VANCOUVER -- As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to grow across Canada, BC Ferries is asking passengers with cold and flu symptoms to stay home.

Spokesperson Deborah Marshall told CTV News the company is already doing extra cleaning on vessels to prevent the spread of the virus, particularly on common "touch points" such as door handles, elevator buttons, handrails and cafeteria tables.

But BC Ferries is also asking people who know they are sick to "do the prudent thing and stay home until you feel better."

"That's what medical professionals are asking," Marshall said. "We would ask people to follow the direction of health care professionals."

Passengers who want to self-isolate in their vehicles can do so in certain situations. BC Ferries said it's against Transport Canada regulations for people to stay in their cars on closed car decks – the lower decks on large vessels – but that passengers are welcome to do so on open decks.

Marshall said they will deal with similar requests from foot passengers on a case-by-case basis.

"If we had a customer that had a situation where they wanted to self-isolate on board our vessel, we would make every effort … to try and isolate them from other customers," she said.

BC Ferries said it is continuing to monitor the COVID-19 situation closely.