Island Health is increasing services levels at all of its health-care facilities.

With that said, it’s asking for your help in continuing to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“Safety is our top priority and practicing physical distancing, as well as frequent hand washing, are still the top ways to prevent transmission of the virus,” Island Health said.

It’s taking the following precautions at its hospitals and health clinics to keep patients, staff and medical staff safe:

  • Continuing frequent cleaning and infection prevention measures in between clients, promoting hand-hygiene practices, and wearing personal protective equipment as recommended by Worksafe BC, the Public Health Agency of Canada and the BC Centre for Disease Control.
  • Reconfiguring waiting areas and cafeterias to support physical distancing.
  • Pre-screening clients to determine how best to support them safely during their appointments and triaging patients at risk for COVID-19.
  • Acknowledging the unique experiences of Indigenous peoples and striving to support care settings that are culturally safe and free of racism, discrimination and stigma.

“As our Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has noted, BC was able to flatten the curve of COVID-19 with help from people across the province who stepped up, made sacrifices to maintain physical distancing, and remained diligent about hand hygiene,” Island Health said.

Island Health thanked those who have avoided unnecessary trips to emergency departments but says it’s important that people who do require immediate care seek it out.

“If you are experiencing symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath or serious abdominal pain, we want you to reach out for help. Call 911 or come to an emergency department if you believe you have an emergency issue requiring care.”

If you require non-emergency care, Island Health says it’s important you continue to work with your health care providers.

It’s asking you to take advantage of the significant expansion of virtual care, talk to your primary care provider, contact an urgent and primary care centre or call 811 for advice.