Home > NewsPatient News > COVID-19 Coronavirus Information for Manitoba Renal Patients

March 12, 2020 | News, Patient News

What do I need to know?

If you have kidney disease, you are at a higher risk of getting an infection. Chronic kidney disease or kidney failure can lead to a weaker immune system. The information in this hand out can help you manage the risk of COVID-19.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Mild Symptoms

  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Runny Nose
  • Sore Throat
  • Weakness
  • Headache

Severe Symptoms

  • Shortness of breath
  • Breathing difficulties

I don’t have any flu-like symptoms. Can I still come to appointments at my renal/dialysis unit?

All renal/dialysis patients without symptoms should come to appointments unless your unit contacts you to make a change. If you travelled in the last 14 days or were exposed to someone with COVID-19, call ahead to let your unit know.

NO VISITORS IN UNITS/WAITING ROOMS: Given the evolving COVID-19 situation, public health officials have recommended the immediate suspension of visitors at health-care facilities across Manitoba including dialysis units. Thank you for your understanding as we take every measure to protect you, your loved ones and our staff. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis.

In-centre hemodialysis patients:

All hemodialysis patients need to continue to come for their life-sustaining  dialysis treatment. The hospitals and units are implementing many measures to ensure all hemodialysis patients are provided the safest care. Dialysis treatments are life-sustaining and coming to the hospital for regularly scheduled dialysis treatments in a carefully managed environment is the SAFEST option for hemodialysis patients. Patients who skip or miss dialysis treatments may experience adverse health outcomes and require emergency medical services such as urgent care or emergency room care. If you have symptoms – see the info below.

If I have flu-like symptoms – what should I do?

If you have symptoms and travelled in the last 14 days OR had contact with someone who had/has COVID-19 OR are a health-care worker OR live/work in a communal setting (correctional facility, care home, work camp) then:

  • CALL Health Links – Info Santé 1-888-315-9257 or 204-788-8200. If you need urgent medical care, call 911. Make sure they know you are a dialysis patient.

  • CALL YOUR RENAL UNIT before you leave your house for a dialysis treatment or clinic visit
  • DO NOT COME TO THE DIALYSIS UNIT, UNTIL you have talked to your Dialysis Unit. We will plan for your dialysis in a way that keeps you and others from being exposed to COVID-19.
  • If you have been tested for COVID-19 at another location, please phone and alert the dialysis unit BEFORE coming for dialysis

How can I lower my risk of getting an infection?

We want to keep you and your family safe. We also need to ensure that you have access to a safe place for your renal/dialysis care. No visitors are allowed in the unit and you may be asked questions, and asked to wash hands or use hand sanitizer, when you come for your appointment.

Call 1-888-315-9257 OR your renal/dialysis unit if you are unwell so that we can keep everyone as safe and healthy as possible. Here are steps that you and your family can do to help lower the risk of infection:

How do I protect myself and my family from COVID-19 and other flu-like illness?

  • Do not travel out of province. The risk of exposure to COVID-19 during travel outside Manitoba continues to increase.
  • Wash your hands: Before, during and after making meals, Before, during and after making meals, Before eating, After using the toilet, When your hands are dirty
  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing. Use a tissue or your sleeve. Throw tissues you have used in the garbage and wash your hands right away.
  • When not attending renal/dialysis appointments, stay home as much as possible.
  • Stay six feet (two meters) away from others when possible.
  • Try not to touch your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Do not shake hands or give hugs.
  • Do not share items such as drinking glasses, spoons/forks or tooth brushes.
  • Clean (disinfect) surfaces such as phones, computer, tables, chairs, countertops, door knobs.
  • Avoid groups of people.

Webinar: Dialysis & COVID-19 presented by The Kidney Foundation of Canada and The Canadian Society of Nephrologists

For more information on COVID-19 visit

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