COVID-19 - Novel Coronavirus: Canadian Red Cross Relief and Resources

How Red Cross is helping

The Canadian Red Cross is dedicated to supporting individuals, families and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through relationships with government agencies and widespread community partnerships, the Red Cross continues to adapt to emerging needs to assist the country’s most vulnerable as this international crisis evolves.

Here are some examples of how the Canadian Red Cross is helping or has helped so far:

  • At the request of the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Red Cross is providing comfort and care services to Canadians returning to Canada in four locations: Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal. Services include registration and information services, the provision of personal items, meal delivery service, safety and wellbeing support, and family reunification.
  • Building off a long history working alongside Indigenous communities, the Canadian Red Cross is working in partnership with Indigenous Services Canada to help communities across the country to prepare for and respond to COVID-19.
  • Sending components of its Emergency Field Hospital, along with a team of technical personnel trained to respond during international emergencies, to augment existing health infrastructure for an alternative care site in downtown Vancouver.
  • Increasing services to reach isolated seniors through a Friendly Phone Program in Saskatchewan.
  • Operating a call centre on behalf of the City of Toronto to ensure that vulnerable individuals in isolation have a mechanism for receiving food. Food hampers are then delivered to those in need of assistance.
  • Offering virtual care over the phone in Quebec, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island to provide referrals, guidance and emotional support to help people through their isolation period.
  • Providing supplies, including cots, blankets, and clean-up kits upon request by local authorities to various locations across the country to help support vulnerable populations.
  • Distributing additional equipment through the Health Equipment Loan Program (HELP) to assist Canadians recovering at home from surgery or illnesses. The need has increased for equipment such as wheelchairs, walkers, commodes, hospital beds, and IV poles to support people in their recovery at home.
  • Assisting the government of Quebec with the distribution of $14.5 million to 13,000 eligible Quebec residents through the Temporary Aid for Workers Program.

Learn more about how the Red Cross is helping in your community.

Support the Canadian Red Cross

The Canadian Red Cross is prepared and ready to support Canadians now during the COVID-19 pandemic and into the spring and summer as we anticipate floods, wildfires and other disasters that will affect families and communities. The best way you can support our work is with a donation now to the Canadian Emergencies & COVID-19 Response Fund.

We have also opened a COVID-19 Global Appeal, which will enable the Red Cross/Red Crescent across the world to support COVID-19 preparedness, response and recovery activities.

How Red Cross is working to protect clients, staff and volunteers during COVID-19.


Emergency Support for Community Organizations

Across the country, the not-for-profit sector is under threat. Each door forced to close leaves vulnerable populations without the support they rely on. To keep these doors open, the Canadian Red Cross is offering two programs to support community organizations so they can continue to deliver vital services to those who are the most vulnerable to the health, social and economic impacts of COVID-19. Thanks to funding from the Government of Canada, the Canadian Red Cross COVID-19 Emergency Support for Community Organizations will be delivered through two main program areas:

  • Granting Program for Non-profits
    Focused solely on non-profit organizations, eligible organizations can apply for funds to support activities related to COVID-19 as they continue to deliver critical, community-based supports to vulnerable populations in Canada and are addressing a pressing social inclusion or wellbeing need. For more information on this program, eligibility criteria and to apply visit: COVID-19 Emergency Support for Community Organizations Granting Program for Non-Profits
  • Preventing Disease Transmission Training and Equipment Program
    Focused on registered charities, qualified donees and non-profit organizations, eligible organizations can apply for personal protective equipment and training on preventing disease transmission to support frontline personnel who are delivering vital services to vulnerable populations. For more information on this program, eligibility criteria and to apply visit: COVID-19 Emergency Support to Community Organizations Preventing Disease Transmission Training and Equipment Program

For additional resources and more information for community organizations please visit

What you need to know

What are the symptoms of this coronavirus?

Coronavirus symptoms are not unlike what you would experience with other respiratory illnesses such as influenza or the common cold. Symptoms can appear as quickly as 1-2 days after infection, though as more data becomes available the World Health Organization suggests that the incubation period for the virus could be as long as 14 days.

While the severity of coronavirus symptoms can range, signs of infection include a sore throat, shortness of breath, fever, cough, and a runny nose. Complications from the virus can lead to more serious illnesses, such as pneumonia. People with pre-existing medical conditions, small children, and the elderly are more vulnerable than others to the illness.

What can I do to protect myself from the coronavirus?

The Canadian Red Cross encourages everyone to follow  guidelines as recommended by the World Health Organization and the Public Health Agency of Canada. Cover your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing, maintain a distance of at least two metres (six feet) from others not in your household, and wash your hands regularly with soap and water.


Prevention tips:


Resources for families and communities:

Official sources for information

Fraud and misinformation

During this time, the Canadian Red Cross is advising people to be aware of fraudulent activities related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please visit our Fraud and misinformation page for important information regarding door-to-door canvassing, offers received over text, email and on social media, and requests for personal information.

The Red Cross encourages people to stay informed from credible sources, such as the Government of Canada’s website for fraud prevention tips, as well as for the most current information on COVID-19.

If you suspect you have been a victim of fraudulent activity, please contact your local police authority.

Resources on fraud and misinformation: