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Important Information about COVID-19 and People with Chronic Kidney Disease

Latest Updates
Resources and Useful Links
General Information on COVID-19


Latest Updates

  • We want to hear from you: take the Survey on the effects of the pandemic (survey deadline: July 19, 2020).
  • At this time, renal units, hospitals and other health care facilities may have special procedures in place for dialysis or clinic visits. In advance of attending appointments, it is recommended that you check with your renal, dialysis or transplant unit for specific recommendations in your local area. Information may be available on the facility website(s).
  • Live kidney transplants may be postponed at this time as a temporary measure to safeguard patients. The Kidney Paired Donation program will be postponed effective March 16 for a minimum of six weeks. Your local transplant unit will be able to provide more information. The situation remains closely monitored. 
  • Kidney Foundation programs continue to be offered.

Resources and Useful Links

"STOP - No Visitors" door signs to download and print:

Provincial renal agencies monitoring the situation closely and providing guidelines for patients:  

Government of Canada novel coronavirus information line:  
1 833 784-4397

From the Public Health Agency of Canada: *
Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) 
Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19): Outbreak Updates
Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19): Frequently Asked Questions
Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19): Travel Health Notices
Public Health Authorities  

* A Virtual Assistant is now available on the Public Health Agency of Canada website to answer your questions in real time (click on the maple leaf at the bottom of your screen). 

From the Canadian Society of Transplantation:
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): FAQs for Transplant

From Canadian Blood Services:
COVID-19 FAQS for transplant candidates and recipients 

General Information on COVID-19

Health Canada is calling COVID-19 a serious health threat and the situation is evolving daily. The risk to Canadians is considered high. This does not mean that all Canadians will get the disease. It means that there is already a significant impact on the health care system. As new information becomes available, the public health risk is continually assessed. 

People with COVID-19 may have little or no symptoms. You may not know you have COVID-19 symptoms because they are similar to a cold or flu. Symptoms have included fever, cough, difficulty breathing and pneumonia in both lungs. In severe cases, infection can lead to death.

Currently, there is no specific treatment for COVID-19. Most people with mild coronavirus illness will recover on their own. No vaccine for COVID-19 is available at this time. 

To limit the spread of COVID-19, the Government of Canada advises that you avoid all non-essential travel ouside Canada until further notice.

Consult your health care provider as soon as possible if:

  • You are concerned about your symptoms
  • You have a travel history to a region where severe coronaviruses are known to occur. Health Canada posts active travel health notices.
Children and adults with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and kidney transplant recipients are at higher risk of serious illness, including COVID-19. There is an increased risk of more severe outcomes for Canadians:
  • Aged 65 and over
  • With compromised immune systems
  • With underlying medical conditions.

How to protect yourself from infection 

The following advice can help reduce the risk of infection or spreading infection to other people:
  • Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes in a tissue or in your arm or sleeve, not in your hands, to prevent spreading germs to others. Immediately dispose of any tissues you have used into the garbage as soon as possible and wash your hands afterwards. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands. You can get infected by touching something that is contaminated with germs and then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Clean high-touch surfaces frequently.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Practice social distancing: 
    • Stay at home, except for dialysis, and if possible, use a delivery or pick-up service for groceries and medications. Some grocery chains are offering the first hour of the day for seniors and people with a transplant.
    • Maintain a 2-metre physical distance from others.
    • When physical distancing cannot be maintained, consider wearing a non-medical mask or face covering. Patients should check local infection control practices in their units and clinics when using non-surgical masks.
    • Avoid all non-essential travel and gatherings which include movies, restaurants and shopping, even if those businesses remain open.
    • Work from home if you can.
What to do if you experience flu-like symptoms: 
  • Contact your health care provider and/or your kidney healthcare team to ask for further advice.
  • Stay home and avoid others if possible.
  • If you have a medical appointment, call the office ahead of time for further advice.

Good information is the first step towards prevention. The Public Health Agency of Canada website offers detailed information on COVID-19 and provides regular updates. We recommend consulting their Coronavirus disease (COVID-19):Outbreak update pages to learn more about COVID-19 and steps you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Before making any decisions that could affect your health, talk to your doctor.