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COVID-19 Medical Guidance

This page contains useful guidance and information regarding how to recognize and mitigate health concerns around COVID-19. 


The most common COVID-19 symptoms include: 

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Loss of sense of smell or taste
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of appetite
  • Extreme fatigue or tiredness
  • Headache
  • Body aches
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

During allergy season, some flu-like symptoms can be mistaken for allergies, and vice-versa. Allergies typically cause nasal symptoms such as a runny nose and sinus congestion but do not usually result in a fever, as occurs with coronavirus or the flu. While some symptoms of the coronavirus overlap with allergies, there are several differences. 

Common allergy symptoms include runny or stuffy nose, watery and itchy eyes, itchy sinuses, throat and ear canals, ear congestion and postnasal drainage.

Self-monitoring, self-isolation and isolation

The Public Health Agency of Canada and BC-CDC have distinguished between three different measures that individuals can take to protect their health and the health of others. 


  • Self-Monitoring means looking for new symptoms or signs of coronavirus infection such as fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. During self-monitoring, one should avoid crowded places and practice physical distancing
  • Employees who are self-monitoring are permitted to work either on-site or remotely, according to mission needs
  • BC-CDC How to Self-Monitor



  • Self-Isolation means staying at home and avoiding physical contact with others. Isolation is required when someone is likely or confirmed to be sick with COVID-19
  • Those in isolation must remain home; they are sick and therefore not to be working

For information about isolation:

If you are sick, or you live with someone who is sick

If you are feeling sick with flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, or difficulty breathing), please contact your supervisor and stay home. At this time, we are waiving the need for a doctor’s note for an extended leave from work. Your supervisor will collect the necessary information from you and work with HR and/or OHS to complete an assessment and determine the length of self-isolation as per TRIUMF’s Communicable Disease Plan.

Should your self-isolation end and you are still feeling sick, please continue to stay home, both for your own health, and the health of your community. Contact HealthLinkBC by dialing (8-1-1) or speak with your health care provider to determine when you can end your self-isolation period.

In the case of a family member or roommate being sick, ideally, the person who is ill should be self-isolating somewhere else, especially if anyone in the household is at risk (elderly, weak immune system, chronic health condition). If this is not possible, then there are precautions that must be taken: 

  • Ensure the self-isolating person stays and sleeps in a separate room that is away from others, as much the better

  • Ensure shared rooms have good airflow 

  • If possible, they should use a separate bathroom 

  • In shared space, they should keep a distance of at least 2 metres and wear a mask that covers the nose and mouth

Please contact your supervisor to let them know if you are able to comply with these precautions. Further assessment will be done to determine whether you need to self-isolate or self-monitor.   

Once your period of self-isolation has ended, and if you are healthy, please contact your supervisor and notify Human Resources via to determine your return to work. TRIUMF may require you to work from home. Please discuss this with your supervisor. 

Medically vulnerable family members/roommates, and those returning from travel

If a member of your household is part of a medically vulnerable group, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) at this time recommends that you should self-monitor; watch for symptoms (fever, cough, and difficulty breathing), and go about your day but avoid crowded places. If you develop symptoms then you must fully isolate yourself and avoid all contact with other household members, including limiting shared spaces and items, which may be points for cross-contamination.

PHAC Guidance for Vulnerable Populations and COVID-19 is available here:

Some people might find themselves living with someone who has had to self-isolate due to travel. In this case, if you are symptom-free, and proper precautions are taken for the self-isolating individual, you will need to self-monitor and look for new symptoms such as fever, sore throat, and difficulty breathing 

The precautions for the self-isolating individual include:   

  • Ensure the self-isolating person stays and sleeps in a separate room that is away from others as much as possible

  • Ensure shared rooms have good airflow 

  • If possible, they should use a separate bathroom

  • In shared spaces, they should keep a distance of at least 2 metres and wear a mask that covers the nose and mouth

Please contact your supervisor to let them know you are self-monitoring.