VANCOUVER -- Medical professionals are asking B.C. residents to keep one thing in mind during the COVID-19 outbreak: They don't have the option to stay home.

Photos posted by Vancouver Coastal Health show doctors and other health-care workers holding signs as they stand in local hospitals.

"We stay here for you. Please stay home for us," the signs in a photo from the Richmond Hospital's emergency department read.

The region's health authority said the message is simple but powerful.

"This is the single most effective thing you can do to help us limit the spread of COVID-19," VCH said in a message on Twitter.

VCH also shared a photo of staff in the hospital's birth centre, holding similar signs.

"It may be the weekend for some but that doesn't mean health-care workers have stopped working," the health authority wrote Sunday.