VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — The BC Centre for Disease Control is warning you to stay safe if you’re getting intimate during the pandemic.
The centre is advising people to try and have few or regular partners to lower the risk of being exposed to COVID-19, and to always communicate with your partner about possible symptoms.
“Sex can be very important for mental, social, and physical well-being; it is a part of everyday life. People can, will, and should continue to have sex during the COVID-19 pandemic,” a statement on the BCCDC website reads. “Messages that discourage or shame people from sexual contact can be harmful and may discourage people from seeking essential sexual health services.”
The report adds while it’s not yet clear if the virus can be transmitted through sex but, “the virus has been found in semen and feces.”
“Whether you are engaged in sexual activity or not. It can also be passed by touching contaminated surfaces and then touching the face, eyes, nose, or mouth.”
You, someone you live with, and someone you are in close contact are the safest people to have sex with the centre reports.
If you are having sex with a partner, wear a face mask during sex, avoid kissing, and if you can, try to use a barrier between you and your partner.
Among the guidelines, however, is one that’s caught the attention of many people. The BCCDC’s clear and direct recommendations suggest people take a number of precautions, such as using barriers, “like walls (e.g., glory holes), that allow for sexual contact but prevent close face-to-face contact.”
The centre also advises anyone who is sexually active to seek sexual health services, such as testing for HIV and STIs or asking for contraception.
While most sexual health clinics are still open many have reduced their hours or services.
You can check-in advance visit the clinic finder on SmartSexResource or contact your local clinic before visiting. If you want to get tested for STIs without seeing a healthcare provider in person, GetCheckedOnline is a confidential program you can use.