Novel Coronavirus COVID-19

Frequently Asked Questions


UPDATED Last updated: August 12, 2020

No. Influenza and coronaviruses are different types of viruses. The seasonal influenza (flu) vaccine protects against four strains of the flu during the flu season, which generally runs from October to April. The flu vaccine is recommended every year because there are many different strains of flu virus that circulate each year. Although the flu vaccine cannot protect against COVID-19, it will help reduce the number of people getting sick and needing medical treatment in hospital in the fall and winter months when we expect to see an increase of COVID-19 cases in Canada.


UPDATED Last updated: November 4, 2020

If in the previous 14 days you have recently returned from travel and/ or had close contact with a COVID-19 case you will be advised to self-isolate and self-monitor yourself for symptoms. If during the self-monitoring period you start to experience fever, cough, shortness of breath, breathing difficulties or any other symptoms (see detailed table below) call Health Links - Info Santé to determine where to go for testing and/or assessment. If it is an emergency, call 911.

COVID-19 Symptoms - If you have one symptom listed in column A, OR two or more symptoms listed in column B, you should immediately isolate yourself and contact Health Links - Info Santé for further instructions, including where to go for testing and/or assessment.

Fever/Chills Runny nose
Cough Muscle aches
Sore throat/hoarse voice Fatique
Difficulty breathing Pink eye (conjunctivitis)
Loss of taste or smell Headache
Vomiting, or diarrhea for more than 24 hours Skin rash of unknown cause
  Poor feeding if an infant
  Nausea or loss of appetite

Once you have been tested based on the symptoms above, public health officials are advising the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region that your entire household needs to self-isolate pending COVID-19 test results. The symptomatic individual needs to stay in their own room and, if possible, use their own bathroom and not use common areas. Exemptions are in place for asymptomatic household members if they are an essential worker required to wear PPE while at work such as health-care workers or first responders.

Mail and Parcels

COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets that come from a person’s throat or lungs when they cough or sneeze, and these droplets can fall on surfaces, thereby contaminating the surface. However, washing your hands before and after handling and opening your mail and/or packages, as well as avoiding touching your face while handling these materials, will reduce the possibility of transmitting COVID-19.


UPDATED Last updated: August 12, 2020

Transmission of COVID-19 occurs most commonly through close contact (within two meters/six feet) with an infected person who is coughing or sneezing. It can also spread by touching objects and surfaces contaminated with the virus and then touching your mouth, eyes or nose. This is because current evidence shows that COVID-19 can survive for hours to days on surfaces made from a variety of materials. This is why it is very important to regularly clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that people commonly touch (e.g., door handles/knobs, railings, elevator buttons, light switches, water fountains, etc.) as well as frequent hand hygiene and avoid touching your face.

All public places (e.g., shopping malls, grocery stores, restaurants) as well as workplaces should ensure all surfaces and commonly touched objects are cleaned and then disinfected at least twice daily or, as needed (i.e., if surfaces/objects are visibility dirty). Cleaning removes germs and dirt using soap and warm water. Disinfecting kills germs using diluted bleach (20ml (4 teaspoons) bleach for every Litre of water), alcohol solutions with at least 70 per cent alcohol or Health Canada approved products. Ensure the disinfectant is on the surface/object for one minute. People should wear disposable gloves when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and objects, and wash their hands for at least 15 seconds. If you do not have access to water and soap, use an alcohol based sanitizer. For soft surfaces and items such as carpeted flooring, rugs and curtains, clean with appropriate cleaners indicated for use on these surfaces/items or, wash in the washing machine using hot water if possible.

Risk, Case Identification, Testing, Contact Tracing

NEW Last updated: August 12, 2020

A health care provider determines if an individual requires COVID-19 testing based on their symptoms and/or potential exposure to COVID-19 through recent travel or contact with someone who has COVID-19. The health care provider uses a nasopharyngeal swab to take a sample and sends it to the laboratory for COVID-19 testing. More information about testing.

Note: Decisions related to testing for COVID-19 are based on current and evolving public health evidence and are NOT based on client and/or employer requests. Testing advice and recommendations may change as the outbreak continues to evolve. In situations where COVID-19 testing is not recommended, a clearance or exclusion letter will NOT be issued for employees to provide to employers.

When dealing with COVID-19, screening is done to see if a person has symptoms of COVID-19 or, has potentially been exposed to COVID-19 through travel or contact with someone who has COVID-19. Diagnostic testing is done to identify an illness in an individual, which helps health care providers to determine the best way to provide treatment.

Because the symptoms of COVID-19 are so similar to that of other respiratory viruses, people are tested once the screening has taken place to confirm which virus is causing their symptoms.

The Health Canada COVID Alert app is now available to Manitoba residents and provides digital COVID-19 exposure alerts once the app is downloaded to a smart phone. 

The app is available at no cost in the Apple and Google Play app store. For more information, visit www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19/covid-alert.html