How do I know if I have COVID-19? What should I do if I've been exposed? When should I use a rapid test?
These are just some of the questions that people commonly have about COVID-19, but finding clear answers isn’t always easy – especially with the Omicron variant having led to changes in public health advice, and causing confusion.
That’s why the University of Toronto's Temerty Faculty of Medicine has teamed up with the Ontario College of Family Physicians to launch a website – ConfusedAboutCOVID.ca – that provides the public with reliable and up-to-date information on COVID-19, including potential health impacts and public health guidance.
A group of family doctors led by Tara Kiran created the site. She is a professor and vice-chair of quality and innovation in Temerty Medicine’s department of family and community medicine as well as a family doctor at St. Michael’s Academic Family Health Team, Unity Health Toronto.
The plain-language, online guide helps people understand current COVID-19 realities and answers common questions such as:
- What do I do about my symptoms?
- Can I see my relatives, or do I need to self-isolate?
- When should I call my doctor?
The resource addresses seven questions, with more to be added as the Omicron situation evolves. The information is available in English and French, but more languages are due to be added.
“As family doctors, we are constantly fielding questions and trying to help our patients make sense of the latest guidance around COVID-19 and Omicron. These resources answer some of the most common questions from our patients, families and caregivers,” says Danielle Martin, professor and chair of family and community medicine at U of T as well as a family doctor at Women’s College Hospital.
Liz Muggah, president of the Ontario College of Family Physicians and a family doctor at Bruyère Family Medicine Centre, says Ontarians are increasingly confused and anxious about what they should do if they have been exposed to COVID-19, or tested positive for the virus.
“Throughout the pandemic, family doctors have been a reliable resource for Ontarians and now Ontario’s family doctors are making it even easier for Ontarians to access reliable information to their questions with ConfusedAboutCOVID.ca,” she says.
Navsheer Gill, faculty wellness lead for family and community medicine at U of T, says she is eager to tell her patients about the site, a one-stop shop for trustworthy and current information.
“Patients are frustrated by the time spent going click to click to click and still not finding what they need to know, and elderly patients face particular barriers,” she says.
Much of the current guidance tends to be long-winded, unclear and spread over many different places, making it hard for patients to get the answers they need, Gill adds. “With these documents, patients finally have a one-stop resource where they can find answers to questions most relevant to their lives,” she says.