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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Communicable Disease Information

What is a communicable disease?

A communicable disease is an illness caused by an infectious agent or toxic product that can be transmitted in a workplace from person to person. Examples of communicable diseases that may circulate in a workplace include COVID-19, norovirus, and seasonal influenza.

What are the symptoms of a communicable disease, such as Covid-19??

According to the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC), symptoms of COVID-19 include new or worsening: 

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

COVID-19 symptoms can range from mild to severe. Sometimes people with COVID-19 have mild illness, but their symptoms may suddenly worsen in a few days.  

Go to an urgent care clinic or emergency department if you 

  • find it hard to breathe 
  • have chest pain 
  • can’t drink anything 
  • feel very sick 
  • feel confused
How do communicable diseases spread?

How these diseases spread depends on the specific disease or infectious agent. Transmission in the public spaces such as schools or workplaces is most common through: 

  • physical contact with an infected person, such as through touch; 
  • contact with a contaminated surface or object;  
  • larger droplets expelled into the air, such as through coughing or sneezing; and 
  • smaller droplets suspended in the air.
How can I prevent myself from getting sick?

a) Frequent handwashing and proper hygienic practices are some of the most effective means of preventing the spread of infectious agents. The following measures are advised:  

  • Handwashing: Frequent handwashing is encouraged. Hands should be washed using soap and hot water for 20-30 seconds using the recommended procedure by the BCCDC. 
  • Hand Sanitizers: Alcohol-based hand rubs should be used to disinfect hands when soap and water is not available. Hand-sanitizers are provided in classrooms and common workspaces for use by staff, faculty, and students.  
  • Hygienic Practices: Additional hygienic practices are advised to further prevent the spread of infectious agents. 
  1. Wear a mask 
  2. Avoid touching face, eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands 
  3. Cover mouth and nose with a disposable tissue or the crease of the elbow when sneezing or coughing 
  4. Do not share food, drinks, utensils, school, or office supplies 
  5. Avoid handshakes or other physical greetings

b) Get vaccinated 

  • FIC encourages all members of the community who are eligible and able, to consider vaccination against COVID-19 and other communicable diseases to protect themselves and other members of the community. 
  • To learn more about vaccination in BC, visit the BC Government site
Am I required to wear a face mask?

Wearing masks in public indoor settings is not required by public health. Wearing a mask is a personal choice.  

  • Masks are encouraged, but not required, when travelling by air, train, public transit or BC Ferries 
  • Individual businesses and event organizers can choose to continue requiring masks on their premises.
  • It’s important that we respect the choices of people, businesses and one another. 
  • For more information, visit the BC Government’s official site
Am I required to get vaccinated for COVID-19?
  • No, getting vaccinated is a personal choice; however, it is strongly recommended by the BC Government to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 
  • For more information on getting vaccinated, visit the BC Government website.
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