COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - Current Update - April 6th, 2020 - 1:11 PM

The number of COVID-19 cases in the Vancouver Island Health Authority has remained stable for some days now. This means physical distancing measures are working. It also means that those who need hospital care or a ventilator have access to them. At some point we may be able to ease up on some of the measures but that time is NOT YET. We all must continue to do our part. As your health care team we have been working for many weeks now with the health authority and province on contingency plans should there be an outbreak of COVID-19 on Salt Spring or in any rural community. While plans are in place to address transport needs, it is clear that any rural community could easily and quickly exhaust its resources. Therefore, it is imperative that with the nice weather arriving and a long weekend approaching, each of us stresses to friends and family NOT to visit. Please celebrate and remain connected virtually. It seems that there are more questions than answers about keepi…
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COVID-19: Foundation Emergency Fund Aims for $200,000 for Community Charities

The Salt Spring Island Foundation’s COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness and Relief Fund has distributed $26,633 to local charities since the fund was launched with $20,000 from the Foundation on March 26. The fund has reached $130,114 with a target of $200,000. Foundation Board Chair Brian Lawson says, “We have received many applications for COVID-19 relief from our local charities and are working to distribute the funds as quickly as possible. We know community charitable initiatives in response to the emergency will really make use of the new targeted amount." Grants from the fund will focus on community health-care preparedness, relief or assistance for vulnerable people in our community, such as seniors, and other pressing community needs as they emerge. Major donors include Country Grocer and the Upper Ganges Liquor Store, the Philip and Muriel Berman Foundation, Island Savings and the CRD. Over $45,000 has been received in donations from the wider community. The foll…
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PARC Assumes Responsibility of Salt Spring Island United Church Meadow

The Capital Regional District’s (CRD) Salt Spring Island Parks and Recreation Commission (PARC) has assumed responsibility for the operation and maintenance of the Salt Spring United Church (SSUC) meadow located at 111 Hereford Avenue in Ganges. The church meadow has been accessible to the public as a “park” in the centre of town since the 1980s and the CRD looks forward to continuing this tradition through a license of occupation. In recent years the meadow has increasingly become a place where people are conducting themselves outside of the church’s intended use. With limited enforcement options and a desire to keep the space open for public use, the SSUC has requested that the CRD assume responsibility for this community space and thereby implement the ability to enforce CRD park bylaws. The CRD invites the public to continue the use and enjoyment of this green meadow space within the parameters of existing local CRD Community Parks Bylaw No. 3795. The meadow is acces…
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COVID-19: Local Groups Organize to Manufacture Re-usable Face Shields and Isolation Gowns - April 3rd, 2020 - 5:17 PM

The Salt Spring Community Health Society (SSCHS) and the Salt Spring Chapter – Rural and Remote Division of Family Practice (SSC-RRDFP) are pleased to announce joint funding by the Lady Minto Hospital Foundation and Salt Spring Island Foundation to manufacture and distribute re-usable face shields and isolation gowns as well as alcohol sanitizer to on-island physicians and health care workers, first responders, and other highly exposed community workers. “This is an exciting example of how four local organizations can partner to work in the best interests of the community, and is the culmination of many, many hours spent by highly-skilled and creative professionals and volunteers to leverage the considerable open-source and maker movement,” said Jennifer Williams, President, SSCHS. This equipment will protect physicians in their community practices, their staff, as well as first responders and community workers who serve vulnerable populations, among others. This, in turn…
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COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - Current Update - April 2nd, 2020 - 1:15 PM

We all continue to follow the daily updates from the Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry and the Minister of Health, Adrian Dix, and hope for good news. So far, physical distancing seems to be working in our Health Authority and in BC as a whole. The increase in the number of new cases of COVID-19 has not been as rapid or as extensive as it might have been, and this is undoubtedly due to the extensive measures in place to stop the spread between individuals and within the community. The challenge will be to continue to physically distance, practice excellent hand hygiene, and avoid touching our faces in the days, weeks and months ahead. We need to remember that the virus does not move, but rather people move the virus. This means that staying at home in our community is very important as a way to stop transmission. If you need to travel to a different community, you should be following all of the recommended precautions strictly. Similarly, if you know of people wh…
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COVID-19: Salt Spring Farm and Business Response & Recovery Task Force - April 2nd, 2020 - 12:55 PM

Task Force Forms to Provide Resilient Local Planning to COVID-19 - To further support the Salt Spring community during COVID-19 a newly formed coordination team, the Business and Farm Response & Recovery Task Force, has come together representing key farm and business stakeholders. Its goal is to ensure island-wide coordination and address the significant current and anticipated impacts to Salt Spring Island as a result of COVID-19. Island residents require coordinated economic and community services support to respond to the unique local economic consequences of this crisis. Laura Patrick, Task Force Chair, and SSI Trustee, says the farm and business response action plan is underway, “Planning for recovery now, by collaborating, coordinating and instituting protective measures, will ensure that we are able to sustain and support our community through this crisis.” Anne Macey, co-facilitating work on the Agriculture Response Plan as part of this overall initiative, adds,“ Th…
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COVID-19: Salt Spring Island Foundation Emergency Fund Helping Island Charities - April 1st, 2020 - 5:04 PM

In just six days, the Salt Spring Island Foundation’s COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness and Relief Fund has reached $114,803. Funds are currently being directed toward local charities with urgent needs. As a consequence of the strong community response, the Foundation has increased the fund’s goal to $200,000. Foundation Board Chair Brian Lawson says, “The needs are large and complex, but we can meet the challenges ahead. We feel confident we can achieve this target.” The Philip and Muriel Berman Foundation, which has supported agriculture and food security on Salt Spring for many years, has donated $10,000 to the fund. Island Savings Credit Union has contributed $2,500, in addition to supporting food banks through its own signature program, The Full Cupboard. Lawson says, “We so much appreciate their compassion and support. We have surpassed the target of $100,000 in only a few short days since launching the fund and are grateful for the generosity of the entire comm…
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COVID-19: Salt Spring Island Foundation Emergency Fund Reaches $93,000 - March 30th, 2020 - 1:49 PM

As of March 30, the Salt Spring Island Foundation’s COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness and Relief Fund has grown to $93,000. Country Grocer and the Upper Ganges Liquor Store have donated $50,000, and community donations have reached $18,000. The fund was started with a Foundation contribution of $20,000 and a CRD Grant-in-Aid of $5,000. Foundation Board Chair Brian Lawson says, “We are extremely grateful for the heartwarming response from these caring businesses and individuals. We are working to get funds out quickly to support the local charities that are fighting on the front lines of this crisis.” Donations may be made at ssifoundation.ca or by mail to: Salt Spring Island Foundation, Box 244, Ganges PO, Salt Spring Island, BC, V8K 2V9. Please indicate on your cheque that the donation is to be directed to the COVID-19 Emergency Fund. Grants from the fund will focus on community health-care preparedness, relief or assistance for vulnerable people in our community, su…
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COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - Current Update - March 30th, 2020 - 1:05 PM

Fortunately, for the moment, these posts have little new information and are quite boring. This is good. This means we may be flattening the curve, but it is still too early to say. It can be hard to appreciate the severity of what is happening elsewhere in our province and country when the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and Spring is so clearly making itself known. Once again though, we must implore you to carry on with all the physical distancing measures. It is our only hope for slowing the virus, saving lives, and being able to lift some of the restrictions we now face, a bit earlier. Again we offer some resources to help Salt Springers to cope during this time. With school technically back in session, here are some activities for children and youth. Museums around the world are offering free virtual online tours. The US Centers for Disease Control website now has a section devoted to maintaining mental wellness during the pandemic. Editorial Note…
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COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - Current Update - March 28th, 2020 - 1:00 PM

Every single person on Salt Spring has the potential to save a life by practicing physical distancing. Never before have any of us been able to have such an incredible impact by such a small change in behaviour. Simply staying home and maintaining a physical distance from others is the single most effective measure to control and stop this pandemic. The provincial medical health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry’s address yesterday gave us a glimmer of hope, but as many know, statistics can be interpreted in many different ways. Now is NOT the time to relax any of the containment measures. Rather, it is crucial that we hold the course we are on, continue to practice physical distancing, stay home, and wash our hands. The coming days will reveal if we are truly ‘flattening the curve’ of new cases. Lady Minto Hospital remains open with restrictions on visitors and all the recommended infection control measures in place. We continue to be ready and able to care for you. We …
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COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - Current Update - March 27th, 2020 - 1:28 PM

A gentle reminder to people who have been asking whether there are cases on Salt Spring—we are committed to the confidentiality of our patients and will not disclose any more than the information you are receiving from the Medical Officer of Health. Our regulatory body, The College of Physicians and Surgeons has said: “….Dr. Henry is taking great care to ensure the privacy of individuals who are affected, which of course is of utmost importance. The College has recently learned of instances where information has been posted on social media or provided to the press about individual patient cases and test results, including the identification of certain smaller communities. This is not acceptable. Physicians must not disclose information about individual patients in any setting, including stories shared directly with other people, even if patient identities are not revealed. The risk of a privacy breach is too great”. We are also aware that there is a time lag between th…
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COVID-19: Donate to Support the Lady Minto Hospital - March 27th, 2020 - 12:15 PM

Lady Minto Hospital is here for you during the COVID-19 crisis, however the hospital and the people who take care of all of us need your help. In light of the potential COVID-19 risk we all face, Lady Minto Hospital is planning, training and working to be ready for all eventualities. More critical than ever, supply shortages need to be anticipated, identified, and taken care of as quickly as possible to ensure adequate inventory exists for the safety of hospital staff and patients. The Foundation has begun to pay for such extraordinary supplies, ensuring the need will be met. We are asking for the community's help at this critical time. Your donation will be used exclusively to help the hospital ensure that it doesn't run short of the supplies and equipment necessary to fight COVID-19. In this time of uncertainty and anxiety, we can all take comfort in knowing we have a community hospital and amazing team that is here for us. Donate online at ladymintofoundation.…
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COVID-19: Salt Spring Island Foundation Launches Emergency Fund

The Salt Spring Island Foundation has established the COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness and Relief Fund in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Foundation is making an initial contribution of $20,000 and will also be receiving a CRD Grant-in-Aid of $5,000 for the fund. In addition, Country Grocer will be partnering with the Foundation to support the fund. Grants from the fund will focus on community health-care preparedness, relief or assistance for vulnerable people in our community, such as seniors, or other pressing community needs as they emerge. Foundation Board Chair Brian Lawson says, “As Salt Spring faces this unprecedented challenge, the Foundation is committed to helping the charities and not-for-profit organizations that are on the front lines of this fight to assist those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Islanders have always been incredibly caring and generous to others in times of need, and we appeal for their help now.“ The Foundation is inviting i…
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COVID-19: SD64 Letter from Superintendent Scott Benwell - March 26th, 2020 - 4:01 PM

Dear families of students in SD64: As we all know, the return to school after Spring Break this year is anything but normal. I want to reassure you that district staff have been working throughout the break, in partnership with provincial authorities, to ensure that public education continues to provide high quality learning and support services to our students, families, and communities. Like the communities we serve, the school district is resilient and ready to take on the challenges that lie before us in the coming weeks. Our responsibilities as a school district are numerous and I would like to share with you some of the things we are working on and some of the ways that we see our services continuing – services that will look and feel different for all of us. The BC Ministry of Education, with advice from the Provincial Health Officer, announced the suspension of in-class instruction to help stop the spread of Covid-19 and to ensure that our students and families…
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COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - Current Update - March 26th, 2020 - 1:07 PM

We are in the calm before the storm and it is what we do right now that will determine the severity of the coming storm.

We want to thank all the residents and businesses of Salt Spring who are doing an incredible job of physical distancing and thus literally saving lives. So many people are helping in all sorts of different ways it would be impossible to mention them all, but thank you. Every day we delay the storm is a precious gift to everyone as more protective gear and ventilators are organized and information and treatments are developed.

Today, we’d like to provide some links to more support resources and the latest news on Covid-19 as it relates to our Salt Spring community.

Many people ask how long the virus can live on surfaces. The short answer is, it depends on the surface:

up to 3 days on smooth surfaces such as glass, plastic and metal up to 24 hours on cardboard about 4 hours on c…
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COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - Current Update - March 25th, 2020 - 1:03 PM

Over the last week or so, we have focused on what individuals can do to prevent transmission of COVID, how to access care, etc. Today we would like to recognize the stress and anxiety that this virus has caused in the community. Many of us have friends, family members, and neighbours who have lost their jobs. Our Island is highly reliant on tourism for income. Small business owners and their employees are worried about how to feed their families, pay rent or mortgages, and other basics. If you’re feeling anxious about the virus - about finances, the economy, or how to cope while staying at home - please take a look at some of the resources provided below. The federal and provincial governments are working to create a financial safety net for those who need it most during the pandemic. Please remember that compassion is one of our community’s greatest strengths. Help one another from afar, be kind, and we will get through this. RESOURCES: If you are experiencing any …
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COVID-19: CRD Asks Parks Visitors to Maintain Social Distancing - March 24th, 2020 - 2:17 PM

To support community health and prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Capital Regional District (CRD) is asking visitors to Regional Parks and community parks in electoral areas to adhere to the orders and recommendations of the Provincial Health Officer (PHO). CRD Regional Parks has seen a large increase in visitors in the recent weeks. Though many parks allow for appropriate social distancing measures to be followed, it has been observed that some parks are seeing traffic that does not allow for adherence to proper protocol as ordered by the PHO. The PHO recommendations and orders include keeping at least two metres of distance between yourself and others and not gathering in groups. While outside for fresh air and exercise, only be close to members of the same household and keep at a distance from everyone else. Responsible use of Regional Parks and Trails may allow them to remain open. Should measures outlined by the PHO not be able to be maintained, parks will have to be …
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COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - Current Update - March 24th, 2020 - 1:03 PM

This is a surreal and strange time for all of us. Going for a walk or looking out at the water, everything looks the same as always. However, all over the world including here in BC people are dying, and intensive care units are filling up. We hear that people are losing patience with the social distancing measures which are being asked of you. You may be feeling frustrated by the limitations of not being able to meet with friends, or just don’t feel you are at risk. Please remember that social distancing and hand washing are the only preventive measures that have been proven to work for the pandemic. We are pleading with you to stick with it! The longer people don’t comply with social distancing, the longer we’ll have to do it. On Salt Spring we are in a period of relative calm and we hope it stays this way. Please remember that all of our local Family Doctors offices are open. They are taking phone appointments and will arrange to see those who need to be seen in p…
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COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - Current Update - March 23rd, 2020 - 1:10 PM

It is clear that cases of COVID 19 are increasing. Whether they grow exponentially or start to decrease, depends on all of us. We now have 39 positive cases in Island Health. Throughout the province there are 33 patients hospitalized with COVID 19 and 14 of these are in intensive care. Our message remains the same as our Provincial Health Officer, Dr Bonnie Henry, and our Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau: Please stay at home. Spend time outside but only with members of the same household and always 2 meters away from others. Every day that you and your family stay distanced from others, the better prepared we will be for the coming days and weeks. We must do everything, every day, to protect our community and loved ones. So please go for a walk, get in the garden, go for a bike ride all while adhering to the advice above. Do not meet for coffee or dinner parties. Please do your part. Editorial Note: Read all official, current and ongoing updates on COVID-19 spe…
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Water Optimization for Salt Spring Island Survey - Share Your Feedback by April 6, 2020

The CRD and North Salt Spring Waterworks District are working with Innova Strategy Group in gathering input on a review of the operation, administration, and governance of Salt Spring Island’s water services. Here is an opportunity to participate on or before April 6, 2020. Your feedback is important in shaping the future of water service delivery on Salt Spring and collaborating around water decision-making, roles, responsibilities, gaps, and challenges of the current public water service model on Salt Spring.

Survey Link

  Read the Full CRD Water Optimization Study Terms of Reference Below     Click here to download the Water Optimization Study Terms of Reference IN PDF format.
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COVID-19: Southern Gulf Islands Leaders Say Pandemic is Threatening Our Fragile Communities - March 23rd, 2020 - 10:47 AM

The COVID-19 pandemic is threatening our fragile Southern Gulf Island communities. The surge of visitors coming to these islands to seek refuge from the pandemic, are potentially compromising the health and well-being of Gulf Islands residents on Galiano, Mayne, Pender, Salt Spring, Saturna islands, plus many smaller islands in this region. These rural island communities do not have the appropriate services and emergency resources to deal with an extra 100, 200 or 300 more people. Off-island visitors don’t know if they have been exposed to the virus – our islands cannot provide adequate support. “Today our Islands need to focus on the needs of residents, says Gary Holman, Salt Spring Island Electoral Area Director – “We need our Gulf Islands precious medical resources for our most vulnerable, especially for those who are immune compromised.” Dave Howe, Southern Gulf Islands Electoral Area Director, representing Galiano, Mayne, Pender, Saturna islands, urges current visito…
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