COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - Flu Season Clinics

We are rapidly approaching the start of influenza season. Meanwhile, we remains in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic with increasing numbers of cases across the province. We, on the island, have been able to avoid any outbreaks of COVID-19 so far with low numbers of COVID-19 infections. The measures we have employed – limiting our contacts to those within our bubble, maintaining physical distance from others, wearing a mask when we are unable to maintain distance or are in public spaces, and washing our hands – should also help to limit the spread of ‘flu this year. The annual influenza vaccine is now available for immunization. ‘Flu vaccination remains an important means to protect individuals from illness and prevent community spread with the potential for a ‘twindemic’. The family doctors of Salt Spring will be working with Public Health and other community partners to provide ‘flu vaccinations at a community ‘flu clinic this year. Individual physician offices hav…
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COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - Thanksgiving Weekend

As we anticipate the Thanksgiving long weekend, a time when we normally get together with family, it is a good time to reflect on what we, as Islanders, have to the thankful for. We have had a low rate of COVID-19 infections since the outbreak of the pandemic and we have not had a community outbreak on Salt Spring. In particular, our seniors living in residential care have not been exposed to outbreaks. We have had strong leadership from our public health team, including our provincial health office, Dr. Henry and our Minister of Health with clear and unambiguous guidance on how to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. As the long weekend approaches, it is important to continue to follow the public health orders and guidelines; Maintain our bubbles of a small number of close family and friends Limit our gatherings, including restricting our Thanksgiving gatherings to those already in our bubble Maintain physical distancing when in public or with people not in ou…
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COVID-19: Tree House Cafe Set to Re-Open

We want to take this opportunity to thank our wonderful staff and community for helping us navigate the crazy summer of 2020. And thank you to all of the musicians who graced our stage. Although the season was shorter than usual, the nights of music under the plum tree let us all to feel a bit closer to normal and once again we felt the healing power of music. We may not have been hugging but connection was still there. And thank you to all of the local farmers and businesses who shared their bounty and talents with us to bring another season of wonderful food. The Tree House will be re-opening this Friday September 18th, 2020. New hours will be 8am-4pm seven days a week. COVID-19 UPDATE: Sept 14 On Sept 3 we were informed that one of our back of house staff members had tested positive for covid-19. We decided to close the restaurant to allow staff to self-isolate and get tested. We are happy to report that no other staff members have tested positive and it has been…
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COVID-19: Transport Canada Rescinds Option to Remain on Enclosed Vehicle Decks

BC Ferries is informing customers that as of Sept. 30, 2020, Transport Canada is rescinding the temporary flexibility it granted to ferry operators allowing passengers to remain in their vehicle on enclosed vehicle decks. Transport Canada granted this flexibility in the spring in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. BC Ferries must comply with Transport Canada regulations and the company supports the regulation and its intent. Enclosed car decks are spaces that represent inherent risk to the travelling public. During the pandemic these risks were mitigated with additional safety procedures and patrols. However, Transport Canada has now advised BC Ferries that measures have been developed and implemented to prevent the spread of the disease in all transportation modes and businesses across Canada. They have further advised the marine safety case for ending the practice of permitting people to remain in their vehicles on enclosed car deck is clear. BC Ferries has implemented …
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COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - Local Case Information

In the wake of the recent positive COVID-19 case in the community, physician offices are fielding many questions. We would like to direct people appropriately so we can focus on our patients’ needs. As individual family physicians, we have no additional information about the Salt Spring situation to give to the public - your family physician's office will not be able to provide further details. Instead, the places to look for information are the Island Health Website and the BCCDC. For information about local outbreaks and exposures, see the Island Health site. Friendly reminders about symptoms and testing: If you have symptoms of COVID-19 (dry cough, fever, headache) and need a swab call the 1-844-901-8442 number to book an appointment. Testing is not done if you do not have symptoms. If you are UNWELL with respiratory symptoms and need advice, contact 811 for advice or if symptoms are more severe, the emergency room at Lady Minto Hospital. If you have symptom…
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COVID-19: Tree House Cafe Temporarily Closed After Staff Member Tests Positive

We would like to notify everyone that we have been informed that one member of our staff has tested positive for COVID-19. It is important to note this staff member did not have direct contact with customers while symptomatic. Since the case was confirmed, we have been working closely with Island Health’s Public Health team. Island Health has informed us that they have completed their contact tracing related to this case. Anyone deemed a potential contact has already been informed or will be informed as soon as possible and advised to self-isolate. Island Health has confirmed that the risk of exposure to customers or those not identified as a potential contact is extremely low. However, out of an abundance of caution, people should continue to self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19. If they feel sick, stay home and reach out for advice or testing. Although we have not been ordered to do so, we have made the decision to close for the time being, to allow some of our staff to self…
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COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - Kindness Will See Us Through

COVID-19 cases are up across the province, but mainly in the lower mainland and predominantly associated with larger gatherings. Cases in our local Island Health Authority thankfully remain low. If you have cold or flu like symptoms and are concerned you may have COVID, please call the COVID booking line at 1-844-901-8442 and you will be booked for testing at Lady Minto Hospital. Please do NOT just arrive at Lady Minto expecting to be seen. This overwhelms our staff, wastes resources, and makes for longer wait times for everyone. We want to ensure that those who actually need care, get it in a timely manner. Finally, a reminder to be kind. Hospital staff continue to endure rude and abusive behaviour. While we understand that the pandemic has increased stress, kindness and patience are the values that will see us through this together.
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COVID-19: Possible Exposures in Sidney

Island Health is notifying people who visited the following locations in Sidney between August 20 and August 22 about possible exposures to COVID-19.

Location

Address

Dates and Times

10 Acres Cafe & Market at the Sidney Pier Hotel & Spa (NOT The Pier restaurant)

9805 Seaport Place, Sidney, B.C.

· Thursday, August 20 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

· Friday, August 21 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Mary’s Bleue Moon Cafe

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COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - Hockey Stick Apart

As new daily cases continue to increase, we are seeing the result of expanded social interactions of the last few weeks. In order to be able to enjoy the remainder of the summer and avoid going back to Phase 1 type restrictions, we need to keep practicing social distancing. Please continue to follow Dr. Bonnie Henry’s advice to protect the vulnerable members of our community.
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COVID-19: Research Team Using Island Health Data To Find Hidden Cases

A Victoria research team is using math and statistics to help anticipate future COVID-19 waves so that public health strategies can target ways to manage possible future outbreaks. This work is possible thanks to a $149,300 award from the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR) COVID-19 Research Response Fund and the Victoria Hospitals Foundation’s (VHF) generous donors. “By estimating the number of undetected cases, we will gain a better understanding of the spread of the current wave and the underlying spread of a future wave,” explains Dr. Laura Cowen, principal investigator and Associate Professor in the University of Victoria’s Department of Mathematics and Statistics. “Our mathematical model will allow the detection of early signals that a future wave has begun, and identify infections among high risk groups such as the elderly, school children, and long-term care clients.” Using Island Health data, Cowen (also the Associate Dean, Research in the Fac…
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COVID-19: Hundreds of Contact Tracers to Be Hired in BC

The Province of British Columbia will hire approximately 500 additional health professionals to increase contact tracing around British Columbia, helping keep communities safe as it continues its COVID-19 restart plan. “We want to make sure people are kept safe in any COVID-19 outbreak, and one of the ways to do that is through strong contact tracing,” said Premier John Horgan. “These new contact tracers will provide an extra layer of protection by jumping into action as soon as there is an outbreak, and will start their detective-style work to find out who may be infected in order to protect all British Columbians.” Contact tracing works by following up with each person who has tested positive for COVID-19 to understand who their contacts may be and providing appropriate followup. Health authorities’ public health teams typically have staff who do contact tracing of communicable diseases as part of their regular work. However, given the scale of the response needed for C…
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Under Pressure - Lady Minto Site Director Recalls Learning to Deal with COVID-19

Researchers at the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control estimate that less than one percent of this province’s population was infected with COVID-19 during the pandemic’s first wave. That’s good news and bad news. The bad news, of course, is that the vast majority of us are still susceptible to the virus and must remain vigilant. The good news, however, is that the steps BC took to combat the pandemic worked to keep exposure and transmission rates low. Salt Springers are familiar with the very public role Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has played in teaching British Columbians about combatting the COVID crisis. However, few have been privy to what it was like inside the hospital, learning to deal with COVID. Lady Minto Hospital Site Director Sara Gogo says it was a rollercoaster. “With the information changing so quickly, we’d tell the staff one thing and then, sometimes that would change minutes later. We were really excited about some of the changes…
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COVID-19: BC Ferries Receives Federal Funding the Safe Restart Agreement

BC Ferries is pleased to hear confirmation that the company is eligible for funding from the federal and provincial governments under the Safe Restart Agreement. We have been collaborating with both levels of government over the past several months regarding the significant impact of the pandemic on the coastal ferry system. We welcome the news of potential financial assistance for ferry users and coastal communities, and appreciate the efforts of both the Province and the federal government. BC Ferries has delivered safe, affordable and reliable lifeline ferry service to coastal communities throughout the pandemic, operating in the public interest regardless of financial losses. Ferry system reliability and accessibility are near all-time highs. In recent weeks to meet increased demand BC Ferries has maintained ferry system capacity approximately 20 per cent higher than demand to ensure access for essential goods, workers, travellers and residents, and will continue to do s…
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COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - Stay the Course

First, a big thank you to the community for trying so hard over the long weekend to follow the rules, even though the rules can definitely put a damper on having fun. Unfortunately, nothing changes: we need to stay the course with washing hands, social distancing and wearing masks when we can not maintain a 6-ft distance. This is the way we all need to function for the foreseeable future. Messages about school reopening in just a few short weeks are causing both anxiety and relief. There is still much to sort out to make school a safe environment for students and staff, and we will need to be patient as our education and health leaders work together to sort this out. Family physician offices and our Lady Minto emergency department are currently very busy, in part due to the accommodations in place for COVID. Please be advised that patients with non-urgent issues might have to wait to be seen.
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COVID-19: BC Transit to Mandate Use of Face Coverings

BC Transit, in alignment with TransLink and other transportation agencies, will be proceeding with mandatory use of face coverings on buses in BC Transit communities across the Province as of August 24. Accommodations will be permitted for children under the age of 5 and those that cannot wear a face covering for health reasons. We recognize the advice from health professionals, including Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, has been to wear face coverings when physical distancing is not possible including on transit vehicles. Customers have indicated making the use of face coverings mandatory will create a more comfortable environment. “Transit is an important service for many British Columbians. BC Transit's decision to make masks mandatory on their vehicles will help make transit safer for fellow passengers. Find one that's comfortable, and make time to get used to wearing them and taking them on and off as needed. Those of us who are able should be using masks…
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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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