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COVID-19 (coronavirus) and diabetes

COVID-19 and diabetes

As we are all deeply aware of COVID-19, the pandemic facing the global community, Diabetes Canada is committed to sharing accurate and up-to-date information and credible resources. People living with diabetes and caregivers are especially vulnerable in this difficult and challenging time and Diabetes Canada is here to continue to offer support.

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.

People living with diabetes, especially those with poor glycemic control have an increased risk for some infections. Coronavirus (COVID-19) results in a respiratory infection that causes patients to develop mild to severe symptoms including a cough, fever, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to COVID-19.

Ask the experts

You understandably have a lot of questions about diabetes and COVID-19. We asked what you wanted to know about diabetes and COVID-19, and you told us. Watch this video to hear from expert physicians, advocates and patient groups. Ask today. To view past videos, click here

Diabetes visits

During the pandemic, many health-care providers have adopted a hybrid model of care, offering certain types of visits in-person at the clinic and others virtually, by phone, video chat or secure messaging. Virtual diabetes care may be a new and different experience for you. For tips on preparing for your diabetes visit and managing virtual appointments, check out these resources:

Preparing for your diabetes visit

English   French   Simplified Chinese   Punjabi

Tips for your virtual diabetes visit

English   French   Simplified Chinese   Punjabi

Health-care provider resources

Return to care letter template

Research shows Canadians’ access to the health-care system has changed over the course of the pandemic and that many patients have not sought care when probably they should have. For people living with diabetes, delayed or deferred care can contribute to a higher risk of short- and long-term complications which, in time, may lead to poorer outcomes.

Diabetes Canada has created a letter that you can send to your patients to help facilitate a reconnection and encourage the return to regular diabetes appointments. Routine check-ins will help decrease the likelihood of adverse health impacts to your patients. You can customize the template or send it as is. The letter is available in English, French, Simplified Chinese and Punjabi.

Temporary screening guidelines for gestational diabetes

Diabetes Canada and our health-care provider experts recently updated temporary screening guidelines for gestational diabetes during COVID-19.

You can access more information from the Canadian Journal of Diabetes here:

View document

Watch a short video from Dr. Jennifer Yamamoto Clinical Assistant Professor, Departments of Medicine & Obstetrics and Gynecology. University of Calgary.

The Impact of COVID-19 on Access to Diabetes Care, Management, and Related Complications

Diabetes Canada reviewed current published reports to determine the impact of the pandemic on diabetes management and complications.

View document

Relationship between Diabetes and COVID-19: Research Review

At Diabetes Canada, we continue to track the research on the potential bidirectional relationship between diabetes and COVID-19. Research updated Summer 2021.

View document

How Diabetes Canada helps

During the pandemic, we have adapted many of our services to support people affected by diabetes with the information, advocacy and connections they need.

  • 1-800-BANTING: Offering expert personalized medical advice by Certified Diabetes Educators and guiding patients to resources and supports for medications, supplies and government programs for diabetes
  • Website: Maintaining this page with key information about diabetes and COVID-19
  • Videos: Broadcasting weekly videos for patients called Ask the Experts and educating healthcare providers on diabetes and COVID-19 via webinars.
  • Multilingual resources: Delivering educational content in multiple languages. Urging health officials to update COVID-19 vaccine priority lists to include people with diabetes.
  • Collaborating with Health Canada and other partners to ensure the security of the Canadian insulin supply.
  • Continuing to advocate for fair access to diabetes medications, devices and supplies for Canadians everywhere. Virtual D-Camps for kids with type 1 diabetes and their families.
  • Virtual Conferences: Delivering online content for people affected by diabetes and healthcare providers.

COVID-19 and diabetes FAQ

Click here for our most frequently asked questions about Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Diabetes Canada COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

COVID-19 Vaccination Policy for Employees, Volunteers, Consultants and Office Visitors

Results of patient & caregiver survey

Summary of Diabetes Canada's 2022 survey to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted people affected by diabetes.

Contact us for support

We can answer your questions about COVID-19 and diabetes symptoms, risks and other concerns.


1-800-BANTING (226-8464)

COVID-19 infographics

We all have a role to play in protecting ourselves and others. Share one or all of our infographics on your social networks and tag @diabetescanada.

How we help

During this difficult time Diabetes Canada continues to support those living with diabetes and the people who care for them while we work to find a cure. If you are able, your support can make a difference now and in the coming months.

We need your help

Stories of inspiration

“Finding the positives through COVID-19 by connecting with and learning from others.”

Victoria Burns, supporter, living with type 1 diabetes

Read the full story

Helpful external resources

Diabetes Canada is following the Public Health Agency recommendations for COVID-19 and monitoring their ongoing information, as updates become available.

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