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.
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
Tips for your virtual diabetes visit
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:
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.
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 February 2021.
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.
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
Read latest breaking news, updates, and headlines.Read the latest About Newsroom
Choose from over 50 diabetes-friendly recipes to cook during your coronavirus self-quarantine.View recipes About Recipes
Gain knowledge on numerous diabetes-related topics from the comfort of your own home.View webinars About Webinars