COVID and PPE Frequently Asked Questions

Primary Sources for Information on COVID-19: It is so important that we use reliable sources for information on how to be safe and healthy with COVID-19 in our communities.

Question 1: What is COVID-19?
Answer: COVID-19 is the name for the disease caused by a new corona virus.

Question 2: What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Answer: From the BC Centre of Disease Control:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Cough or worsening of chronic cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Loss of sense of smell or taste
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Muscle aches

Question 3: What do you do if you have symptoms of COVID-19?

Testing is recommended for anyone with cold, influenza or COVID-19-like symptoms, even mild ones. For more information on testing and where to go for testing, visit the Testing page.

The B.C. COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool is also available for anyone that develops symptoms and can be used to help determine if you need further assessment or testing for COVID-19. Testing is especially important for groups that are more vulnerable to complications from COVID-19, or people who care for these individuals.

Question 4: How do we prevent the spread of COVID-19?
Dr. Bonnie Henry gave us a hierarchy of controls that are most effective in preventing infections:

  • Physical Distancing – keeping 2 meters away, and limiting interactions – MOST EFFECTIVE
  • Engineering Controls – physical changes such as plexiglass shields
  • Administrative Controls – such as guidelines for the number of people in a room or appointments for coming to the office
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – using masks, gowns and goggles when all of the above measures cannot be used – LESS EFFECTIVE

Question 5: What is PPE?
Answer: PPE stands for Personal Protective Equipment. PPE is used to support universal precautions and as one way to prevent infections.

Question 6: How do I prevent my glasses from fogging up when I wear a mask?
Answer: From the Royal College of Surgeons of England:

Staff who wear glasses can find their lenses misting up on wearing a face mask. This effect can be a nuisance and even incapacitate the person. A simple method to prevent this annoying phenomenon is highlighted.


Immediately before wearing a face mask, wash the spectacles with soapy water and shake off the excess. Then, let the spectacles air dry or gently dry off the lenses with a soft tissue before putting them back on. Now the spectacle lenses should not mist up when the face mask is worn.


The face mask directs much of the exhaled air upwards where it gets into contact with the spectacle lenses. The misting occurs from the warm water vapour content condensing on the cooler surface of the lens, and forming tiny droplets that scatter the light and reduce the ability of the lens to transmit contrast. The droplets form because of the inherent surface tension between the water molecules. Washing the spectacles with soapy water leaves behind a thin surfactant film that reduces this surface tension and causes the water molecules to spread out evenly into a transparent layer. This ‘surfactant effect’ is widely utilised to prevent misting of surfaces in many everyday situations.