COVID-19 is in all of our communities including our Gulf Island communities. We are all part of this pandemic. BC and Vancouver Island’s infection rate curves are following that of other countries; we are just a bit behind. We are in the critical period to “flatten the curve” and slow the rate of spread of COVID-19.
The most effective tool we have to prevent spread is physical separation. We implore you to maintain social distancing of 6 feet (2 meters) which is the typical distance from fingertip to fingertip with arms outstretched. If you have any cold symptoms or are returning from out of the country you must self isolate for 14 days.
Many people have questions about testing and we understand this has and continues to be confusing. The World Health Organization says “test, test, test” and yet here in BC we are not offering general access to testing. Following the protocols established by our Medical Health Officer, we are currently only testing healthcare workers, critically ill patients who are to be admitted to hospital, and as part of local outbreak management. This is not because there is a lack of desire to test but because there is a global shortage of swabs and we need to be strategic in order to maintain our ability to offer health care services to those who need them.
- If you are ill with cold symptoms, assume you are infectious and stay home for 14 days. You will not be tested for COVID-19 unless you need to be hospitalized. Self isolation is our most effective tool and it is medically safe to do so.
- Family doctors’ offices are NOT closed. We remain available to you for your ongoing health care needs. However, we are trying to limit the risk of exposure to patients and staff by working remotely and contacting patients by phone whenever possible. Routine appointments (driver’s medicals, non-urgent follow ups, etc.) will be deferred for now. If you DO need to be seen for a health concern, please contact your doctor’s office and they will arrange a visit or telephone call with your doctor as appropriate.
- Please DO connect by phone with neighbours and returning travellers to help with groceries.
- Effective immediately, Lady Minto Hospital acute care is closed to all visitors to mitigate spread of this virus.
Editorial Note: Read all official, current and ongoing updates on COVID-19 specifically related to Salt Spring Island on the Salt Spring Exchange under our News > 'Special Alert: COVID-19' News section.