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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


Public health agencies in Canada and world-wide have described actions that can help prevent the spread of viruses that cause respiratory illnesses.

Take these steps to reduce exposure to the virus and protect your health:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly and regularly with soap and water
  • Sneeze and cough into your sleeve; when using tissues, immediately dispose of them into the garbage as soon as possible and wash your hands afterwards
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
  • Regularly clean commonly used surfaces and devices you touch or handle.
  • Try to avoid contact with people who are showing symptoms of respiratory illness, such as coughing
  • Check national travel advice before planning or taking trips
  • If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health-care provider
  • If you have a scheduled visit with your health-care provider, contact them via phone/or portal first to see what other options you may have (many clinics have increased their use of telemedicine) as visiting a clinic can increase your risk of being exposed to the virus. Follow the advice of your health-care provider

The public health authorities are emphasizing that if you think you might be sick, stay home from work or school. 

Health-care provider resources

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 February 2021.

View document

How Diabetes Canada helps

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


  • Offering expert personalized medical advice by Certified Diabetes Experts via 1-800-BANTING
  • Maintaining a website of key information about diabetes and COVID-19
  • Broadcasting weekly videos for patients called Ask the Experts
  • Guiding patients to resources and supports for medications, supplies and government programs for diabetes via 1-800-BANTING
  • Educating healthcare providers on diabetes and COVID-19 via webinars
  • Delivering educational content in multiple languages
  • Collaborating with partners to support more research into prevention, management and a cure for diabetes.


  • 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 Type 1 Conferences for Canadians affected by type 1 diabetes
  • Planning potential ways to host our Professional Conference to educate healthcare providers on best practice in diabetes care

COVID-19 and diabetes FAQ

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

Ask the experts

Our expert health-care provider volunteers are ready to answer your questions about diabetes and COVID-19. Please let us know your questions and we'll share their responses via special video messages in the coming days on social.

Results of patient & caregiver survey

Summary of Diabetes Canada June 2020 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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