoms.
- Wash your hands regularly with soap & water for at least 20 seconds; use alcohol-based sanitizer if soap & water are not available.
- Practice physical distancing by keeping a distance of at least 2 metres from anyone who is not a member of your household. Avoid high-traffic public areas whenever possible.
- Wear a non-medical mask or face covering while in public, especially in shopping areas, on public transit, and in business or service settings. Masks are not a replacement for physical distancing.
- Cough or sneeze into a tissue or the bend of your arm; dispose of any used tissues in a lined wastebasket and wash your hands.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
- Clean high-touch surfaces frequently with regular household cleaners or diluted bleach (1 part bleach to 9 parts water).
The BC provincial health officer has declared a public health emergency and has cancelled all events with 50 or more people.
For more details and updates, visit the Government of Canada website.
(Government of Canada, 2020)
Parkinson's Disease Specific Precautions
- Check your medications. Take inventory and reorder any that are running low.
- Talk to your doctor about the pneumonia vaccine. Seniors are most at risk to develop COVID-19 symptoms. While the pneumococcal vaccine does not provide protection against the new Coronavirus, vaccination against respiratory illness is highly recommended to protect your health (World Health Organization).
- Stock your Aware in Care kit in the event you need to educate a health care professional about your PD needs. Order one here.
- Have your Medical Alert Card handy. Keep it with you at all times. Print one here.
(Parkinson's Foundation, 2020)