COVID & YOU: what to do
If you think this is an emergency, dial 911 or present to the nearest emergency department. If you are unsure if it’s an emergency, dial 811 to speak with a registered nurse.
For local information please visit the Island Health Website (https://www.islandhealth.ca/learn-about-health/covid-19) and BCCDC (http://covid-19.bccdc.ca)
If you qualify for a COVID-19 test according to the self assessment tool, call 1-844-901-8442 NOT your GP’s clinic.
NOTE: The BC Ministry of Health strongly urges anyone who has symptoms – including a fever, cough, sneezing, malaise/fatigue, rhinorrhoea (runny nose), sore throat, or difficulty breathing – to self-isolate.
The length of time you need to self-isolate depends on your situation. Please go here to find out more.
To protect yourself and others while out in public, wear a mask, wash your hands frequently and maintain a distance of about 2 metres from others. For more information on COVID-19, refer to HealthLink BC’s COVID-19 website.
COVID & CLINIC
Please note the following FOUR important immediate changes:
1. “VIRTUAL FIRST”
As of now, we are aiming to do the majority of appointments “virtually first”. If you need to see a doctor, please book a phone appointment first and you and your doctor can decide if a face-to-face appointment is needed next.
We are still “seeing” everyone by phone but there will be no non-essential in-person office visits at this time. Examples of non-essential visits are: chronic disease/check-ups if you have no concerns, meet-and-greets. or prescription refills. But you can still book a phone call to review any concerns you have!
2. DO NOT ENTER CLINIC IF…
…you have infectious symptoms or concerns about COVID-19 exposure. Infectious symptoms include:
- fever or chills
- extreme fatigue
- muscle aches
- runny nose
- new rash
- shortness of breath
- loss or change of sense of smell and/or taste
If you are having trouble breathing or are extremely unwell, and cannot wait for a phone appointment, you should seek emergency health services at Lady Minto Hospital.
3. SAFE IN-OFFICE APPOINTMENTS
If you and your doctor decide that an in-office appointment is medically necessary, the above guidelines will still apply.
You will be required to wear a medical-grade mask in the clinic. We are happy to provide you with one.
Please do bring the following to your appointment:
- Toys and reading material: to keep the clinic safe for all patients, there are none in the clinic.
- Pen or pencil: if you need to take notes.
Please do not bring the following to your appointment:
- Other people: there is limited space in our waiting rooms. If absolutely necessary, one support person will be allowed, but remember: this is for THEIR safety. If they have less exposure, they will stay healthy!
4. WE CANNOT PERFORM UNNECESSARY OR INAPPROPRIATE TESTING.
We are NOT performing COVID-19 tests at SSIHC. If you are experiencing symptoms, you may be eligible for a test. First complete a self assessment. If directed to book please call 1-844-901-8442 to book your test.
OTHER NOTES AND REMINDERS
- Please watch our websites for updates and advice.
- The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to other respiratory illnesses. They include a dry cough, fever, tiredness, & diarrhea and may involve difficulty breathing. As always, if you are experiencing an emergency, for example, problems breathing, etc., please call 911.
- Social distancing. The most effective way to contain this virus is by limiting our public interactions. We cannot stress this enough. If you do not get this virus now, it means someone else at high risk who does get it can get the health care they need.
- Please do NOT call the clinic to ask if there is COVID-19 on island. This is a pandemic – it is in our community. Act accordingly. We are NOT able to comment on local cases. Click here for information about local outbreaks and exposures.
- Please remember during these high-stress times to be kind to each other. This includes our clinic staff.
Screen yourself at home:
Non-medical COVID-19 Questions
- 7:30 am – 8 pm at 1-888-COVID19 (1-888-268-4319) or via text message at 1-888-268-4319.
BC Centre for Disease Control:
Webpage for general public in English, with links to traditional Chinese and Punjabi language webpages: http://www.bccdc.ca
https://www.healthlinkbc.ca or 8-1-1 Translation in 130 languages available
For patients who have travelled from abroad:
Patient Handouts on Self Isolation from VIHA:
VIDEOS: BC Government Videos on Risk of Getting Coronavirus (each is 22 seconds long)
How to Wash Your Hands:
Routine Infection Control Practices:
The most important way to prevent COVID-19 is as a community to prevent spread.
- WASH your hands
- Do not TOUCH your face
- Social distancing
- Avoid public gatherings
- Avoid routine social greetings (hand shakes, hugs, high-fives …)
- If you have travelled or were in contact with someone who has travelled, consider a two week self isolation. Please phone 811 for more information.
- If you have any symptoms (fever, coughs, runny nose, difficulty breathing), assume you may be infectious and please follow the steps outlined above.
For updated information on travel and quarantine in BC, see these guidelines.