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COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

What is Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)?

C oronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) virus not previously identified in people. COVID-19 was first identified in Wuhan in China in December 2019. Click here to view our video to learn more.

What is the current situation in New Brunswick?

Up-to-date and accurate information can be found on the Government of New Brunswick's Coronavirus (COVID-19) website.

How many cases have been diagnosed in New Brunswick? In Canada?

Globally the situation is evolving rapidly and many countries around the world have cases. In New Brunswick, Public Health is closely monitoring the spread of COVID-19. 

For up-to-date numbers of confirmed cases visit the  Government of New Brunswick, the provincial dashboard's site, and the  Public Health Agency of Canada (Canada).

How is COVID-19 spread?

COVID-19 is spread:

  • Through droplets, when an infected person coughs or sneezes near you;
  • Through close contact with an infected person, such as touching or shaking hands; and
  • By touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before cleaning your hands.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

  • Fever above 38 degrees Celsius
  • A new cough, or worsening chronic cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Headache
  • A new onset of fatigue
  • A new onset of muscle pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of sense of taste
  • Loss of sense of smell
  • In children, purple markings on the fingers and toes
  • Difficulty breathing

Symptoms may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to COVID-19. Most cases have reported mild symptoms.

However, there is a risk of severe illness that may result in respiratory failure, kidney failure, or even death.

What is the process to get a COVID-19 test if I do have symptoms?

You can register for a test online by clicking ' Get Tested' on the GNB Coronavirus website or you can call Tele-Care 811 to get an appointment.

What's the difference between self-isolation and self-monitoring related to Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

You self-monitor when you:

  • Have no symptoms
  • Have had a possible exposure to COVID-19 in the last 14 days

Click here for a poster on self-monitoring, which you can download and post on social media to share with your family and friends.

You self-isolate when you:

  • Have no symptoms
  • Have travelled outside of New Brunswick or have had close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19

Click here for information on self-isolating, which you can share with your family and friends.

Consult the Government of New Brunswick's Travel Requirements available here.

How do you self-monitor?

Monitor yourself for 14 days for one or more symptoms of COVID-19.

Go about your day but, remember to follow provincial guidelines related to the State of Emergency.

If you need to go in public, wear a mask and maintain a two metre (six foot) distance between yourself and others.

If you develop symptoms, isolate yourself from others (including your household) immediately.

If you are displaying mild or moderate symptoms of COVID-19, complete the self-assessment by visiting or call Tele-Care 811. They may refer you to one of the Community Assessment Centres for testing.

How do you self-isolate?

Stay home and monitor your symptoms, even if mild, for 14 days.

Avoid contact with others (including your household) to prevent the spread of disease in your home.

Here are some helpful items to have on hand during self-isolation:

  • One-time use masks
  • Disposable gloves (do not re-use)
  • Paper towel and tissues
  • Waste basket with disposable, plastic liner
  • Thermometer
  • Medication to reduce fever (ibuprofen or acetaminophen)
  • Alcohol-based sanitizer

Arrange to have groceries delivered

Keep other members of your household safe and healthy by cleaning and disinfecting surfaces that you touch often, such as toilets, bedside tables, doorknobs, phones and television remotes.

Click  here for a poster on self-isolating, which you can download and post on social media to share with your family and friends.

Can I still visit patients in a Horizon facility?

Visitor guidelines are in place at Horizon facilities. Please  click here to learn more.

Can I wear my community face mask or cloth facial covering into a room to visit a patient who is under Isolation Precautions?

No. You will be provided a medical grade face mask or KN95 during the screening process and asked to put on this face mask before entering. If you are wearing a KN95 face mask or N95 respirator, you will not be asked to change it. Patients under isolation precautions require individuals entering the patient room to wear a medical grade face mask and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Before you visit a patient under isolation precautions, you must STOP and request assistance from a health care worker on the patient care unit before entering the patient's room. The health care worker will assist and provide you with the appropriate type of PPE required to keep you and the patient safe. This will include instruction of how to put on and take off PPE.

How is COVID-19 diagnosed?

There is a nasopharyngeal swab and a throat swab that are done to diagnose COVID-19.

In New Brunswick, screening testing is done by the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre in Moncton and confirmatory testing is done by the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg.

Should I go to an Emergency Department if I think I have COVID-19?

If you are displaying mild or moderate symptoms of COVID-19, complete the self-assessment by visiting or call Tele-Care 811 and follow their instructions. Do NOT go to the Emergency Department.

Patients should only go to an Emergency Department (ED) if it's an emergency.

How can I prevent the spread of COVID-19?

The most important thing you can do to prevent infection is toclean your handsregularly and avoid touching your face.

  • Clean your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Soap and water is the single most effective way of reducing the spread of infection;
  • If access to a sink is unavailable, an alcohol-based hand rub will clean your hands as long as they are not visibly soiled;
  • Do not touch your face, eyes, nose or mouth with unclean hands;
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a disposable tissue or use the crease of your elbow when you cough or sneeze;
  • Regularly clean and disinfect frequently used surfaces; and
  • Do not share food, drinks or utensils.

Should I wear a mask?

Based on the latest research, masks are now an effective way to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. That is why masks are mandatory in public indoor spaces in New Brunswick.

Non-medical masks or facial coverings can protect those around you when physical distancing is not possible because:

  • It covers your mouth and nose to prevent your respiratory droplets from contaminating others or landing on surfaces.
  • It reduces the chance that others come into contact with your respiratory droplets (similar to how covering your cough with tissues or your sleeve can reduce that chance).

If I am diagnosed with COVID-19, how will I be treated?

There is no specific treatment for COVID-19. Many symptoms can be managed with home treatment such as drinking plenty of fluids, rest, using a humidifier or having a hot shower to relieve a cough.

Most people recover from COVID-19 on their own. For people with more serious illness, hospitalization may be required.

Why does Horizon continue to accept cash at its parking stations and cafeterias?

Horizon has acted on the advice of its Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) experts on this matter.

Our parking lot attendants and cafeteria staff are equipped with hand sanitizer (alcohol-based hand rub) and clean their hands between every transaction.

How do I get a copy of my personal health records when visitor restrictions are in place?

The Health Records department is closed to visitors. As we work to limit the number of people entering Horizon facilities during the COVID-19 outbreak, remember, there are alternate ways to receive personal health record information.

If you require access to your health records, do not visit in-person.

Instead you can submit a Patient Access Release Form electronically. Download it by clicking  here and  email or fax the authorization form back to the area where the inquired information from the medical appointment occurred.

If you experience issues accessing the form on our website, please  call or  email the appropriate area, and a form will be sent to you.

Our Health Information Management team will mail copies of the records to patients requesting information, which will save people from making a trip to the hospital. Please note, health records will not be sent by email.

What if I need to contact my health care provider for a medical note to apply for Employment Insurance (EI)?

People claiming EI sickness benefits due to quarantine do not need to provide a medical certificate. For more information,  visit Employment and Social Development Canada.

Where can I find reliable information?

There is misinformation and speculation surfacing online, which is a common reaction in situations like this.

Please rely on only credible sources for information from

Misinformation can create unnecessary panic for both our patients and staff, which ties up our resources. Please help us share reliable information from these sites.

For updates on health care services in your area, visit Horizon's Community News Channel, sign up for our e-newsletter, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

COVID-19 vaccinations

The more people who are immunized against COVID-19, the harder it is for the virus to spread. Learn more about getting vaccinated with the Frequently Asked Questions below, and do your part by getting fully vaccinated.

How does the COVID-19 vaccine work to protect us?

COVID-19 vaccines teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. mRNA vaccines provide instructions to your cells for how to make a coronavirus protein. Viral vector vaccines use a virus that's been made harmless to produce coronavirus proteins in your body without causing disease. Both will trigger an immune response that will help to protect you against COVID-19.

 It typically takes 2 weeks after vaccination (second dose) for the body to build protection (immunity) against the virus that causes COVID-19. That means it is possible a person could still get COVID-19 before or just after vaccination and then get sick because the vaccine did not have enough time to build protection. So it is important to continue to    protect yourself and others from COVID-19 even once immunized. For more information about vaccination to achieve community immunity,  visit Health Canada.

Can you still contract and spread the virus once immunized?

Vaccination is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread and reduce the impact of infectious diseases. COVID-19 vaccines are effective at protecting you from getting COVID-19, especially severe illness and death. COVID-19 vaccines also reduce the risk of people spreading the virus that causes COVID-19.

According to the  CDC, infections happen in only a small proportion of people who are fully vaccinated, even with the Delta variant. When these infections occur among vaccinated people, they tend to be mild.

People with weakened immune systems, including people who take immunosuppressive medications, may not be protected even if fully vaccinated and may need to keep taking all precautions to prevent COVID-19 disease. You should talk to your healthcare provider.

How safe is the COVID-19 vaccine?

Vaccines are safe. Health Canada authorizes vaccines only after an independent and thorough scientific review for safety, effectiveness and quality.

The vaccines cannot give you COVID-19 because they don't contain the virus that causes it, and they cannot change your DNA.

For more information, including a list of authorized vaccines such as Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and AstraZeneca,  visit Health Canada online.

Additional Health Canada resources:

Who is eligible?

New Brunswickers 5+ are eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Information for parents, caregivers or legal guardians: it is preferred that parents/legal guardians consent to immunizations for minors younger than 16.  For more information on consent for COVID-19 vaccination can be found  here.

How old do I need to be to consent to COVID-19 vaccination without parental consent?

Under New Brunswick's  Medical Consent for Minors Act, a minor under the age of 16 is capable of giving consent to be immunized if an attending legally qualified medical practitioner, nurse practitioner or nurse determines that the minor:

  • understands the nature and the consequences of a medical treatment; and
  • the medical treatment and the procedure to be used is in the best interests of the minor and the minor's continuing health and well-being.

For more information, read  Mature Minor Consent for COVID-19 Immunization  or visit the Government of  New Brunswick's COVID-19 Vaccines website.

How do I find a COVID-19 vaccination clinic near me?

Click here  for information on Horizon's COVID-19 vaccination clinics.

Vaccination    appointments can be scheduled online by    clicking here   Walk-ins may be available at some vaccination clinics on a first come, first serve basis.

Are masks still mandatory at vaccination clinics?

Yes, masks are required at all of Horizon's COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics. Watch this  video for a tour of what to expect  when you arrive for your vaccine.

What can I expect at the clinic?

To get an idea of what going to a Horizon vaccination clinic,  check this video out. Be ready for your appointment by bringing your Medicare card, wearing a short-sleeved shirt or a shirt with sleeves that can easily be rolled up, bringing a mask with you, and arriving on time. You can expect to stay at least 15 minutes after your vaccine.

If this is your second dose, bring your Record of Immunization (If you have lost your Record of Immunization, see details    here).

Follow signage and instruction to complete the registration process, get your vaccine, and wait in the observation area.

Please be patient, even with appointments the clinic could be running behind schedule.

What if I need special accommodations?

We can accommodate individuals with special circumstances/needs, such as giving the vaccination in vehicles. If you have mobility issues, are unable to wear a mask, have young children with you, or feel overstimulated with big crowds, please let us know when you arrive for your vaccination.

How do I cancel or reschedule my vaccination appointment?  

If you are no longer able to attend the appointment at a clinic organized by Horizon, you may cancel or reschedule the appointment.

  • If you have the Booking ID (found in the appointment confirmation email) and the date of birth of the person scheduled to receive the vaccine, you can cancel AND reschedule the appointment by   clicking here.
  • If you don't have the Booking IDor date of birth, you can cancel the appointment by filling out the   following form OR by calling 1-833-437-1424 to reach someone who will assist you in cancelling or rescheduling your appointment.

The earlier you can provide notification, the better. By cancelling your appointment as soon as possible, you may be helping someone else in your community get vaccinated sooner against COVID-19.

What is the Record of COVID-19 Immunization?

The paper Record of COVID-19 Immunization provided from vaccination clinics is and will continue to be your official record.

If you have lost your Record of COVID-19 Immunization and you require a replacement copy, provided you have an NB Medicare number, you may now view and print your Record of COVID-19 Immunization online through  MyHealthNB.

How soon can I be vaccinated after having COVID-19?

Based on immunity following infection, the current interval between COVID-19 infection and vaccination is outlined in the chart below.

A primary vaccination series is as follows:

  • Two full doses of a combination of either of the following COVID-19 vaccines: AstraZeneca, Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech
  • One full dose of Janssen (Johnson & Johnson)
  • For individuals 5+who are immunocompromised, a primary series is now considered three doses.

In the chart, multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children is referred to as MIS-C.


The intervals above serve as a guide and clinical discretion is advised. A longer interval between infection and vaccination may result in a better immune response.

Individuals may choose to get vaccinated sooner than the recommended intervals, but at minimum, COVID-19 symptoms should be completely resolved; and at least 10 days since the onset of symptoms or positive test result (if asymptomatic) should have passed to minimize the risk of transmission at a vaccination clinic.