Medical Staff Self-isolation

Symptomatic Medical Staff

Cases and persons under investigation (PUI) should remain isolated at home (see Appendix 1 for self-isolation considerations). Cases, with or without a history of travel, who have respiratory symptoms that can be managed at home, to self-isolate at home for at least 10 days after onset of their symptoms. After 10 days, if their temperature is normal and they feel better, they can return to their routine activities. Coughing may persist for several weeks, so a cough alone does not mean they need to continue to self-isolate for more than 10 days.

Healthcare workers with mild symptoms do not need negative testing to return to work, once their symptoms have resolved.


Interim Guidance: Public Health Management of cases and contacts associated with novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the community  

(Last updated: May 15)

Travel History

Health-care workers returning from travel, who ARE ESSENTIAL to the delivery of patient care, are not required to self-isolate, but should take additional precautions (PPE, self-monitor, IPC measures).

Health-care workers returning from travel, who ARE NOT ESSENTIAL to the delivery of patient care, are required to self-isolate at home for 14 days. 

Medical staff are considered part of the essential service of health care workers and are exempt from the 14 day self isolation post travel unless the returning traveller is symptomatic. People who become symptomatic should self isolate and then can be tested to determine the presence of Influenza A or B, RSV or Coronavirus. The most recent update to travel suggested that returning travellers must wear a mask to provide patient care in the same manner as those health care providers who do not get flu shots. Island Health, like other health authorities is discussing this limitation with the PHO. If the requirement for wearing a mask in this situation is changed, medical staff will be advised through a memo and a posting to both the intranet and to the Medical Staff Website.

On March 13th, Dr. Henry revised the travel advisory.

"Please be advised that self-isolation does not apply to health-care workers who travel outside of Canada and provide direct patient care (e.g. physicians, nurses, care aides, etc.) unless they have travelled to Hubei Province in China, Italy, or Iran.

However, all health-care providers who have travelled outside of Canada are required to self-monitor daily and use appropriate PPE when providing care. If a health-care worker develops symptoms, they should self-isolate and contact their regional medical health officer…"

More details can be found in the letter from Dr. Henry

More details can be found from the College of Physician and Surgeons of BC.

Physician Quarantine

Payment for Physician who undergo MHO quarantine as a result of COVID-19 exposure:

Under the terms of the physician master agreement, payment is available for medical staff who undergo quarantine at the order of a Medical Health Officer. There is agreement at the Ministry of Health that the order to undergo quarantine may be issued by either the Provincial MHO or the local MHO.

Physicians who are required to undergo quarantine will be instructed by the DoBC how to apply for the funding. Physicians required to be quarantined should call DoBC for that advice.

A physician can access the funding for multiple quarantines.

Click here for more information.