With the third wave of COVID-19 upon us, Island Health says our healthcare teams are tired and on the verge of exhaustion.

With this in mind, they’re now putting out a call for help. Like many, they note “healthcare teams are ready to put the pandemic behind them.”

“For more than a year, public health teams, medical staff, and care providers across Island Health have focused their energies on preventing and managing the spread of COVID-19 in our communities, and keeping you and your loved ones safe.”

They say “this unprecedented effort continues, in addition to other important, everyday health-care needs beyond the pandemic.”

The health authority is now asking you to continue following public health orders and guidelines: “As the detailed April 16th presentation from the Province showed, COVID-19 cases remain high in our communities and we are seeing an increasing presence of the new variants of concern.”

Island Health says public health teams are working long hours to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in communities through testing and collection, case and contact management, and vaccinations.

“But our health-care teams are tired,” they explain. “Many are on the verge of exhaustion. We are immensely proud of all the people who work so tirelessly to keep our health system running.”

In recent days, they say there has been discussion about acute care occupancy and available critical care beds.

And while Island Health has the necessary infrastructure and capacity with respect to critical care beds and ventilators, “occupancy numbers and ventilator supply doesn’t tell the full story.”

“For every person in a critical care bed, whether they are being treated for COVID-19 or another serious medical condition, a team of dedicated professionals is required to deliver care.”

It’s a system that relies on people, Island Health says: “Our people are dedicated, diligent and resilient, and their commitment to providing excellent care is unwavering. But they are being stretched to their limit as this pandemic continues.”

They acknowledge the global pandemic continues to be an “extremely challenging experience for so many,” but until we have sufficient community immunity, they’re asking you to help reduce the burden on the healthcare system by not gathering indoors with people you don’t live with, avoiding all non-essential travel by staying local, and staying home when sick.

“Your efforts to stick to these principles are a show of support for our frontline workers. And they need all that support more than ever right now,” Island Health adds.