COVID-19 overview

Home | News & Events | News | COVID-19 overview
Older Black man and young child wearing surgical masks greeting each other with their elbows

What is COVID-19?

There are several different types of human coronaviruses circulating around the world; however, the majority of them usually don’t cause severe illness. (It’s actually likely that you’ve been exposed to these types of viruses in the past.)

In rare instances, an animal coronavirus, such as COVID-19, can “jump” or evolve to humans and cause more severe illnesses. Other recent examples of animal-to-human transmission include Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)

Common symptoms of these infections include fever, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches, sore throat, and headache. These symptoms can present 2–14 days after virus exposure.

Photo of a group of people with surgerical masks dressed in Myeloma Canada red and wearing a red gerbera daisy.

What’s my risk?

Myeloma and its treatments affect how well the immune system responds to infection. This means that people living with myeloma are at a higher risk for infection in general, even when the myeloma is stable or in remission. In fact, all people living with cancer have a higher risk of infection, as well as those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes, and heart disease.

Watch. Rewind. Repeat.

To learn more, watch the Myeloma Canada webinar on COVID‑19 and multiple myeloma.

COVID-19 and Canada

As we continue our worldwide fight against COVID-19, the Government of Canada—and all provincial governments—is responding to the crisis with daily addresses and updates. As you know, the situation is constantly changing, as are the statistics of those who have tragically passed, those who have tested positive, as well as those who have recovered. It’s important to remember that these statistics are based on cases tested and thus, declared; it is estimated that thousands of others have experienced, or are experiencing the virus, but in a mild form and so, these individuals are not tested nor represented in this data.

COVID-19 is a serious health threat, and risks vary between and within communities. Given the increasing number of cases in Canada, the risk to Canadians is considered high, meaning that our healthcare system is already experiencing a significant impact; it does not mean that all Canadians will get the disease.

Helpful resources

For more information, resources, and updates on the COVID-19 virus, we recommend the Public Health Agency of Canada website.

To find out more about the Canadian vaccination rollout by jurisdiction, click here.

For more information about the situation in the provinces and territories, visit their websites:

Other resources:

Preventive measures

Notice for deliveries and visitors

Let others know your comfort levels with your downloadable and printable door sign.

While there is no preventative vaccine or antiviral treatment for COVID-19, there are many easy preventative measures you can take to help protect yourself and others from respiratory illnesses like COVID-19, and from the spread of infection in general.

list icon

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands; it’s one of the most important things you can do.

list icon

Wash your hands often with soap and water or an antiseptic hand sanitizer. Lather and scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds and don’t forget the backs, between fingers, and under the nails. Pay particular attention and wash your hands after you touch doorknobs and elevator buttons.

list icon

Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms. When an infected person coughs or sneezes, the virus spreads through mucus and saliva droplets that can be directly inhaled or picked up by touching contaminated surfaces (followed by touching your eyes, nose, or mouth). The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a safe distance of at least one metre. The Government of Canada recommends maintaining a distance of 2 metres from others.

list icon

Cover your cough and sneezes with tissues or the inside of your elbow. Throw out any used tissues in a closed trash bin. If you sneeze or cough into your hands, you may contaminate surfaces that other people touch.

list icon

Avoid sharing personal items with others (i.e. utensils and drinking glasses).

list icon

Avoid touching ramps, doors, and other surfaces in public places.

list icon

Avoid unnecessary visits to clinics and hospitals and stay home if you’re not feeling well. If you have a fever, you should contact your healthcare professional.

list icon

Wear a mask if you’re coughing, sneezing, or have a runny nose and you really need to go out—it can reduce the risk of others getting sick.

list icon

Last but not least, avoid travelling in confined modes of transportation like planes, trains, and buses. Now is not a good time for a cruise.

We’ve also received questions about wearing gloves and/or masks to avoid catching COVID-19.

list icon

Gloves can be worn but you should avoid touching your face with contaminated gloves.

list icon

Some surgical masks may be too loose, may not have an air filter, or may leave the eyes exposed.

list icon

The most effective masks are “N95” because they block 95% of small particles.

list icon

Wash your hands before putting a mask on, and every time you touch it, to avoid transferring viruses to the mask.

list icon

Masks become less effective the longer you wear them—especially if they become damp from your breath—so change them regularly.

list icon

Remove masks from the back because the front might be contaminated.

COVID-19 news and updates

  • All years
  • 2024
  • 2023
  • 2022
  • 2021
  • 2020
  • 2019
  • 2018
  • 2017
  • 2016

August 25, 2022

COVID-19 Vaccine Booster, Evusheld Improve Protection for Patients With Blood Cancers

A third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine can prompt seroconversion in patients with hematologic malignancies who failed to seroconvert after 2 doses, according to a study published in Cancer. Find out more here.[…]

Learn more

June 22, 2022

Canada seeing rise in COVID-19 subvariants. Could this lead to a summer surge?

Canada is seeing an increase in several fast-spreading COVID-19 variants that have been fuelling new outbreaks in the United States and Europe, Canada’s top doctors said Friday. Read more here.[…]

Learn more

June 21, 2022

Federal government temporarily suspends random COVID-19 airport testing, leaves vaccine mandates in place

Ottawa will temporarily suspend its random COVID-19 testing for air passengers, but has left its domestic travel vaccine mandate in place, even as sources say most Liberal MPs agree with the Conservative position to scrap it. Find out more here.[…]

Learn more

June 20, 2022

The Novavax vaccine against COVID-19: What you need to know

The Technical Advisory Group for Emergency Use Listing listed Nuvaxovid (NVX-CoV2373) vaccine against COVID-19 and Covovax (NVX-CoV2373) vaccine against COVID-19 for emergency use on 20 December 2021 and 17 December 2021 respectively.  Click here to read more.  Find out more information here: Novavax Nuvaxovid COVID-19 vaccine  […]

Learn more

May 25, 2022

Regular travel and public health measures can’t coexist: Canadian Airport Council

International arrivals at Canadian airports are so backed up, people are being kept on planes for over an hour after they land because there isn't physically enough space to hold the lineups of travellers, says the Canadian Airports Council. Read more here.[…]

Learn more

May 24, 2022

Long COVID impacts continue as Alberta doctors, researchers seek answers

Two years into the pandemic, doctors and researchers continue their effort to unravel the mystery of long COVID. Click here to read more.[…]

Learn more

May 23, 2022

As COVID-19 begins to diminish, more Canadians are getting sick with the flu

“We’re seeing influenza activity increasing up to the seasonal threshold despite the opposite trends being expected this time of year,” Dr. Theresa Tam, the nation’s chief public health officer, told reporters during a federal COVID-19 update. Find out more here.[…]

Learn more
1 2 3 31