COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - Kindly Wear Masks

Please be kind. As we move into month seven of the pandemic, in the medical field we are seeing more episodes of people lashing out at others or disregarding the rules. If you are feeling irritated, whether with the receptionist at your Family Doctor's clinic or the unit clerk at the entrance to the hospital, please remember they are doing their best under extremely difficult circumstances. New policies, new technologies, and ongoing stress are taking their toll on many of our staff. This also applies to all those individuals who are working in the community at grocery stores, the recycle depot, pharmacies and restaurants, to name a few, so that the rest of us can carry on with our day-to-day activities and enjoy our summer as best we can. Please do not take your frustration out on all the wonderful individuals who are trying so hard to keep all of us safe. We hope everyone has a chance to enjoy the BC Day long weekend with friends and family, but please follow the rules. I…
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Saturday Market in Centennial Park Reopening with Limited Capacity

The Salt Spring Island Parks and Recreation Commission (PARC) is reopening the Saturday Market in Centennial Park in Ganges with new protocols and a limited capacity for vendors and visitors. Since July 16, the CRD has allowed vendors to purchase park use permits to set up in Centennial Park ahead of a new Market Coordinator starting August 1. Last Saturday, July 25, 11 vendors were in attendance and a similar number the Saturday before that. Space allocated to individual vendors is currently limited to a maximum of 20 vendors. We will be increasing from the current 20 vendor cap as we continue to assess distancing requirements and other safety protocols. The number of available spaces will also depend on the sizes of the vendor booths that have booked. Some vendors have 4ft booths some have 10ft booths. Starting Saturday, August 8, the Market in Centennial Park will open from 9am-4pm in a limited capacity, operating with modified protocols to meet safety standards s…
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COVID-19: CRD Reminds Park and Beach Visitors to Maintain Social Distancing

To support community health and prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Capital Regional District (CRD) is reminding visitors to CRD regional and electoral area parks to demonstrate responsible use in parks and on beaches. With summer weather conditions in the region, visitor numbers are continuing to increase with many residents choosing to visit swimming beaches in CRD Regional Parks. Visitors need to do their part to ensure responsible park use including: Stay at home if you are sick Keep 2 metres apart from other visitors outside of your group Share the beaches – maintain appropriate social distancing on the beach and in the water Yield to other users on bridges, stairs and narrow sections Stay to the right of the trail in a single file Only park in designated parking spots to ensure emergency vehicle access If you are unable to properly maintain a 2 meter distance from other visitors consider visiting other areas in the park If the parking lot is f…
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COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - Increase in Cases

As numbers of COVID cases increase across the province, closer inspection reveals that a disproportionate number of these originated in Kelowna due to just a few larger gatherings and a relaxation in social distancing. If we want to keep our hard-earned freedoms over the rest of the summer, all of us must continue to do our part and follow the rules. For the sake of our local businesses, farmers and artisans who are all struggling to stay open, please follow the rules whether in a pub, at the market, or in the grocery store. If you are travelling off Salt Spring or welcoming visitors to your home, remember that these activities could bring the virus into our community. All Salt Spring medical clinics are open and our local family physicians are seeing patients. Please be patient with staff as they do their best to keep you safe. Finally, if you think you should be screened for COVID, please call 1-844-901-8442 and they will arrange an appointment for you at Lady Minto…
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COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - New Phase of Risk

After a long absence from posting, the LMH Medical Staff have felt that it might be time to update the community on all things COVID. While all cases on Salt Spring have long since recovered, we are entering a new phase of risk as more and more visitors arrive and each of us starts to expand our “bubble”. First, thank you so much to all the businesses and individuals who have clearly made a huge effort to put in place precautionary measures as recommended by our provincial leaders to keep all of us safe. Second, please do not allow all the hard work and sacrifices go to waste. As all of us start to socialize more, please do NOT meet with friends or go to work if you feel ill. Remember to wash your hands, do not touch your face, and if you need to sneeze or cough, cover your face with your elbow. Masks should be worn in any situation where it is difficult to maintain the required 6 feet separation from anyone not in your bubble. Finally, thank you to the CRD and the coo…
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Watch: Gulf Islands Secondary Celebrates Safe Grad 2020 with Country Grocer

Of all the news stories done, this video is for the Grads of 2020, their parents, The Safe Grad Committee, and all of us who are so proud of these young folk. It all began with the glitch of COVID-19. The Gulf Islands Secondary School (GISS) Grads wanted to get together to see each other in their grad finery and bid farewell. The parents on the Safe Grad Committee were trying to organize various events but kept coming up against Covid guidelines. Then the light bulb went off. Shopping is OK, and all the precautions are in place at Country Grocer. This video is a glimpse at the evening that saw 80 GISS Grads shop for the local Food Bank. It's a Win Win. Congratulations to the Grads of 2020. https://youtu.be/peZsMdYe0PQ
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COVID-19: BC Ferries Implements Transport Canada’s Face Coverings Requirement Today

Effective today, passengers travelling with BC Ferries will be required to be in possession of a face covering that covers their mouth and nose, and asked to wear this covering in situations when a physical separation of two metres cannot be maintained. This Transport Canada directive applies to all passengers over the age of two, including those passengers travelling in a vehicle. On sailings longer than 30 minutes, passengers will be asked to confirm they have a face covering and are willing to wear it when necessary. If a passenger answers ‘no’, or fails to answer, they will be unable to travel. For routes under 30 minutes, BC Ferries requests customers possess a face covering to wear if they cannot maintain appropriate physical distancing. On all routes, BC Ferries requests customers remain in their vehicle for the entire sailing if possible. Customers must also bring their own face coverings as BC Ferries will not be supplying them to travellers. As defined by the…
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COVID-19: BC Ferries Implements Requirement for Passenger Face Coverings

In keeping with directives and guidance provided by Transport Canada, passengers travelling with BC Ferries will be required to be in possession of a face covering that covers their mouth and nose, and asked to wear this covering in situations when a physical separation of two metres cannot be maintained. This directive goes into effect on June 15 for routes longer than 30 minutes and applies to all passengers over the age of two, including those passengers travelling in a vehicle. Passengers will be asked to confirm they have a face covering and are willing to wear it when necessary. If a passenger answers ‘no’, or fails to answer, they will be unable to travel. Customers must bring their own face coverings as BC Ferries will not be supplying them to travellers. As defined by the Public Health Agency of Canada, a face covering should fit securely to the head with ties or ear loops, be made of at least two layers of tightly woven material fabric (such as cotton or linen) …
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COVID-19: BC Ferries To Resume Long Harbour Ferry Service

Service to return to seasonal service levels to respond to growing demand - In collaboration with the Province, BC Ferries is increasing service on routes to the Southern Gulf Islands as of June 9, 2020 to match capacity with demand and better meet the needs of customers. This includes the re-opening of the Long Harbour terminal on Salt Spring Island. Demand on the Southern Gulf Island routes continues to grow. Effective June 9, 2020, the Vancouver (Tsawwassen) – Salt Spring Island (Long Harbour) service will resume and the Victoria (Swartz Bay) – Southern Gulf Islands route will return to winter seasonal service levels. The routes will revert to the sailing times customers are used to seeing and are expected to alleviate the current demand pressures. Bookings for the Tsawwassen – Long Harbour route June 9 onwards are now open. Existing bookings made by customers on the Tsawwassen – Southern Gulf Islands route between June 9 and June 23 will be cancelled and the reservati…
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COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - Double Your Bubble

Dear Salt Springers, As you are all aware, many businesses and organizations are re-opening lately. Please be patient with new guidelines and potential wait times - people are doing their best, and we must be compassionate. Salt Spring medical professionals and hospital staff are working hard to plan for the best possible care of our community members now and in the coming months, taking into consideration the possibility of a second wave. We ask that everyone please head into summer cautiously, taking good care of ourselves and our loved ones, while continuing to social distance. Only "double your bubble" with a few trusted family or friends, and keep things local if possible. Please take a minute to read this overview of phased re-opening from Doctors of BC. Thank you!
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Island COMEBACK a Regenerative Initiative To “Keep Our Island Vibe Alive” Launches

Salt Spring Island has joined a pandemic economic response and recovery initiative called Island COMBACK. Created by a diverse cross-section of BC’s rural islanders, this grassroots gift certificate and donation program will assist our most vulnerable businesses and community groups during the pandemic and beyond. Rural islanders are interconnected, strong, and caring. Island COMEBACK’s goal is to help each island be better able to recover from the current crisis. There are 18 rural islands taking part including Salt Spring. Island COMEBACK is both a people-first, e-commerce site designed to promote and sell island created non-perishable and durable goods and services, and a donation platform allowing Salt Spring community groups and organizations to receive funds to assist with their immediate needs. It calls upon our local community, and the world, to support the recovery of our rural island culture, and economy by purchasing a gift certificate, making a donation or by doi…
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Salt Spring Island Foundation COVID-19 Emergency Fund Reaches Goal

A $30,000 grant from the Vancouver Foundation Community Response Fund has boosted the Salt Spring Island Foundation’s COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness and Relief Fund to its $200,000 target. The grant is intended for rapid community response to support the needs of vulnerable populations. Foundation Board Chair Brian Lawson says, “We are extremely grateful for the generous community response. Reaching this Emergency Fund goal enables the Foundation to continue to partner with donors and local charities to deal with the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Demand for the services of our non-profit organizations will undoubtedly increase as islanders experience loss of income and other challenges, including mental health issues, over the summer and beyond.” The Foundation’s emergency fund has already distributed $113,687 to Salt Spring charities, including over $50,000 in food gift cards distributed via local charities to those in need in the community. This has been made pos…
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COVID-19: Navigating Re-opening Local Businesses

As businesses are navigating the guidelines set out by the government, Public Health Officer, and WorkSafeBC, some are also experiencing extreme criticism from local residents about re-opening after nearly two and half months of being closed. Although re-opening our economy is daunting to many, every business is working hard to follow the guidelines and directives. Many of the requirements come at a high financial and human resource cost, leave their employees feeling vulnerable and affect overall business viability. We are so lucky to live in BC during this time, with the strong leadership and communication skills of Dr. Bonnie Henry and compliance by BC Residents our Province has been exemplary in flattening the curve. We must continue trusting her leadership and support businesses as they adjust to comply with the new business environment. Business owners are aware that it is not “Business as usual” and need locals to be understanding and supportive through this try…
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BC MyHealth Provides Virtual Access to Health Records, Including COVID-19 Test Results

Enrollment in Island Health’s Patient Portal — MyHealth — has gone virtual, giving patients across Island Health easier access to their own digital health records, including COVID-19 screening results. In support of efforts to reduce unnecessary visits to our facilities, people can now sign up for MyHealth remotely. “With the newly available virtual enrollment feature, we are pleased the recently-launched MyHealth patient portal can play an even larger role in our response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Leah Hollins, Island Health board chair. “This is an empowering step for patients while adhering to the Provincial Health Officer’s direction on physical distancing and limiting visitors to our hospitals. With access to their own health records anytime from anywhere they can get all kinds of test results quickly, review results in real-time during virtual care visits, and make informed decisions about their care plan.” Information about the enrollment process is available…
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Reimagining Salt Spring Island: Forward for the Better - not “Back to Normal”

This is an offering to our Salt Spring Island community in these troubled times where crisis and opportunity are the two faces of the situation we face as a community, as society, as a planet.  In order to get through this to some kind of better normal, we all need to raise big questions.  We need to talk about what’s hard to talk about.  That’s what we are trying to do here.  In doing so, we might upset some of you.  We can’t get this all right but we want to start the conversation. This is coming from a place of care and concern about the world we live in.  And of hope for the one we could co-create. What if we don’t go “back to normal” on Salt Spring Island. Normal was nurses and teachers without stable housing.  Normal was tons of visitors travelling by CO2 emitting planes, ferries and cars to go for a hike and have a nice dinner.  Normal was watching the Sysco food trucks drive off the ferry and past fallow farmland every single day.  Normal was locals avoiding Gange…
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COVID-19: SD64 Schools Moving Toward Phase 3 Part-Time In Class Instruction

As you most likely have seen in the media or heard from your schools, the education sector is a key part of BC’s Restart Plan. Here in SD64, we have been working alongside the Ministry of Education and our neighbouring school districts to ensure that we are moving forward together and consistent with the expectations set out in BC’s plan. School districts across the province are moving toward increasing in-school services for students. Specifically, beginning June 1, learning in SD64 will look like this: Stage 3: Ministry of Education Return to Learning in Classrooms In-class learning for students in kindergarten to grade 5 on a part-time basis Access to in-class learning as needed for grades 6 to 12 on a part-time basis Remote and online learning continues to be available for students Families can help us plan for the change by completing the Voluntary Return to School Survey. Having an accurate idea of who will be coming to school and who will be staying c…
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COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - Stay Close to Home This Weekend

Again, we thank you for your excellent efforts to flatten the COVID19 curve in weeks past. It is because of your dedication to our community’s health that we can begin to relax a few of the restrictions. At this time, we still need to adhere to some important guidelines to minimize the risk of a secondary outbreak. If we continue on this good path, we will be able to relax things further in June and July. Please: This long weekend, make smart choices. Stay close to home so we can keep our communities safe. Stay informed, be prepared and follow public health advice Practice good hygiene Frequent hand washing Avoid touching face Cough into your sleeve Disinfect frequently touched surfaces Stay at home and away from others if you’re feeling ill Don’t go to school or work sick Maintain physical distancing outside your household No handshaking or hugging Small numbers of contacts Keep a safe distance Clean your home…
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COVID-19: CRD Opens Outdoor Recreation Facilities

Effective May 14, outdoor recreation facilities will reopen at the Capital Regional District’s four recreation centres: Panorama Recreation Centre, Greenglade Community Centre, Sooke and Electoral Area Parks and Recreation Commission (SEAPARC), and Salt Spring Island Parks and Recreation Commission (SSI PARC).

The following outdoor facilities will be open:

Panorama Recreation: outdoor tennis courts, outdoor basketball court Greenglade Community Centre: outdoor basketball court SEAPARC: skate park, bike park SSI PARC: outdoor tennis courts, multi-sport court, bike park, skate park

Signage will be posted at each facility reminding users to observe health and safety precautions and follow best practices for physical distancing. These measures will help to ensure a safe outdoor recreation space for all. Users are expected to continue to adhere to public health guidelin…

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COVID-19: Salt Spring Island asks Potential Visitors to Stay Home, Stay Safe

Avoid visiting over the May long weekend - “Now is not the time to visit. We welcome you to come in the future when you can experience all that Salt Spring has to offer, but now is not that time.”  With the May long weekend looming, that’s the message from Salt Spring Island’s businesses, farms, and essential services. BC Ferries is reminding people to continue to avoid non-essential travel, and has extended the reduced ferry service to Salt Spring Island and other southern Gulf Islands. “I know the feeling of wanting a getaway -- we all do -- but that’s not what essential travel is,” says Laura Patrick, chair of the COVID-19 Farm and Business Response & Recovery Task Force, and Salt Spring Island trustee for the Islands Trust. “What’s essential right now is stopping the spread of COVID-19 in British Columbia, and maintaining Salt Spring’s limited supplies and services for locals,” Almost everything Salt Spring Island residents need comes via ferries. “There are ho…
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COVID-19: Island Health Begins Implementing Surgical Renewal Plan

Island Health is resuming elective surgeries with new measures in place to keep patients, staff and medical staff safe. We are now in the process of contacting patients to determine their health status and whether they are willing and able to move forward with surgery. We recognize some individuals may wish to continue to postpone their surgery. To limit the number of patients requiring in-person pre-surgical assessments, Island Health is implementing new procedures to support virtual assessments, wherever possible and appropriate. These services will include virtual assessments, consultations and individual or group education sessions. To minimize the risk of transmission of COVID-19, a number of measures are being implemented as part of the surgical process: When possible, patients will be assessed through a virtual pre-admission clinic by video conference prior to surgery. Modified scheduling and workflows to maintain physical distancing. Enhanced screeni…
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COVID-19: Trust Council Reminds People to Avoid Non-essential Travel to the Islands

In a region known for its welcoming farm stands, markets, and art studios, elected leaders are once again reminding people to avoid non-essential travel to the Gulf and Howe Sound islands and to minimize community interactions. As the Province starts to reopen gradually, the Islands Trust Council reminds visitors to stay close to home, and continue physical distancing and other measures a little bit longer. Trust Council suggests islanders continue to limit community interactions and refrain from extending invitations to visitors. "As we head into the May long weekend, we need people to remember our pleas that they avoid non-essential travel to the Gulf and Howe Sound islands and minimize community interactions as directed by the BC Centre for Disease Control,” emphasized Peter Luckham, Chair of the Islands Trust Council. “On most islands, our medical resources are non-existent or limited. In most cases, it is volunteers who offer first response, and we don't want to p…
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