COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - Current Update - April 20th, 2020 - 1:07 PM

Our efforts are working to flatten the curve, but international experience shows we cannot let up those efforts without putting many people at risk. Lately, we’ve been looking to the south where people are protesting these guidelines and demanding that the economy be restarted. What we really see are people with a complete disregard for those at risk, particularly for workers who literally put their lives at risk daily to care and provide for others. Most of the population remains susceptible to this virus and so we must proceed cautiously as we attempt to reduce some of the restrictions on our daily life. More testing will allow us to track and contain cases and this will be made available very soon. We will post instructions regarding access to testing in the coming days. Many people have been asking about the use of masks. Cloth masks protect others from the wearer’s droplets. As more and more information becomes available about people without symptoms shedding the virus,…
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COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - Update - April 16th, 2020 - 1:01 PM

We continue to do extremely well in BC with very low numbers of COVID cases. This is thanks to everyone following the strategy proposed by our health experts to practice social distancing. That said, there continue to be new cases daily, including in our Health Authority. We seem to be settling into a pattern of a trickling stream of cases rather than a surge, which is good in terms of our health system’s ability to care for everyone. If this pattern continues, we may be able to start opening up some activities. While nothing will be done before our Provincial Health officials give the word, conversations are underway about how to safely re-open various community and hospital activities. Numerous businesses and individuals have been sending treats and snacks to the staff at Lady Minto. We cannot thank you enough for your generosity and caring at this time. All the banging of pots at 7:00pm, the gifts and well wishes, really lift our spirits. Thank you so much.
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COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - Current Update - April 13th, 2020 - 1:15 PM

There is not much new to report today, which is wonderful. This is a case where boring is good. Unfortunately, all of us need to continue with what we are doing - social distancing and hand washing in particular.  As the days and weeks go by, new technologies are starting to emerge for diagnosing the virus, new treatments are being trialled, and vaccines tested. Canada is sourcing, purchasing, and ensuring arrival of personal protective gear for those who need it. All of this means fewer deaths. While we appreciate all the thanks being sent our way, we also want to thank everyone in the community who is doing their part. Businesses have stepped up to ensure their customers can be safe, and workers put themselves on the front line to make sure we all have access to groceries and other essentials. Please continue to enjoy the beautiful weather responsibly.
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COVID-19: Salt Spring Island Foundation Announces Further Emergency Grants

The Salt Spring Island Foundation’s COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness and Relief Fund has reached $140,000 and is well on the way to the target of $200,000. In addition to the Foundation, major donors include Country Grocer and the Upper Ganges Liquor Store, the Philip and Muriel Berman Foundation, Island Savings and the CRD. Donations to the Fund from the wider community have reached $55,000. Foundation Board Chair Brian Lawson is grateful for the overwhelming support, “Our community is showing generosity and solidarity in so many ways during this crisis, and we thank all who have given our local charities a helping hand through the Foundation’s Emergency Fund.” To date, the Foundation has distributed $60,732 from the fund to Salt Spring charities. In addition to grants already announced, the following organizations have received funds: IWAV: $10,000 to support various operations and programming threatened by the closure of the Transitions store due to the COVID-19 em…
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COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - Break the Curve Not the Rules! - Current Update - April 9th, 2020 - 1:12 PM

As we go into what looks like a gorgeous long weekend, the medical staff have a few concerns. Please celebrate virtually. It is imperative that we all continue to practice social distancing over the long weekend and not be lulled into a false sense of security. We would like to thank the Farmer's Market Society for making the difficult decision to postpone opening of the market until after the long weekend, so as not to send a contradictory message. The Farmer’s Market will open, as it is an essential service, but at a more suitable time. We are aware that BC Parks have closed. If you have private outdoor space, please stay there. If you need to go outside and have no yard, there are more than 20 other public spaces to visit on Salt Spring, listed here A reminder that the Provincial Medical Health Officer will not be naming individual  communities with positive tests for Covid-19. There is a risk of providing a false sense of security if a community is not named a…
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COVID-19: If You Need Emergency Care, Island Health is Here for You

Island Health wishes to remind everyone on Vancouver Island that if you are experiencing a medical emergency, we are ready to provide the care you need. As you are likely aware, Island Health, like all health authorities in B.C., has taken significant steps to reduce occupancy in our hospitals to ensure we are best positioned to respond to COVID-19. The Provincial Health Officer has been clear that the majority of people experiencing COVID-19 or similar symptoms can manage them comfortably at home. We are incredibly thankful to the people of Vancouver Island who have heeded our call to avoid unnecessary trips to our emergency departments. With that said, it is important that people who do require immediate care continue to seek it out. If you are experiencing symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath or serious abdominal pain, we want you to reach out for help. Call 811 for advice, call 911 or come to an emergency department if you believe you have an emergency iss…
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COVID-19: Responsible Park Use Needed for CRD Parks to Remain Open

To support community health and prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Capital Regional District (CRD) is calling for visitors to CRD regional and electoral area parks to make the decision to choose a park close to their home and demonstrate responsible use in order for parks to remain open. Park status is being assessed daily. Visitors must adhere to the orders and recommendations of the Provincial Health Officer (PHO) to stay local and ensure social distancing. Should these orders or recommendations not be maintained by park visitors, there could be restricted access or use.

The PHO recommendations and orders include keeping at least two metres of distance between yourself and others and not gathering in groups. Staff have observed that the vast majority of parks visitors are adhering to social distancing protocol. However, there are some areas where social distancing isn’t being practiced. In particular, cyclists an…

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COVID-19: All BC Parks and BC Parks on Salt Spring Island Closing

BC Parks is immediately closing all provincial parks in response to the widespread call for increased action to address COVID-19. This includes Burgoyne Bay Provincial Park, Ruckle Provincial Park, Mount Maxwell Provincial Park and Mount Erskine Provincial Park on Salt Spring Island. The closure responds to both the federal and provincial directives that people should stay close to home to reduce COVID-19 transmission risk. This temporary measure means people should not be going to provincial parks until further notice. “Because physical distancing works, it is critical that we take every action needed to restrict the spread of COVID-19. This applies to British Columbians and out-of-province visitors who were planning to visit or stay at our provincial parks. The message is clear: stay home, avoid travel, do not put yourself or others at risk,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “I understand and share the love people in British Co…
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COVID-19: Send a Personal Message of Thanks to the Staff at Lady Minto Hospital

Your Words of Support Will Mean So Much - While the rest of us shelter at home, brave women and men put themselves in harm’s way everyday to help us when we need it most. These are the first responders, the doctors, nurses, lab and x-ray technicians, the social workers, home care workers, housekeeping, laundry and dietary staff, the facilities management team, and all the support people behind the scenes at Lady Minto Hospital. Knowing our community hospital is there for us makes a big difference in these uncertain times. Know that you can return the favour by showing your support for these dedicated front-line workers. Your appreciation will lighten their burden. Please share your messages of encouragement and thanks at ladymintofoundation.com/share-your-appreciation
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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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