COVID-19 news and resources for people living with pain

March 19, 2020

The growing concern over the community transmission of COVID-19 can be overwhelming, but please know that you're not alone with pain. During this time, Pain BC is committed to continuing to do what we’ve always done: working towards a future where no one is alone with pain. Additionally, many companies and health care organizations are responding with additional supports to address the evolving situation. We're all in this together.

Below you can find a list of news, information and resources specifically for people in pain that can be helpful during this time. Please note that this list will be updated regularly as more information and resources become available. Please check back regularly.

Accessing Pain BC programs and resources during social distancing

  • Pain Support Line: We are committed to continuing to support our community during this unprecedented time. Our Pain Support Line remains open and can be reached by calling 1-844-880-PAIN (toll-free) or by emailing
  • Coaching for Health: As a telephone-based service, our Coaching for Health program is not impacted by social distancing measures and is continuing to operate as usual. 
  • Pain Support and Wellness Groups: In order to do our part to slow community transmission of COVID-19, we are temporarily suspending our in-person Pain Support and Wellness Groups throughout the province. We recognize this disruption will impact anyone who has benefited from attending the in-person groups and are working to quickly establish the groups online so we can continue to provide connection, hope and education to our community. We expect our online groups to be available in April. Please stay tuned for updates about how to join an online group. To make our online meetings as accessible as possible, we will include a call-in option for people unable to connect via the internet.
  • LivePlanBeLivePlanBe is our free, online education and self-management resource for people with pain. It's a great place to find ideas for managing anxiety, ideas for social-distancing-friendly paced activitiesmindfulness and breathing strategies, and more. 

BC COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool

If you are experiencing a cough, fever, sore throat or sneezing, this self-assessment tool by the BC Ministry of Health can help you determine whether you may need further assessment or testing for COVID-19. You can complete this assessment for yourself, or on behalf of someone else, if they are unable to. Take the assessment.

    New pharmacy prescribing rules

    BC pharmacists can now provide medication refills to people in pain, including opioid medications, without an updated prescription from a doctor or nurse practitioner. This measure intends to prevent people from needing to visit overcrowded medical clinics and promotes safe social distancing, and will also free up medical professionals to treat urgent COVID-19 related cases. Please note that your doctor or pharmacist may not be aware of these recent changes and you may need to inform them. Read more

    Dedicated grocery shopping hours

    A number of major grocery stores are offering dedicated shopping hours for people in need of assistance or special consideration, including seniors, people with disabilities and anyone with complex health conditions. Stores are offering items for the same price both in-person and online and many of the listed stores have waived fees associated with online ordering. Stores include:

    • Shoppers Drug Mart (dedicated first opening hour - check with local store)
    • Superstore (dedicated hour - check with local store)
    • No Frills (dedicated hour - check with local store)
    • Your Independent Grocer (dedicated first opening hour - check with local store)
    • Walmart (dedicated first opening hour from 8:00-9:00am daily)
    • London Drugs (dedicated first opening hour from 8:00-9:00am Monday through Friday)
    • Save on Foods (dedicated first opening hour from 7:00-8:00am daily)
    • Costco (check with local store)

    Changes to BC Transit service structure

    For people with pain living outside of the Greater Vancouver region who must travel during the social distancing period, BC Transit is waiving bus fares for the next 30 days and enabling back door entry for most busses as a means of practicing safe distancing between passengers and bus drivers. Read more

    Managing COVID-19 stress, anxiety and depression

    The Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions has put together a list of tips and resources that can help with managing stress, anxiety and/or depression during this challenging time. Read more

    Health Canada safety alert: No scientific evidence that ibuprofen worsens COVID-19 symptoms

    Health Canada finds no scientific evidence that establishes a link between ibuprofen, naproxen or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and the worsening of COVID-19 symptoms. Anyone currently taking these medications to manage chronic illness should not stop taking them before speaking to a health care professional. Read more

    Support for kids and teens living with pain and their families

    Solutions for Kids in Pain (SKIP) has put together a list of resources and apps that can help kids, teens and their families manage pain and well-being during this period of social distancing. Read more

    Stay connected 

    • Connect with others in pain on the free, anonymous LivePlanBe forum
    • Connect with us on Facebook
    • Connect with us on Twitter or join the broader Twitter conversation using the #COVIDpain hashtag 
    Are there other helpful COVID-19 resources for people in pain that aren't mentioned here? Email us at